Timings for Tuesday’s Welsh Government cabinet meeting on final Covid rules before Christmas

The Wales cabinet meets again on Tuesday, December 21, as ministers discuss whether to introduce new Covid restrictions to be introduced after Christmas.

Everyone’s Christmas plans are currently on hold as the Omicron variant continues to generate new cases and widespread Covid death fears.

The Welsh Government has already announced the closure of nightclubs after Christmas and confirmed on Monday that sports teams will now have to play behind closed doors regardless of the level of sport.

People are crying out for clarity on what the rules will be both for Christmas Day itself and for hospitality afterwards, especially after seeing such reduced festivities last winter.

When will new restrictions be announced?

WalesOnline understands there will be a cabinet meeting today (21 December) around 3pm. There, the Welsh government will consider whether further restrictions are needed before Christmas.

If they decide that further restrictions will be imposed, these will be announced on the morning of Wednesday, December 22. If there are no more restrictions, it will be announced tonight.

The Prime Minister has previously indicated that the only unresolved area is whether there should be restrictions on hospitality and gatherings of people.

He said a ‘rule of six’ for gatherings of people was unlikely to be the first step in a return to restrictions, but table service in restaurants and other Covid rules on hospitality would be part of the considerations.

Could further restrictions be announced before Christmas?

The Welsh Government has indicated that whatever the outcome of the cabinet meeting, this will be the last round of Covid restrictions announced for Wales before December 25.

The news comes after Omicron cases in Wales spiked significantly over the weekend following several weeks of stability. Wales has not seen the sustained increases in cases that have hit Scotland or London, but experts believe it is only a matter of weeks behind regions that have seen dramatic increases case rates.

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board now has more than 100 cases, the most of any health board, followed by Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB and Swansea Bay UHB. The speed of increase suggests exponential growth as we have seen in England and Scotland.

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