First Minister Mark Drakeford has given the stark warning that after a summer of lower infection rates "coronavirus has returned to Wales".
Giving a briefing on Wednesday the Welsh Labour leader said Wales had just gone through its largest week of testing so far in the pandemic.
The update came hours after new rules were announced for Wales. You can follow all the latest from Mr Drakeford's speech, including the answers he gave in the Q&A with journalists, by going here.
This is Mr Drakeford's speech in full:
“Today I will update you about the latest Wales-wide measures we are introducing to help control the spread of coronavirus and prevent a fresh crisis here.
“These measures are being introduced in Wales at the same time as similar steps are being taken in the other UK nations.
“Fortunately we are not yet facing the same pressures as other parts of the UK thanks in part to our more cautious approach we have followed here in Wales, and the measures we kept in place, such as our advice for people to work from home wherever possible.
“It is also thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone in Wales who have followed the rules and helped to control the spread of the virus.
“But, as this slide clearly shows, cases of coronavirus are rising again in Wales. The overall rate is now 46.8 cases per 100,000 people.
“We are seeing a definite curve upwards after a steady decline through the summer months.
“But behind that graph lies a mixed picture – in some parts of Wales, particularly in those areas of south Wales where we have introduced local restrictions we have high levels of infection and there is evidence of community transmission.
“But further west, and in parts of north Wales, the rates are much lower.
“We are once again seeing people admitted to hospital needing treatment for the serious effects of coronavirus and – very sadly – in the last week, we have recorded a number of deaths from coronavirus.
“My thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have died.
“We have also seen a sharp rise in demand for testing – in the last week 70,000 people received a test result, up from almost 64,000 the week before. This is the highest number of tests processed in one week.”
“All of this shows that, after a short couple of months’ respite over the summer, coronavirus has returned to Wales.
“Unless we take some concerted action now there is a very real possibility that we could see coronavirus regain a foothold in our local communities, towns, and cities. None of us wants to see that happen again.
“This is a highly infectious virus which does not have a cure or a vaccine – we cannot let it take a hold of our lives. We have come too far to let this happen again.
“Yesterday I discussed a series of proposals for coordinated action across the UK with the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Prime Minister. Many of the proposals we talked about are already in place in Wales.
“We have taken a different approach in Wales. We were more cautious in relaxing restrictions and we have kept some advice in place throughout the pandemic – advice which other parts of the UK are now turning to.
“We have all done so much already but if we are to continue making a positive difference to this virus we all need to go on:
Working from home, wherever possible – that message is as much for employers as for workers.
We must all follow the rules about meeting people indoors.
If you live in an area under local restrictions you can only meet people who you do not live with outdoors for the time being.
In other parts of Wales up to six people can meet indoors provided they all come from the one extended household. Children under 11 don’t count towards the six.
Wear face coverings on public transport, in shops, and in other indoor public places.
And think carefully about where you go and who you’re meeting because the more places we go and the more people we meet – the more chances we have of catching coronavirus.
“To help strengthen our response to coronavirus and prevent a fresh crisis in Wales we will be introducing some new measures. These will apply across Wales, including in those areas which are subject to local restrictions.
“To help people who are asked to self-isolate we will provide a £500 payment to support people on low incomes.
“We will make a change to Welsh law to stop employers from making it difficult for employees to self-isolate when they need to.
“And, in common with the rest of the UK, we will be introducing some targeted action in the hospitality sector.
“The majority of hospitality businesses have made changes to their premises and introduced new protocols to protect customers and staff. In Wales this has been a legal requirement for some time. Unfortunately we have seen some isolated examples of poor practice and some local authorities have taken enforcement where there have been breaches of the regulations.
“We are now asking the hospitality sector to go further, as we change the rules relating to the sale of alcohol.
“From tomorrow at 6pm hospitality businesses in Wales – including pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos – will have to close at 10pm. They will also have to provide table service only.
“Off-licences, including supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
“2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. We have all sacrificed so much. Families have lost loves ones. People have lost jobs and livelihoods.
“But we all pulled together to protect our families and look out for our
neighbours. Your efforts helped us get through the first wave in the spring – you followedthe rules and helped reduce cases of coronavirus, protecting the NHS and
“We need everyone to follow the rules and guidance and to take the steps to protect them and their loved ones.
“Together we can keep Wales safe.
“Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi gyd. I will take questions now.”
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