The Welsh government is planning to ease lockdown restrictions even further on 7 June. They hope to enter into level 1 of relaxed restrictions, in which citizens will be allowed to form a bubble with two households, organise events with up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. However, over the bank holiday several seaside towns of Wales saw a rise in Delta variant—formerly known as the Indian variant—cases. This sudden surge has authorities questioning whether or not it is safe to go ahead with their decision to ease restrictions.
Public Health Wales announced that 35 new cases of the Delta variant were detected in Llandudno Junction, Llandudno, and Penrhyn Bay areas in Conwy County, and now the county has the highest seven-day infection rate in Wales. Baroness Nicky Morgan told BBC Wales:
This is becoming very serious, we need to make sure that we try and nip this in the bud in that particular area and obviously all of this will play into how we assess the situation on Friday.
The authorities are now urging residents of the area to be extremely careful and to get a PCR test done as soon as they notice any symptoms. Those who do not have any symptoms are being requested to do a lateral flow test. Richard Firth, a consultant in health protection for Public Health Wales appealed:
Speed is of the essence. The sooner we act, the better, so please, come forward for testing as soon as you can. The more people with symptoms who come forward, the more cases we will find. More people can then be referred into the Test, Trace, Protect programme, allowing contact tracers to take action to put a stop to the spread of this variant in the area.
The government is holding a press conference on Friday to announce their decision for Wales.
Meanwhile, the number of cases are slowly increasing in the rest of the country and experts are predicting that the initial stages of the third wave has already begun. But compared to the tidal waves the country witnessed previously, this time the wave is expected to be more of a bump.
Despite the fears of the forthcoming ‘wave’ delaying the easing of restrictions on 21 June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains cautiously confident that the last stage of the roadmap out of lockdown will not be affected. He said:
I can see nothing in the data at the moment that means we can't go ahead with step four, or the opening up on June 21, but we've got to be so cautious.
What we need to work out is to what extent the vaccination program has protected enough of us, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, against a new surge, and there I'm afraid the data is just still ambiguous.