“Everything we do helps protect us and the people around us” – First Minister Mark Drakeford

First Minister Mark Drakeford has spoken about the importance of continuing to take simple steps to protect our public health to manage the spread of coronavirus.

He outlined five easy things we can all do, including staying at home if we have symptoms of coronavirus.

His comments come as the Welsh Government has carried out the latest three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations.

The legal requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings will remain in place for the next three weeks, offering ongoing protection to those most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus.

But the legal requirement for businesses to undertake specific coronavirus risk assessments will end on Monday 18 April. Businesses will continue to be encouraged to take steps to operate in a Covid-safe manner.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Retaining face coverings in health and social care settings will help to control the spread of coronavirus in places where some of the most vulnerable people in our society are being treated and live, while also helping to protect staff.

“We’re keeping this specific requirement in place while we continue with our gradual and cautious approach towards moving beyond the emergency response and away from the legal protections, which have been in place for the last two years.

“This doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. Unfortunately coronavirus is still with us – we’ve seen a spike in infections over the last month, with large numbers of people falling ill and a surge in hospital admissions.

“We hope we are beginning to turn the corner. But it’s really important we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and each other. Everything we do can and does make a difference to the people around us – just as it has since the start of the pandemic.

“Together we can keep Wales safe and enjoy a brighter future.”

Vaccination is the most important measure everyone can take to protect themselves – a spring booster vaccine is available for people aged 75 years and over; people living in care homes for older adults and people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed. Health boards are sending invitations to all those who are eligible.

Invitations are also being sent to families with children aged five to eleven years who are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine primary dose.

The Welsh Government has set out five simple steps for people to help everyone stay safe:

  • Stay at home (self-isolate) if you are ill or if you test positive for coronavirus.
  • Wear a face covering in crowded indoor public places.
  • Meet outdoors where possible and ensure indoor areas are well ventilated if meeting indoors.
  • Take additional precautions when visiting vulnerable people. Avoid meeting them if possible if you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • Wash hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes.

The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 5 May.