A wnaiff y Gweinidog egluro pam yr oedd Llywodraeth Cymru o'r farn bod bygythiad Omicron wedi cyrraedd y trothwy ar gyfer defnyddio deddfwriaeth frys?
Throughout the pandemic our approach has been informed by the latest available scientific and medical advice. We publish that advice on our website and the UK Government publishes advice from SAGE which applies across the UK.
Decisions taken by the Welsh Government in December reflected the consensus scientific and public health view, in light of the new and highly uncertain threat from Omicron. Key documents in Wales include:
- 15 December advice from TAG: https://gov.wales/technical-advisory-group-advice-cabinet-weekly-covid-19-review-15-december
- 17 December policy modelling update from TAG: https://gov.wales/technical-advisory-group-policy-modelling-update-17-december-2021
- 22 December statement by the Chief Medical Officer: https://gov.wales/statement-chief-medical-officer-covid-19-review-21-days-22-december-2021
There are a series of very clear statements in these pieces of advice about the need to act early to mitigate the “urgent and material risk to public health” from Omicron. Similar advice from SAGE has also been published from this period.
Advice acknowledged the range of uncertainties, but also that there was a consensus that waiting for more data to have that certainty would be too late to intervene effectively. The consistent advice from TAG and SAGE throughout the pandemic has been that speed of intervention is important. The time to act was further constrained by the speed of the Omicron variant, which in December was doubling in the space of two days.
A wide range of different models across the UK in December highlighted a range of scenarios, and advice from our Technical Advisory Group correctly forecast a significant wave of omicron infections. Modelling suggested pressures on our NHS could be comparable or higher to previous peaks, even in some of the more optimistic scenarios around severity and vaccine effectiveness. Alert level two protections were anticipated to have a material impact on those pressures.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 25) Regulations 2021 which moved Wales to alert level two on Boxing Day were therefore made using the procedure under section 45R of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, that by reason of urgency they are made without a draft having first been laid before Senedd Cymru.