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Monday, October 12, 2020

Coronavirus latest for Wales and England

People from England's high risk Covid-19 areas should not visit Wales, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Earlier this afternoon he briefed the House of Commons on new measures to halt the spread of the infection in England.

These include a new three-tiered system of COVID Alert Levels - medium, high and very high - being put place depending on local infection rates.

Merseyside will be designated "very high" from Wednesday.  

Asked by an MP about the situation with people from high risk areas of England visiting Wales, he replied: "It's very clear that people from high areas such as Merseyside should not be making those journeys."

A second national Welsh lockdown is being considered as Covid-19 cases rise, the health minister has said.

Vaughan Gething said there was "growing concern" local restrictions may not be enough to stop a rise in cases, which he said was close to its spring peak.

Seventeen areas of Wales are currently under local lockdown restrictions, including Denbighshire.

There were more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in Wales over the past week and Mr Gething said there were more than 330 people in hospital.

He warned Covid cases in Wales could be back to peak levels seen in the spring within two weeks.

According to Public Health Wales figures the highest number of new cases recorded in a day in April was 391. The total on Sunday was 467.

After attending a COBR(M) meeting this morning chaired by the Prime Minister to discuss the proposed introduction of the new tiered system of local restrictions in England, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford  issued a statement in which he expressed "deep disappointment at the inadequate proposals" for travel restrictions in high infection areas in England, and said these would be met with "great dismay" in many parts of Wales where infection rates are lower. 

He also requested greater clarity on the metrics for placing areas into each tier, and agreed with other devolved leaders that the Treasury’s proposals for financial support, while welcome, did not go far enough in protecting the lowest paid workers.

* A summary of the latest measures for England: 

  • Three Local COVID Alert Levels - medium, high and very high - will be in place throughout England depending on local infection rates
  • The medium level will cover a significant part of England and includes the current national restrictions such as the rule of six and the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants
  • The high level will see people prevented from socialising with other households indoors. Most of those areas already living under local restrictions - such as Greater Manchester and Birmingham - will move into this category
  • The very high alert level will see people banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens, while bars and pubs will be closed unless they can operate as restaurants
  • Residents will also be advised against travelling in and out of these areas, while it will be up local politicians as to whether other leisure venues such as gyms and casinos should also close. However, non-essential shops, schools and universities will remain open
  • Merseyside is among the areas to be put into the highest tier

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