“We face a really severe scenario in Wales. A wave of infections attributable to the brand new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our manner,” Mr Drakeford mentioned.
“This new type of coronavirus may infect giant numbers of individuals in Wales, disrupting each day lives and companies, and will trigger a rise within the quantity of people that want hospital care within the coming weeks.
“We are going to do every thing we will to guard individuals’s well being and livelihoods in Wales – this implies taking early motion to attempt to management its unfold.
“We’re altering the foundations for companies and a few public areas, the place numerous totally different individuals combine each day, and issuing sturdy and clear recommendation to assist individuals keep secure in their very own non-public houses and when assembly others.”
What’s going to the brand new Covid measures be in Wales?
From Boxing Day, the alert stage two measures will imply:
- A common requirement of two-metre social distancing in all premises open to the general public and workplaces, the place affordable.
- The rule of six will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, corresponding to hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
- All licensed premises might want to take further measures to guard prospects and employees, together with desk service and accumulating contact particulars.
- Face coverings will probably be required in hospitality settings always other than when seated.
- Giant occasions won’t be allowed indoors or open air. The utmost quantity of people that can collect at an indoor occasion will probably be 30 and 50 open air.
- There will probably be an exception for workforce sports activities, as much as 50 spectators will be capable of collect, along with these participating. There’s additionally an exception for occasions involving kids.
Final week, new measures have been introduced for workplaces and retail – these will now come into power on Boxing Day. Nightclubs will also close on Boxing Day.
The Welsh Authorities won’t be making new guidelines about mixing in individuals’s non-public houses, together with gardens, in vacation lodging or assembly open air.
As an alternative, steering will probably be issued to assist individuals keep secure, which incorporates limiting the variety of guests, taking a lateral movement check earlier than the go to and meet open air, if attainable.
There will probably be a separate offence for big gatherings – greater than 30 individuals indoors or 50 individuals open air – in non-public houses and gardens.
Mr Drakeford added: “An important factor we will all do to guard ourselves in opposition to omicron is to be totally vaccinated – which means additionally having the booster. If you’re eligible for a booster then please make getting it a precedence within the coming weeks.
“As we enter our second winter of the pandemic, we have now excessive vaccination protection and tens of 1000’s of additional boosters are being given daily.
“We even have entry to the speedy lateral movement checks to assist us all determine indicators of an infection with out signs.
“Each of those, along with every thing we have now realized during the last two years, will assist to maintain us secure at residence with out the necessity for brand spanking new guidelines and rules about mixing at residence.”
It comes because the variety of recognized omicron circumstances in Wales grew by 204 on Tuesday to 640.
In the meantime, workers in Wales could be fined £60 for going to their office underneath new coronavirus legal guidelines if they can make money working from home.
The Welsh Authorities has amended laws to make attending a office unnecessarily a prison offence, amid the unfold of the omicron variant.