Lockdown in Wales extended for three weeks

8 May 2020, 12:44 | Updated: 8 May 2020, 13:08

First Minister Mark Drakeford announces changes to Wales' lockdown
First Minister Mark Drakeford announces changes to Wales' lockdown at Cathays Park in Cardiff. Picture: Welsh Government

It's been confirmed Wales will remain under the current lockdown for a further three weeks, with some small changes to the regulations.

Mark Drakeford made the announcement during the Welsh Government's daily press conference on Friday.

He met with his Welsh Government cabinet to discuss any potential to ease the restrictions in line with the latest scientific advice.

Referring to the rate at which the virus is spreading in the community, he revealed that they believe a full lifting of the lockdown could lead to over 7,000 more deaths in Wales.

Three changes have been made, which will come into force on Monday:

1. Exercise will now be permitted more than once a day. However, the regulations in this area are being tightened to specify that exercise should begin or end at home and not involve any significant travel.

2. Garden centres will be permitted to reopen.

3. Local authorities will be able to begin planning for reopening libraries and recycling centres.

Signage on a bench on Cardiff's barrage
Signage on a bench on Cardiff's barrage. Picture: Getty

The First Minister added that the 120,000 people who are being "shielded" from the virus should still remain at home, under advice from Wales' Chief Medical Officer and he advised those over 70, with an underlying health condition or pregnant woman to also take extra care.

On Thursday the First Ministers of both Scotland and Northern Ireland also extended their lockdowns for a further three weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce the latest on England's situation on Sunday.

The Welsh Government released a statement setting out that any changes announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday would only apply to England.

It follows appeals from the Welsh, councils, police and other authorities across Wales for us to stay at home over the sunny bank holiday weekend.

The First Minister said "a journey to the beach or to the mountains are not essential travel" adding that those tempted to ignore the rules "risked everything we have achieved together".

Wales in Lockdown
Wales in Lockdown. Picture: Getty