A new coronavirus tier system is set to be introduced in Wales.
An updated version of Wales’s Covid control plan, which includes the tier system, is set to be published next week, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
Level one is the lowest tier, while Level four is the highest.
Currently, Wales is in level three – the second highest tier.
The alert level in place in Wales will determine what restrictions are implemented.
The alert level will be reviewed every three weeks.
What are the alert levels?
The plan sets out four alert levels – from alert level one to alert level four:
Alert level one (low-risk) – this represents the closest to normality we are likely to have before the summer and the widespread take-up of vaccinations.
Alert level two (medium-risk) – additional, targeted controls are put in place to maintain infection rates at lower levels. These may be complemented by more targeted local restrictions to manage specific incidents and outbreaks.
Alert level three (high-risk) – these are the strictest package of restrictions, short of a firebreak or lockdown.
Alert level four (very high risk) – restrictions at this level are equivalent to a lockdown and reflect the seriousness of the situation. The First Minister said that if the strengthened national measures, together with the efforts everyone is making, do not succeed in reducing the rates of coronavirus, Wales will need to move to alert level four after the five-day Christmas period. But this move is not a foregone conclusion.
Source: Welsh Government
Coronavirus infection rates in Wales have increased in recent weeks, including in Caerphilly County Borough.
Mr Drakeford said: “This updated plan shows how the national measures will be introduced in a more uniform way as we move through the pandemic, providing greater certainty for people and businesses.
Welsh Government has said the updated plan is based on analysis from scientific and medical experts, as well as the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Shadow health minister Andrew RT Davies, who represents the Welsh Conservatives, said the announcement “set out a bleak landscape before the people of Wales in relation to Covid infection rates and the huge pressure our NHS is under”.
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