LOCAL lockdown restrictions across Wales will not continue when the fire-break ends next month, the First Minister has confirmed.

The local lockdown measures were introduced in a bid to contain the virus in an area where there had been a spike.

At the press conference on October 30, First Minister Mark Drakeford said that local lockdowns did not work well enough to ‘withstand the onslaught’ the country is now facing.

However, he did stress that they had played their part, but now a different approach is needed.

Instead, Cabinet Ministers will be meeting over the weekend to discuss a range of national measures for everyone to follow when the fire-break ends on November 9.

On November 9, shops, bars, restaurants and gyms will re-open, all students can return to work and places of worship can continue their services.

Mr Drakeford said: “This is a difficult balancing act. This is a virus that thrives on close contact between people, especially indoors.

“Working from home will become even more necessary and we will strengthen the rules and support to help make this happen.

“I want to be clear again that when the fire-break ends, coronavirus will still be here with us, even if just a small minority act as though this is not the case then the risk is the fire-break period will fail and all the hard work of everyone else will be for nothing.”

The First Minister went on to say that this is why the decision was made to not return to local lockdown restrictions, but instead put in a ‘simpler’ set of national rules that are ‘easier’ for everyone to understand and keep the virus under control.

He said ministers have been working hard to come up with measures that create maximum protection and allow as much freedom as possible.

He added: “If we are to keep coronavirus in check, without resorting to the lockdown and fire-breaks, then we all need to adapt to the virus in the same way businesses have over the last six-months.

“It the new measures are to work, we all have to act in ways that live up to the public health emergency we are facing together.

Please do not treat the new rules as though they were a game, in which the challenge is always to stretch them to the limit. Please don’t make your first question what can and what can’t you do.

“Instead, we should all be asking ourselves what should, and what shouldn’t I be doing to keep myself and my family safe.

“The answer to that question is that we should all do everything we can to reduce the contacts we have with other people at home, in work or when we go out.”

Mr Drakeford said the rules and regulations are there to help, but the ‘real strength’ is in the choices people make and the actions ‘we take together’.

The First Minister added that the local lockdowns have ‘undoubtedly’ helped and the efforts people have made have kept the virus at lower levels in Wales and they have ‘absolutely been worthwhile’.

However, the virus has now risen at a pace that means local restrictions are no longer sufficient.

Mr Drakeford said he will be making an announcement on Monday, November 2 with the new set of national measures.