Covid: If Wales' restrictions ease, be sensible - top doctor

Covid: If Wales' restrictions ease, be sensible - top doctor

8/4/2021 6:26:00 AM

Covid: If Wales' restrictions ease, be sensible - top doctor

Wales' restrictions on social distancing, indoor gathering and face masks could ease this weekend.

Despite a third wave of coronavirus cases still spreading infection, Dr Atherton, Wales' chief medical officer, said it was right to relax remaining restrictions.Dr Atherton said: "We are still in the third wave of coronavirus infection here in Wales. But what we have seen over the last 10 days is that the rates - which have been quite high - have been stabilising, and even coming down a little bit.

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"The thing that also gives me comfort is that the rates in the over-60s have been quite stable for quite some time."image sourceimage captionDr Atherton says the vaccination programme has been a "gamechanger"According to Public Health Wales, between 91% and 96% of those in age groups over 60 have been fully vaccinated, as of 29 July.

He said that gave him confidence that regulations could now be relaxed, adding that, on the whole, people have been"very compliant with rules and had "risen to the challenge".But he called on people to act in a "sensible way, in a precautionary way" to "protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities".

What can I do in Wales from 7 August?The level of adherence to coronavirus restrictions has surprised Dr Kimberly Dienes, a lecturer in clinical and health psychology at Swansea University.She has been advising the Welsh government about the possible implications of its regulations on the public's behaviour.

Originally from Chicago, she said she was used to Americans being more rebellious to government rules.She said: "You would really would expect during such a difficult time for people to have had some rebellion, some fighting back."And some have, absolutely. But the vast majority have actually gone along with regulations, have acted towards the good of the community, and that is something that has really been positive to see throughout the pandemic."

image caption"I have been a little bit surprised at the level of adherence - that it is so high," says Dr DienesSo how will people behave when they are offered the greatest freedom yet from coronavirus restrictions since the first lockdown was imposed across the UK in March 2020.

Dr Dienes does not expect the majority to suddenly exploit these new opportunities."I think a lot of people are going to be very happy about the relaxation of regulations, but at the same time there is going to be a loss of security without them," she said.

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"Now it is just going to be guidance, suggestions, and not regulation. And that is going to make some people anxious, a little bit concerned, and a little bit confused about what to do moving forward. Along with that happiness." Read more: BBC Health News »

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