COVID-19: Wales’ current restrictions to remain due to soaring Omicron cases

Wales’ current COVID restrictions will remain in place for at least another week due to soaring Omicron cases.

Welsh government ministers decided to keep the alert level two measures after the latest review of regulations.

That means face coverings remain mandatory indoors, work from home guidance will continue, and groups of no more than six people can meet in public places such as restaurants.

Indoor events of more than 30 people or outdoor events for more than 50 people are also not allowed.

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Mark Drakeford will hold a news conference on Friday to announce the rules will not be changing

Wales is facing a “difficult month ahead” as record numbers of cases look set to soar even further, First Minister Mark Drakeford said.

The latest data shows there are more than 2,200 COVID cases per 100,000 people in Wales.

“We are already seeing extremely high case rates in communities and we must be prepared for cases to rise even higher, just as they have elsewhere in the UK,” Mr Drakeford said.

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“This variant may not be as severe as we had initially feared but the speed at which it is travelling and its infectiousness continue to be cause for concern.

“That makes it vital that we all take action to keep each other safe. The things which have helped to protect us all throughout the pandemic will continue to protect us now.

“This includes getting vaccinated and making your booster a priority, limiting the number of people you meet who you don’t live with, and taking a lateral flow test before going out and mixing with others.”

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The Welsh government has also announced fully vaccinated travellers and under-18s will not need to take a PCR test on day two after arriving from abroad from this weekend.

Travellers will instead need to take a lateral flow test on day two and, if positive, a follow-up PCR test to track variants.

Arrivals will not need to self-isolate until a negative test, but non-vaccinated passengers will still have to isolate and take PCR tests.

Mr Drakeford will hold a news conference just after midday on Friday.