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Wales Chief Medical Officer: ‘Draconian’ steps may be reintroduced if cases keep rising

More “draconian” measures could be reintroduced in Wales if cases of Covid-19 continue to soar, the country’s chief medical officer has warned.

Dr Frank Atherton said he has been “disappointed” to see many people have stopped carrying out the most basic measures recommended to keep safe, such as wearing masks and social distancing.

Wales’ coronavirus infection rate is at its highest level since the pandemic began, with 3,152 new positive cases reported on Sunday October 24 and a further 12 deaths, bringing the total number of people who have lost their lives in the country to 6,086.

“I think most, or a significant proportion of the Welsh population are still behaving with extreme caution and realises we’re not out of the woods yet, but there is a sense with some places that this is all over,” Dr Atherton told BBC Radio Wales on Monday.

“When you see people not using face coverings when it’s a legal requirement to do so, that worries me.

“When you see people crowding into taxis, as I saw in Cardiff Bay last night, without face coverings and not being challenged, that worries me.

“I see leisure centres that are overcrowded and not social distancing, that worries me.

“This is how the virus is spreading,” he added.

“Unless we as a society organise ourselves in a way that we follow the guidance that we know will stop transmission of the virus then unfortunately more draconian measures and legislative requirements may need to be brought back in.”

The Welsh Government is due to announce another review of the coronavirus rules on Friday October 29.

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