CORONAVIRUS restrictions are to remain in place across Wales, the First Minister has announced this evening.

Mark Drakeford has said that Wales will keep the alert level 2 restrictions, which include the rule of six and the closure of nightclubs.

People are also being encouraged to limit the amount of people they meet who they don’t live with to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Cases of coronavirus have risen sharply to their highest ever levels as the omicron wave has surged across Wales in the post-Christmas period. The latest figures show there are more than 2,200 cases per 100,000 people in Wales.

Mr Drakeford said: “The omicron wave means we are all facing a difficult month ahead of us. We are already seeing extremely high case rates in communities and we must be prepared for cases to rise even higher, just as they have elsewhere in the UK.

“This variant may not be as severe as we had initially feared but the speed at which it is travelling and its infectiousness continue to be cause for concern.

“That makes it vital that we all take action to keep each other safe. The things which have helped to protect us all throughout the pandemic will continue to protect us now.

“This includes getting vaccinated and making your booster a priority, limiting the number of people you meet who you don’t live with, and taking a lateral flow test before going out and mixing with others.

“Together, we will keep each other safe and we will keep Wales safe.”

At alert level 2 people must wear a face covering in all indoor public places; meet no more than five other people at a café, restaurant, pub; work from home if they can; self-isolate for seven days if they test positive for Covid-19 and not take part in an organised event indoors of more than 30 people or outdoors for more than 50 people.

The Welsh Government also said tonight it is encouraging people to follow strengthened guidance to help them stay safe at home, this includes limiting the number of people they meet who they don’t live with, to flow before you go by taking a lateral flow test before going out, meeting people outdoors wherever possible and making sure indoor spaces are well ventilated.

The rules in Wales were criticised in the House of Commons on Wednesday with Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, describing them as ‘baroque eccentricities’.

The Welsh Government is currently reviewing the Covid-19 response on a weekly basis.