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His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021

Read about the arrangements following The Duke of Edinburgh’s death

Present

  • Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Vaughan Gething MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Jeremy Miles MS
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • Julie Morgan MS
  • Dafydd Elis Thomas MS
  • Lee Waters MS

Officials

  • Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary
  • Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary First Minister
  • Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
  • Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
  • Ian Butler, Special Adviser
  • Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
  • Sarah Faye, Special Adviser
  • Paul Griffiths, Special Adviser
  • Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
  • Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser
  • Gareth Williams, Special Adviser
  • Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser
  • Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
  • Christopher W Morgan, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Jonathan Scourfield, Specialist Policy Adviser
  • Dewi Knight, Specialist Adviser for Education Reform
  • Tracey Burke, Director General, Education and Public Services
  • Andrew Goodall, Director General, Health
  • Andrew Slade, Director General ESNR
  • Reg Kilpatrick, Director General COVID-19 Crisis Coordination
  • Frank Atherton, CMO
  • Rob Orford, Chief Scientific Adviser for Health  
  • Simon Brindle, Director Restart Coordination
  • Tom Smithson, Deputy Director Restart
  • Liz Lalley, Deputy Director Recovery  
  • Helen Lentle, Director Legal Services
  • Dylan Hughes, First Legislative Counsel
  • Terry Kowal, Senior Legislative Counsel
  • Neil Buffin, Senior Lawyer
  • Peter Jones, Deputy Director Public Health

Item 1: COVID-19 - Options for Post Fire-break – remaining issues to be resolved

  1. The First Minister advised Ministers that the purpose of the meeting was for Cabinet to move towards finalising the rules that would need to be put in place from 9 November, to replace the fire-break regulations. Ministers had agreed a number of measures the previous Thursday but there were still certain issues to be resolved. This had been complicated by the UK Government’s decision, the previous day, to place England in a ‘lockdown’ that would commence on Thursday 5 November and last until 2 December at the earliest.
  1. As a result of this ‘lockdown’ the First Minister recommended Wales should still exit the fire-break on 9 November, but the Welsh Government should adopt a principle of lifting the restrictions in a graduated way. This would allow time to deal with any outstanding border issues and reinforce the gains that had been made during the fire-break. There would be a review two weeks after the lifting of the restrictions, at which time there would be a better understanding of the impact of the fire-break and the NHS situation.
  1. Any restrictions would be for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence, spread of infection or contamination. There must be a threat to public health and the restrictions had to be proportionate in what they were intending to achieve.
  1. In terms of the substantive issues, there had been a discussion at the previous meeting about allowing extended households to dissolve and reform with a new household after a given period of time. Given the principle of a graduated approach, Ministers agreed that households would only be able to form a bubble with one other household during the two week review period. The guidance would set out how families could be supported on compassionate grounds.
  1. In addition, for the next two weeks private gardens would be treated as part of the home, in which only extended households would be able to meet.
  1. Local Authorities and the voluntary sector would be given permission to re-open community centres, libraries and other communal facilities from 9 November, but they would need to decide when premises were COVID-19 secure and it was safe to reopen in a gradual and proportionate way, based on individual circumstances.   
  1. It was recognised that with the ‘lockdown’ in England no one should be travelling into Wales, but enforcement of this would be crucial. The plans for unrestricted travel within Wales would go ahead from 9 November, and individuals would be able to travel to England providing they had a reasonable excuse. All these arrangements would be subject to the two week review. There would be no international travel while the lockdown remained in England.
  1. Theatres and concert halls would remain closed but cinemas would be able to re-open.
  1. Cabinet was also asked to consider a series of issues that had emerged as a result of the lockdown in England. There was a need to obtain further information from UK Ministers on many aspects of what was proposed.
  1. Ministers confirmed the hospitality sector would re-open as planned.
  1. There was a need for an urgent discussion with the hospitality sector.
  1. The CMO informed Cabinet that the purpose of the fire-break had been to reduce the ‘R’ rate to around one, but, as expected, there was no evidence yet of any change in the trajectory of infection rates.
  1. Cabinet agreed that officials would need to take into account comments made by Ministers.
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