By Claire Gordon •
Published: 17 Dec 2021 • 13:40
People in Wales are being “strongly advised” to limit socialising in the run-up to Christmas as the new Omicron variant wave takes hold. New Welsh Covid restrictions are coming into force on 27 December to try and head off another huge peak of infection.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford is setting out the new two-phase plan today 12 December as the country responds to a double-headed Delta and Omicron spike in new cases. ITV news reports that Omicron is expected to be the dominant form of the virus in the UK by the end of the month.
From 27 December, nightclubs in Wales will have to close and there will be new Welsh Covid restrictions put in place. These will include a 2m social distancing rule for businesses and maximum capacities in indoor places.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Delta will continue to be the main cause of coronavirus infections in Wales up to Christmas. But we are seeing cases of omicron increasing rapidly every day in Wales – and across the UK.
“We need a plan to keep us safe this Christmas and we need stronger measures to protect us afterwards, as we prepare for a large wave of omicron infections.
“Omicron poses a new threat to our health and safety. It is the most serious development in the pandemic to date.
“It is one we must take seriously. We will continue to put in place proportionate measures to protect people’s lives and livelihoods.
“This is a virus which thrives on human contact. Every contact we have is an opportunity for us to spread or catch the virus.”
Up until Thursday 16 December, there had been 95 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Wales, but it has been warned that some estimates suggest “half of the population of the United Kingdom will fall ill” from Covid during the next wave of the virus. This is the impetus behind the new Welsh Covid restrictions.
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