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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
  • Will Whiteley, Head of 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, 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
  • Fliss Bennee, Co-Chair of TAC Cell.
  • Tom Smithson, Restart Coordination  
  • Helen Lentle, Director Legal Services
  • Dylan Hughes. First Legislative Counsel
  • Neil Buffin, Senior Lawyer
  • Cathy Weatherup, CMO’s office
  • Liz Lalley, Deputy Director Recovery and Restart

Item 1: COVID-19 Further restrictions

  1. The First Minister informed Ministers that he had called the meeting to seek the agreement of Cabinet to apply a circuit breaker to the whole of Wales to reduce the significant increase in the transmission of the virus.
  1. The Regulations in place were 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. Ministers were being asked to take a decision in principle at this stage to allow further work to take place to firm up proposals. Cabinet would need to meet early the following week to take a decision on substantive recommendations.
  1. Advice from the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Scientific Officer and the TAC all reflected that of the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, to COBR, that the UK Government’s proposals for a three tier system would not stop the rapid spread of the virus and a circuit breaker system was the preferred option.
  1. Scientific advice was that a minimum of a two week lockdown was required, but three weeks was preferable. However, there was a need to consider that the longer the restrictions remained in place, the greater the economic, financial and social impact on the well-being of individuals.
  1. New modelling from Swansea University suggested that a two week lockdown, similar to that of earlier in the year, had the potential to reduce the ‘R’ rate from around 1.4 to 0.8. This would be dependent upon the control measures remaining in place after the restrictions had been lifted.
  1. Hospitals were reporting a significant increase in cases, with 90 people being admitted within the past 24 hours. The number of beds occupied by individuals with COVID-19 related symptoms now stood at 790, up from 500 the previous week. The 150 ICU beds were all occupied, 120 of which were by people recovering from routine appointments. It would be difficult to maintain this balance with the expected increase in COVID-19 cases.
  1. Action already taken in Wales had slowed the rate increase when compared to other areas in the UK. For example, towards the end of September Bolton and Torfaen had similar infection rates, however Bolton was now reporting around 400 cases per 100k people, whereas the Torfaen figure was between 50 and 60.
  1. There would need to be a discussion on the extent of the restrictions, but the preference was for a stay at home message for the two weeks to have the desired effect on the transmission rate. If the messaging was stay local, then the restrictions would have to be applied for longer to bring about the necessary reduction in transmission. It was recognised that either approach could impact the Senedd and Plenary sessions.
  1. The Government’s main priority would be to keep schools and childcare settings open, where possible, with the aim of supporting key workers.
  1. Businesses would need sufficient time to prepare.
  1. Cabinet agreed in principle to introducing a circuit breaker from Friday 23rd October to cover three weekends.

 

 

 

 

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