Wales ‘braced’ for ‘thousands’ more Omicron cases

The Welsh Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, has said that Wales could see “hundreds if not thousands more” cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant over Christmas and new year. 

This comes as Wales’ first case was found on Friday.

“Undoubtedly, we’re going to see, I would think, hundreds if not thousands more [Omicron cases] in the next few weeks so we’ve got to brace ourselves and it’s been really good to have the time to prepare for that,” Morgan told BBC Radio Wales.

“This couldn’t happen a worse time because the wave is likely to hit us in Christmas, new year,” she added.

The Omicron variant was initially identified in South Africa and was first detected in the UK on 27 November. Since then, cases of the variant have been confirmed in England and Scotland as well as Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has said a decision on whether to extend Covid passes to pubs and restaurants will be made at the “last minute”, with the next Covid rules review due on Friday. He said the emergence of the Omicron variant has led to knowledge and circumstances developing “so fast”.