The First Minister has said that people mixing is causing some localised spikes of the virus in Wales.

Wales has seen a levelling off of the decline in coronavirus rates over the last week and Mark Drakeford has indicated he believes that is in part down to spikes in Covid in Merthyr and Anglesey.

Speaking at the Welsh Government press conference today Mr Drakeford said: “The overall public health situation remains stable at around 44 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 3.9%.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in Anglesey and Merthyr Tydfil where clusters of cases, linked to household and social mixing, have driven up the rates.”

The First Minister also raised concerns that people who had broken rules were not giving the correct details to contact tracers – which is a crime.

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“We are particularly concerned about an apparent reluctance in some places, to engage with contact tracing teams,” he said. “That contact is vital. It means we can identify the source of infection and how far it has spread. This work becomes even more important as we start to relax restrictions. We need to act fast because the Kent variant is now the dominant form of the virus and it spreads quickly.”

The First Minister was speaking the same day as the Welsh Government announced its new Coronavirus Control Plan which suggested a lot of restrictions may be lifted by the end of April. You can read the full details of that here.

“If you’re watching Wales this weekend, please watch with members of your household only,” he said. “The last thing we want is to mark a potential Grand Slam weekend with a surge in covid cases.”

Answering questions from journalists, Mr Drakefrod also implored people not to drop their guard because they’d had a vaccine.

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“People tell us themselves when they have had the vaccine they feel it is safer for them to be able to resume, for example, indoor household meetings,” he said. “We have to ask people not to do that. You may have been vaccinated but still most people in Wales have not been.

“Once you have been vaccinated it takes three weeks before you have any impact from it. The vaccine is not a silver bullet. It does not mean that people can behave in ways that create additional risk. There is worrying evidence that where we are seeing these flare-ups of the virus it is because household mixing is resuming. Vaccination is not an excuse for doing that and if we are not careful it will lead to the sort of difficulties we have seen in one or two places.”

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