COVID-19: Wales to 'think again' about winter lockdown if coronavirus infections continue to rise

October 21, 2021

The Welsh government says its "ambition" is to get through winter without a further lockdown, but cannot rule it out as cases rise in spite of extra precautions.

In Wales, people have to wear masks in most indoor spaces and show COVID-19 passports to get into nightclubs and larger events.

They are used to prove someone is fully vaccinated or has had a negative lateral flow test result.

Some healthcare professionals say England should introduce similar measures to avoid hospitals being swamped again.

But, in spite of the provisions, the coronavirus case rate is higher in Wales than any other UK nation and NHS Wales is warning it faces one of the hardest winters ever.

The country's health minister said infections are "very, very high" and "we are concerned".

Eluned Morgan said Wales "did vaccinate slightly earlier than some other parts of the United Kingdom and it may be that we're seeing the waning effect so that's why we're really trying to roll out our booster programme as fast as we can".

She does not "want to make any promises" on further lockdowns.

"If we do see these rates continue at a very high level and if we see them increasing we'll obviously have to think again," she continued.

"We're going to hold our nerve and hope we can get through this difficult period."

In Wrexham, Sara Shoemark runs Glow Beauty, with salons in both Wales and just across the border in England. She insists on masks and social distancing on all her premises.

"I think it reassures people," she explained. "We're very close to some people with treatments. Obviously for some treatments our clients take their masks off but if the therapist has her mask on it makes everyone feel safer.

"With what we've been through - we were closed for such a long time - we want to remain open. That's really important to us."

Student Ellie Herrington, 19, has been using COVID passports to get into nightclubs in Wales. They're not required in England.

"With England it was almost just like before, pre-COVID - it felt just like nothing had happened," she said.

"Whereas when you come to Wales they do check and make sure you are safe to go in, you are safe to be in close contact with everybody else.

"I think in Wales I do feel that bit safer".

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