No 10 plays down prospect of Boris Johnson visiting Ukraine after Tory chair says he’s ‘desperate’ to go – live

Speaking on the eve of the second anniversary of the start of the 2020 lockdown, Morgan said the virus was spreading quickly “in all parts of Wales and in all age groups”.

Numbers had been declining steadily since the end of January, and Wales was on the brink of shedding its last remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

Currently face coverings must be worn in shops, on public transport and in health and care settings, while those who test positive must continue to self-isolate.

Licenced premises must also continue to do coronavirus risk assessments, but all of these conditions were due to be dropped next Monday (28 March).

Morgan said it would be a “finely balanced judgment” as to whether measures continue, but added: “There are no foregone conclusions.”

She said the primary concern was pressure on the NHS, warning that hospitals are already full and increased cases would create knock-on problems for services such as accident and emergency units.

“It may be that we look at keeping some restrictions and forging ahead with ones that we had planned [to drop] already, but there are no decisions that have been made so far,” the minister said.

There are around 1,400 people in Welsh hospitals with Covid-19, although only 19% were admitted due to the disease, and there are very low numbers in intensive care.

Morgan acknowledged people in Wales are experiencing pandemic fatigue, as well as stress from the rise in living costs and anxiety over the war in Ukraine.

But she said people needed to have “perspective” on what they are being asked to do and why certain coronavirus measures might have to continue.

“The measures that are left are actually fairly limited, so I don’t think it’s a huge big deal to ask people to wear a face covering in certain circumstances,” Ms Morgan said.

“I just think we need to get some perspective on this relative to where we have been in the past, where we simply weren’t even allowed to leave our homes.”

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