Wales

Coronavirus: Vaughan Gething 'really worried' despite 'important milestone'

People drinking in Soho Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Wales' health minister said he was "really worried" by scenes of crowds in England at the weekend.

An "important milestone" has been reached in the coronavirus pandemic, but it's not a time for complacency, Wales' health minister has said.

No new deaths were recorded in Wales on Monday.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Breakfast, Vaughan Gething said: "It's a milestone on our progress with coronavirus but it's an unfinished journey."

He said he was "really worried" by scenes in England after pubs reopened at the weekend.

Calling for caution, Mr Gething added: "It's really important that we don't see yesterday's announcement as a sign that we can all go back to normal, to the way things were in February and January."

He told BBC Wales that the relatively low level of transmission meant "we're able to open more areas of activity in a progressive and step-by-step way".

But he added "flare-ups and outbreaks", such as the cases in Merthyr Tydfil, Wrexham and Anglesey, were a reminder "we all need to continue to follow the guidance on social distancing as far as possible".

On the scenes of crowds ignoring social distancing guidelines in England at the weekend, Mr Gething said: "I'm really worried and we don't want scenes like that here in Wales.

"I enjoy going to the pub and having a drink, I enjoy going out for a meal with my family as well. We haven't been able to do that and I understand how frustrating that is for lots and lots of people."

But he said complacency now could cause another increase in deaths later.

"The risks in throwing that all away could be seen in more people becoming seriously unwell or an increase in those mortality figures and I don't want to see that happening here in Wales," he said.

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