Welsh Government: Hopes that fire-break will allow for Christmas to be better, not worse

BY TAKING extraordinary measures now, there will be hope that people can look forward to Christmas, says First Minister.

As Wales faces its second week of a fire-break lockdown, discussions will be taking place to introduce national measures to replace local lockdown restrictions.

On November 9, businesses will be re-opening and all pupils will be going back to school.

In a special interview, First Minister Mark Drakeford said it was normal to feel fatigued by the ongoing restrictions, but people must persuade themselves to do the right thing.

He told the Leader: “We are all fatigued by this experience, we all feel it harder this time than we did earlier in the year.

“I don’t think anyone who feels fed up and tired should feel that’s in any way strange or the wrong reaction. I think it’s something absolutely everyone feels.

“What we’ve got to manage to persuade ourselves though is, that unless we summon the energy and commitment to do the right thing now, by the time we get to Christmas things will be worse, not better.

“Our ambition is that by doing the right thing for this fire-break period, we will have a pathway through to Christmas without needing to do this again. So, there’s hope for people that if we make these extraordinary efforts now then all the things people look forward to and the things people want to do to prepare for Christmas will soon be possible.

“Although it’s impossible to say to people that Christmas in 2020 will look like a normal Christmas, it won’t, it will be a coronavirus Christmas sadly in some ways too.”

Local authority councils could get more delegated powers to deal with the pandemic as part of new national measures to be announced next week.

The First Minister said a decision has not yet been made but will be debated and discussed this weekend and although a national approach will be aimed for, local action may need to be taken to control a future spike.

He said: “I don’t think it’s to do with trying to dump difficult decisions into other people’s laps. It’s about trying to move and work out what is the most effective way you can get local responses to happen when they are needed.”

Mr Drakeford went on to say that the largest transmission of the virus is coming from people meeting and behaving in ways which allows the virus to spread.

He said meeting people at home, there are no reminders on how to behave and so people tend to revert to a way in which they are comfortable.

A full decision on the new potential lockdown measures will be made on Monday.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey