By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

Happy New Year to my constituents and to all Leader readers. I wish I could start the year on a much more positive note but just as we were all looking forward to Christmas and hoping coronavirus was a fading memory, we entered another difficult phase of the pandemic. The rise of the fast-moving, highly transmissible Omicron variant has created more uncertainty and caused significant concern. As a result, Covid-19 regulations in Wales are once again being reviewed weekly, with the Cabinet meeting daily to study the latest data and discuss the latest scientific advice. Before Christmas, the First Minister confirmed further measures would be needed to protect people’s health and to help businesses continue to trade, with Wales moving to a revised version of Alert Level 2 on Boxing Day.

Our best defence against this awful virus is to get vaccinated. The target of offering all eligible adults in Wales a booster jab by 31 December was met and I wish to pay tribute once again to the incredible vaccination teams and army of volunteers for this outstanding achievement. They have continually gone beyond the call of duty and their sterling work and sacrifice is helping keep us all safe. As of 4 January, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board had administered more than 374,000 booster jabs, providing additional protection to 76% of the eligible population. It is never too late to get vaccinated and if you haven’t received your booster, please make it your New Year’s resolution. You can now walk in to any of the vaccination sites across North Wales, such as Glyndwr University’s Catrin Finch Centre, to get your vaccination, but booking online is still recommended to help avoid a potentially lengthy queue.

Businesses in Wales impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus will be eligible for emergency financial support under a new Welsh Government support package. Up to £120m is being made available and an eligibility checker is now available online, ahead of the full application process opening in the week commencing 17 January 2022. It will remain open for two weeks. The latest announcement means the Welsh Government has now provided over £2.2bn of support to businesses across Wales since the start of the pandemic. Wrexham businesses have shared millions of pounds and I hope they benefit from the latest support.

The situation is changing frequently but all the latest information and updates can be found online. If any constituent has any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via email: or call 01978 355743.