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Present (via Teams)

  • 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

  • Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary First Minister
  • Will Whiteley, Deputy Director, Cabinet Division
  • 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 (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  
  • Dylan Hughes, First Legislative Counsel 
  • Helen Lentle, Director Legal Services
  • Emma Watkins, Deputy Director Economic Policy
  • Tom Smithson, Deputy Director Restart
  • Liz Lalley, Deputy Director Recovery  
  • Terry Kowal, Senior Legislative Counsel
  • Neil Buffin, Senior Lawyer 
  • Cathy Weatherup, CMO’s Office

Item 1: COVID-19 - Establishing the position after 27 December

1.1 The First Minister informed Cabinet that the purpose of the meeting was to confirm arrangements from 28th December, should there be no improvement in COVID-19 transmission rates.

1.2 Ministers were reminded that any restrictions relating to COVID-19 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.

1.3 The previous day Ministers had been asked to discuss with stakeholders the potential for Wales to move to an Alert Level 4 and they were invited to provide feedback on any important action that had been taken in the past 24 hours.

1.4 It was reported that, with COVID-19 infection rates across Wales now exceeding 370 in every 100,000 people, a decision had been taken to move secondary schools and colleges to online learning from Monday 14th December. The only exceptions would be classroom support for vulnerable children and professional examinations in FE colleges.

1.5 There was real concern within the NHS about the potential risk of harm to patients who required access to essential healthcare services. Therefore, a framework of actions had been developed to help mitigate the potential risk of harm.

1.6 Cabinet considered the paper and agreed, in principle, that after the festive period, Wales could be classified as at Alert Level 4 and that this decision should be conveyed to the public as soon as possible.

1.7 Cabinet approved the paper.

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