People in Wales urged to follow lockdown rules as vaccine rollout continues

17 January 2021, 14:31

A Covid-19 safety measure poster seen in Swansea, Wales
A Covid-19 safety measure poster seen in Swansea, Wales. Picture: PA

By Megan White

People in Wales have been urged to stick to coronavirus lockdown rules as the "significant task" of vaccinating adults continues.

Dr Eleri Davies, incident director for the coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said people should adopt the "same mindset" for the current lockdown as they did in March 2020.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, Dr Davies said: "Vaccinating the adult population of Wales, to protect people from severe disease, is a significant task and the vaccine will take time to reach everyone.

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"The effects of the vaccines may not be seen nationally for some time and we must continue to follow the advice on keeping Wales safe."

It comes following criticism of the Welsh Government over the past week for vaccinating fewer people in proportion to its population than the other home nations.

The House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee heard on Thursday that the ratio of people receiving the first dose of the vaccine per 100,000 was 3,215.

This compared to 3,514 in Scotland, 4,005 in England and 4,828 in Northern Ireland.

As of Saturday morning, 126,375 individuals have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to Public Health Wales.

The country has received about 250,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 50,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine so far.

Dr Davies said: "The number of positive coronavirus cases remains extremely high in Wales and is cause for serious concern, due to the impact on NHS Wales services.

"All of Wales remains in lockdown. We ask that the public adopts the same mindset for this lockdown as they did in March 2020.

"We understand that people are fatigued but because the new, more infectious variant of coronavirus is circulating across Wales it is vital that we all keep to the lockdown restrictions and do not meet other people.

"This means that you must stay at home. If exercising outdoors, please do this alone or with members of your household or support bubble only.

"Shop online but if you do need to visit essential retail then do this alone, if possible, to minimise numbers of people in retail spaces, and avoid stopping to chat with people outside your household.

"If you must leave home keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face mask when required according to the regulations."

She went on to remind people to follow the latest travel restrictions which are set to come in on Monday.