TOUGH measures have not been ruled out to limit the control of the latest coronavirus variant, the First Minster warns.

The stern message comes after almost 100 cases of the new COVID strain has been identified in Wales in recent days.

As of Friday afternoon, June 4, Wales has reported 98 cases linked to the newly-named Delta variant - although this number is expected to go up.

A total of 54 confirmed, probable or possible cases of the variant have so far been found in the North Wales area so far.

The 'considerable majority' of the Delta cases identified in Wales are those who have not been vaccinated yet, according to the First Minister

Every one of those individuals has been traced and their contacts have been advised of the situation.

In Conwy, there is a large cluster covering Llandudno Junction, Llandudno and Penrhyn Bay that remains under close investigation.

Mr Drakeford urged those in North Wales to take up the community testing that is available.


Speaking at a press conference in Cardiff, ahead of more rules relaxing after the weekend, the nation’s Labour leader urged caution amidst the new variant becoming more active in Wales.

The Labour MS admitted: "If you took a snapshot of the position in Wales today you'd think we were in a positive position indeed, which is why we're moving into Alert Level One.

"The reason why it's not sensible to move wholesale into Alert Level One on Monday is because of concerns on that new variant"

He hopes over time we will better understand the risks of the Delta variant before further relaxing restrictions.

He confessed that local lockdown measures to control clusters of COVID-19 are not off the table – and never have been - but current circumstances don't require that level of action.

He continued: “It is not risk-free, that strategy, because that assumes that there will be greater circulation of the virus in the community and when you allow coronavirus to circulate the opportunities for new variants emerging increase as well.

“But if the link between falling ill and needing to be treated in hospital is broken, then it will mean that in the future we will have to find ways of living with coronavirus more like the way we live with the seasonal flu.”

It was said by the country’s leader that he believes social distancing is 'one of the strongest defences we have' in the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Drakeford went on to say that social distancing may continue into summer months across Wales and even until the end of the year possibly.

He added: “Whether we will be able to move from them being mandatory to just things that we advise people about and ask people to do in their own lives, I think that will depend upon whether we continue to see improvements in the position here in Wales.”

The next decisions will be made around indoor activities ahead of June 21, giving two more weeks for officials to monitor the spread of the delta variant.