SOCIAL distancing in some form may be in place ‘for as long as coronavirus exists’, First Minister Mark Drakeford said yesterday.

Discussing the current situation in Wales at a Welsh Government briefing, Mr Drakeford described social distancing as one of the ‘strongest defences’ we have against Covid-19.

“I’ve been very struck by the way in which, as I go around Wales, people continue to be very careful about the way they behave when other people are around,” he said.

“I think that social distancing remains one of the strongest defences that we have against the risks that the virus continues to pose.

“I see people moving off paths to let people go by; I see people making sure that they keep a proper respectful distance from people.


“I’m not certain there’s a huge thirst for people to give up some of the safeguards that we’re able to contribute in the way that we behave

“I think they will remain part of repertoire in Wales during rest of summer maybe into the rest of this year.”

He added that whether social distancing will move from mandatory to advised will depend on whether improvements continue to be seen across Wales.

“I think it [social distancing] will remain part of people’s response to public health crisis for as long as coronavirus exists,” he added.

Mr Drakeford also reiterated the key points in the next stage of the easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales.

This will be in effect, a two-stage move into the coronavirus alert level one, completing the reduction from the highest level four which was imposed as the second wave of coronavirus took hold in Wales late ;last year.

With concerns over the delta - formerly known as the Indian - variant of coronavirus, Mr Drakeford said his government will continue its cautious approach to relaxing restrictions.

There are currently 97 known delta variant cases in Wales, and this is now the dominant strain of Covid 19 in the UK, with more than 10,000 known cases in England.

From Monday, June 7, up to 30 people can meet outdoors in Wales; outdoor events can take place with a maximum number of 4,000 spectators for standing events and 10,000 for seated events. All events must undertake a risk assessment.

Extended households will be expanded to three households, with a further single-adult household able to join the bubble.

Decisions are likely in Wales ahead of June 21, on changes to rules governing indoor activities.