Here are the coronavirus morning headlines for Friday, December 4, as it is announced routine testing of asymptomatic frontline health and social care staff will start this month in Wales.
Lateral flow tests (LFTs) that can have the results back within 30 minutes will be made available to test frontline health and social care workers twice weekly, even if they have no symptoms.
Wales health minister Vaughan Gething said: "It builds on the asymptomatic testing of health workers in Wales to assist with outbreak control and those working in care homes.
"While LFTs are not as sensitive as lab-based RT-PCR tests, scientific advice has indicated that by testing more frequently with LFTs their accuracy is on a par with RT-PCR tests.
"It is vital everyone understands that testing alone cannot eradicate the risks associated with Covid-19 and testing needs to be carried out alongside other infection prevention control measures, such as the use of PPE, social distancing and hand hygiene.
"Protecting our NHS staff and our most vulnerable citizens in Wales is at the heart of our Covid response and a key element of our Test, Trace, Protect strategy.”
The new testing programme will be available for:
Mr Gething added: “We will begin rolling out the programme for these groups from 14 December, starting with those working in services with high risks of transmission, and introducing in lower risk settings in January. We will also be introducing regular asymptomatic testing of staff working in hospice inpatient units and those delivering hospice at home services.”
Regulator defends speed of UK vaccine approval as first batch arrives
The UK approved a Covid-19 vaccine without compromising safety, the medicines regulator said after America's top infectious disease expert questioned the level of scrutiny.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned the speed at which the UK approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine could undermine confidence in the jab.
Dr Fauci told CBS American regulators would do a "more thorough job", although he later backed away from the comments, saying he was not implying sloppiness on the part of British authorities, in whom he had "great faith".
However, with the first doses of the vaccine now believed to have arrived in the UK, there was still confusion over who would receive it first, with Scotland planning to deliver the jabs into care homes from December 14, but NHS England not committing to a date. More details are expected in Wales today when First Minister Mark Drakeford takes the Welsh Government coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer jab, enough to vaccinate 20 million people, with 800,000 doses expected to arrive by next week.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said: "We have rigorously assessed the data in the shortest time possible, without compromising the thoroughness of our review.
"Covid-19 vaccines, including this one, are being developed in a co-ordinated way that allows some stages of this process to happen in parallel to condense the time needed, but it does not mean steps and the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been bypassed."
Last night for pubs in Wales before alcohol ban and 6pm curfew comes into effect
People made the most of the last night before new coronavirus restrictions - including a ban on alcohol - come into force in Wales today by filling bars and restaurants in the Welsh capital.
Families, friends, and groups of students were out and about in Cardiff city centre to mark the last night before the hospitality industry is forced to shut at 6pm and not serve alcohol. Lots of pictures from the capital here.
Under the new rules, all cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants will have to close their doors at 6pm from Friday, December 4. According to the Welsh Government this is not last orders at 6pm, but the entire premises closing.
Meanwhile, a brewery owner has described the alcohol ban in Wales as "catastrophic" to the industry as he poured 325 casks of beer down the drains.
Richard Anstee, the managing director of Glamorgan Brewing Company which is based in Llantrisant said the company had no other choice but to dump the beer following the ban on alcohol in Welsh pubs.
The devastated businessman started to dispose of all casks which were set to be delivered to 600 Welsh pubs in time for December.
Inside the new £33m, 400-bed hospital wing built to treat coronavirus patients
A new 400-bed medical facility which will treat patients recovering from Covid-19 is set to open its doors today.
The Lakeside Wing at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW), which was built with £33m of Welsh Government funding, will help patients rehabilitate following serious illness with the virus.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board confirmed the first 166 beds are now available in the 'northern wing' of the temporary site and will be staffed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, healthcare support workers and registered nurses.
The coronavirus surge facility, which started being built on September 12, aims to take pressure off the main UHW site which will focus on treating the most acutely unwell patients.
New rules for travelling to and from Wales
The law banning all but essential travel between England and Wales is being lifted from 6pm on Friday, December 4.
Travel between Wales and areas of the UK with highest rates of coronavirus in England's Tier 3, the whole of Northern Ireland and Scotland's Tiers 3 and 4 will still not be allowed from 6pm tomorrow , First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
However people will be allowed to travel to areas with less coronavirus in Tiers 1 and 2 in England and Scotland - although they are being urged not to.
Wales’ coronavirus regulations will be amended to prohibit travel to and from tier three areas in England; level three and four areas in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which is currently in lockdown.
England's rules also prevent people visiting Tier 3 areas from other parts of the country although you are allowed to travel through if you do not stop. The rules are here.
Cases in your area:
The number of coronavirus cases in Welsh schools
There have been 696 coronavirus cases reported by schools in Wales in the last week, the latest figures from Public Health Wales show.
The level of cases has led some to question whether the Welsh Government was right to ban alcohol sales in pubs and restaurants but to encourage schools to stay open until the end of term. There is also pressure from unions to end term early.
Yet analysis of the schools figures by WalesOnline shows that the level of infections in schools remains well below the infection rate in the wider population - suggesting that schools are not driving up the infection rate but, as Public Health Wales stresses in its weekly updates, may be being affected by infections that took place outside of schools.
Of the 696 cases in the six days to December 2, there were 325 coronavirus cases among primary staff and students. Using the figures from Stats Wales which show there are 296,800 pupils in Welsh primary schools from the first year of Foundation Phase through to Year 6, that suggests there were 121.3 cases in primary schools for every 100,000 pupils.