What is the Welsh 'circuit-breaker' lockdown?
19 October 2020, 14:49
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today that the country will be going into lockdown. Here's what that means.
Today (Monday 19 October), it was announced that Wales would be going into national lockdown from Friday.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the 'firebreak' lockdown would be "time-limited" and "a short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and buy us more time".
Speaking at a press conference, he said that the decision had been made to help the NHS cope in response to increasing hospital admissions.
People in Wales will be told to stay at home, and pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops will shut.
Primary schools will reopen after half term, but secondary schools will only allow pupils in years seven and eight to return.
People will also not be able to mix with anyone outside of their household.
Halloween and Bonfire Night - which both fall during the lockdown - will not be allowed.
When will the Wales circuit-breaker lockdown start and when will it end?
The lockdown will start this Friday (23 October) and continue until Monday 9 November.
What did Mark Drakeford say about the lockdown?
In his speech, Mr Drakeford said: "Unless we act the NHS will not be able to look after the increasing number of people who will fall seriously ill in the coming weeks, even with the extra 5,000 beds we have available. And even more people will die.
"If this happens we would have to take even more extreme measures to bring the virus under control – we would be looking at an open-ended national lockdown such as the one we had in March of this year.
"Over the weekend the Cabinet met to continue our discussions about a time-limited “fire-break” – a short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus, and give us more time."
He also said of the 'fire-break' lockdown: "This fire-break is the shortest we can make it but that means it will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.