Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford has said the decision to agree a relaxing of restrictions over Christmas was to avoid a “free for all”.
“I think it was very clear to us from the advice we received at the Cobra meeting, but also from what we hear in Wales, that unless we found a formula that allowed people to get together over Christmas, people were very unlikely to be willing to stick to the current level of restrictions that we have here in Wales,” he told GMB.
“So the choice was between a guided form of meeting over Christmas or people simply making their own solutions.”
Mr Drakeford said it was “not a matter of encouraging people” to gather over the festive period.
“It is finding a set of rules that give us a guided way to Christmas – without the rules that we’ve agreed, I think the risk was very high that people would simply make up the rules for themselves,” he said.
– Continue to be ‘cautious and careful’ over Christmas, says Welsh first minister
Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said people have to approach Christmas “in a way that continues to be cautious and careful” and consider the risks posed to themselves and others.
He told BBC Breakfast: “Provided people are willing to use the five days in that way then we will have been able to offer a relaxation that doesn’t lead to an exponential rise in risk.
“I know there will be many families in Wales who will choose not to use any of these freedoms because they will think that this is not the year to put themselves and others at risk.
“But for people who do want to meet others at Christmas, please think carefully, use it responsibly, and then we will, all of us, not face consequences in the New Year that could overwhelm our NHS and lead to real consequences in the lives of people who matter the most to you.”