Published by BBC NEWS - 11th March 2024

Gething is asked about local lockdowns – which began in
Caerphilly in early September 2020, following local rises in infections.

He says they led to an immediate impact “but didn’t mark a
decisive turning back”. Most of country ended up in a local lockdown at some
stage.

“It was the right thing to try to do them,” he adds.

He says jumping to another national lockdown too soon might
have affected public support and compliance.

“While the public had been fantastic frankly, in dealing
with a lot of significant interventions in their lives, to ask them to do that
again in September, would have been challenging,” he says.

“We’d just got our children back to school.”

The politics were also “getting more difficult” within Wales
and with the UK government.

By the start of October, there were warnings of rising
infections and hospital admissions.

Gething admits in hindsight modelling of a fire break
lockdown – done by Swansea University in mid October – could have been done
earlier. He says there was a “fruitless course” of trying to get financial
support from the UK government.

He tells the inquiry “the advice we got was looking seriously
at two or three week lockdown options…and to take school half term, a natural
break, into consideration”.

He concedes the benefits of that fire break “were certainly
more short-lived than had been hoped for”.

Copyright: BBC

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