All eligible adults in Wales will receive a coronavirus vaccine by July 31, health minister Vaughan Gething has announced.
Mr Gething was speaking at the latest Welsh Government coronavirus briefing in Cathays Park today (Wednesday, February 24). Follow live updates from that below.
He said that Wales would be able to offer a vaccine to all eligible adults by July 31, provided that the supply promised by the UK government was fulfilled.
He also announced a significant increase in testing to identify asymptomatic cases. There will be rapid tests offered to public and private organisations with more than 50 employees – with the priority given to workplaces with a higher exposure to risk.
He said: “These plans will involve over 250,000 workers across Wales having access to weekly testing using tests which produce results in under half an hour.”
There will also be targeted community testing in Bridgend, Merthyr and RCT.
Mr Gething said: “By expanding testing to detect more cases more quickly, particularly those that are asymptomatic, we may well see an uptick in the figures for the prevalence of the virus in Wales.
“An increase in the reported number of positive test results is not, in itself, necessarily a bad thing – if the basis for that increase is understood and swift action taken to stop transmission.”
It comes as Wales’ deputy chief medical officer has said that he would be “very surprised” if all restrictions in Wales are eased by June 21.
Dr Chris Jones was speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a plan to fully ease the lockdown by that date.
But the Welsh doctor said it was “absolutely impossible” to give a date for when restrictions would end and warned it would take a long time before people would be able to do things like mix freely in nightclubs.
The infection rate across Wales has dropped to 79 per 100,000 population based on the seven days up to February 18. Infection rates have reduced to levels not seen since September. Cases for your area are here.
The latest data also shows that 869,653 people have now received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, up 7,405 from the figure of 862,248 published 24 hours earlier.
Meanwhile, 49,729 people have now received both doses of the vaccine, a rise from 42,752 on Monday.
Scroll down for live updates: