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The Government in Wales has announced that it is introducing a short national lockdown. The cabinet met this morning to make a final decision over what is being described as a ‘fire break’ against coronavirus after considering advice from experts. BBC News host Victoria Derbyshire confronted Andrew Morgan, the Labour leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, over the decision.
She asked: “What’s going to happen in this two to three week lockdown that means things will be different in three weeks’ time?”
Mr Morgan said it would be a case of “resetting the clock”, but Ms Derbyshire demanded to know what that meant in “practical terms”.
The Welsh councillor told her: “It would reduce the numbers fairly significantly, take us back maybe a couple of months from where we were.
“It gives us an opportunity to further enhance the test and trace system.”
He continued: “It also gives us the opportunity to do things slightly differently.
“We couldn’t have a short fire break and then carry on doing everything as we have.
“Clearly that’s not sustainable or we’d be in the same situation.
“So this is a chance to reset the clock and when we come out there will need to be new national measures.”
Ms Derbyshire hit back that if restrictions were relaxed in time for Christmas, then potentially the rate would go up again and yet another short lockdown would be necessary.
Mr Morgan insisted: “That is a risk clearly but it depends on what point you’re starting from.
“If something isn’t done now, we could have a real situation going into the winter.”
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Local lockdowns are already in place in 17 areas across Wales.
The new restrictions will be timed to begin at the end of the week, coinciding with half term.
First Minister Mark Drakeford made the announcement shortly after midday.
It comes as talks are set to resume over whether Greater Manchester will enter the highest level of COVID-19 restrictions.
Leaders in the region have said better financial support is needed.
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