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Present

  • Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)

Via video link

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

Item 1: COVID-19 winter planning

  1. The First Minister advised Ministers that the purpose of the meeting was for Cabinet to consider whether to implement further restrictions in the near future to help guarantee that families could meet for up to five days over the Christmas period.
  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. The First Minister referred to the presentations to Ministers the previous evening from the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Executive of the NHS and Chief Scientific Officer. It was noted that the context to the decisions Ministers would need to take in terms of both the epidemiology of the virus and NHS capacity was very serious.

Item 2: Legal framework

  1. The First Legislative Counsel set out the legislative context around COVID-19 including the making of 35 sets of principal Regulations, which has been amended multiple times. A considerable amount of work was needed to prepare such legislation.
  1. Cabinet noted the update.

Item 3: Proposed approach to further restrictions

  1. The First Minister outlined that Cabinet would need to consider three questions. Firstly, whether further action should be taken, taking into account the current epidemiology and projected impact on the NHS, but set against the other socio-economic harms associated with intervening.  Secondly, whether any such further restrictions should be deployed on an all-Wales basis or whether there should be an alternative approach, such as regional or local and thirdly, the details of those restrictions.
  1. Cabinet, after considering all the available evidence agreed that further action was required.
  1. Cabinet also considered the geographical options for the implementation of any restrictions.
  1. Cabinet agreed to an all-Wales approach for restrictions in the lead up to the Christmas period.
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