As it happened: Fire on Caroline Street, Covid restrictions removed, and half marathon build-up
Updates from South Wales on 25th March 2022
First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed what Covid restrictions will be lifted on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Cardiff half-marathon returns this weekend for the first time since lockdown and we will have all the reaction from Wales’ victory over Austria.
Caroline Street fire: Public advised to avoid the area
Police are asking people to stay away from Caroline Street and lower St Mary’s Street.
Would you want Gareth Bale as First Minister?
Family rescued from roof
A couple living in a nearby flat with their three-year-old daughter were rescued by firefighters.
BREAKING: Fire on Caroline Street
The fire service and police are responding to an incident near Caroline Street.
CJS News’ reporter at the scene has been told the fire is in an apartment above a fast food restaurant.
That’s all from the First Minister
No real surprises from Mark Drakeford as he signs off his press conference. The next review of restrictions will be in three weeks time (14th April)
Wales’ Next First Minister, Gareth Bale?
After last nights result, Mark Drakeford was full of praise for the Wales winger when asked by Will if he would like to see Bale as the next First Minister: “The next time there is a vacancy I’ll be sure to let him know.”
Increase in infections has caused government to retain measures for longer
Answering our reporter Will Hardy, the First Minister says some restrictions have undoubtedly remained in place because of rising cases.
Lateral flows to continue beyond June if available and affordable
First Minister says Wales will make an assessment in June if it can afford to continue supplying tests, as UK government funding has ended.
Vaccine protection makes return to lockdowns ‘unlikely’
Mark Drakeford mentions vaccines and anti-viral treatments as key to defence now. “If something unexpected happens I don’t see us returning to restrictions. But do we rule it out? No. No sensible person would.”
Covid inquiry will focus on decision made in different parts of the UK.
The First Minister says he has assurances from Westminster that the report will look at wider UK context.
No one should be obliging employees to come into work if they have Covid
The First Minister makes it clear that companies cannot force workers to go to work if they have Coronavirus. Despite it no longer being law.
Free lateral flow tests for those with symptoms
This will remain for the foreseeable future in Wales.
First Minister says we need to live with Coronavirus
Mark Drakeford was responding to a question concerning what some see as a quick lifting of restrictions. He says people need to treat it like any other disease and take as much caution around other people as you would if you had any other illness. “If you catch the measles you don’t go to work with it, you don’t go out and about with it, and there’s no law needed for that.”
Slow return to normal
The First Minister says we are making up ground in the path to normality. The lifting of these restrictions are another sign of that. Drakeford says that while there are 1,400 beds occupied in Wales, fewer than 20% are there because of coronavirus alone. Eight out of 10 are there for other things but have coronavirus as well.
“Just because it is no longer law does not mean it is not important.”
A key takeaway from the First Minister’s address, with rising pressures on the NHS. Although the numbers of those dying is relatively low compared to the level of infection “there is no denying it has an impact on the ability of the system to do what we want it to do”.
“Keep on keeping Wales safe together”
That’s the final message from the First Minister as he hands over to journalists for questions.
“Real focus on rolling out spring booster”
The First Minister encourages older people to come forward for their fourth booster, he also urges parents to get their children vaccinated.
The First Minister shows a graph highlighting increasing covid cases around the UK. Note: Wales has the lowest Covid numbers in the UK, but these are rising rapidly.
Self Isolation payment to remain
£500 payment will be available to June to help those who are off work. However, the legal requirement for self isolation will end this Monday.
Face masks no longer legally required in some cases
The first minster says face coverings no longer legally required to be worn in shops or on public transport, but he strongly recommends wearing them in crowded areas. They remain a legal requirement in NHS settings. Bussiness will also need to carry out risk assessments on their premises for Covid-19.
Numbers “rising rapidly”
Mark Drakeford says there are almost 130 cases per 100,000 people in Wales. He highlights there are more than 1400 COVID-19 patients in hopsital. The highest number since March 2020.
The First Minister takes the podium
Mark Drakeford begins by outlining the rising cases around Wales.
Latest vaccine figures
Welsh Government announces plan to support working from home
First Minister outlines changes
Mark Drakeford explained this morning what we should expected from his press conference, which is coming up very shortly.
Covid restrictions expected to be relaxed
The First Minister is holding a press conference at 12.