There are “encouraging signs that the worst of the second wave is hopefully behind us”, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

The First Minister, addressing a press conference this lunchtime, said the rate of new cases in the country had fallen to 64 per 100,000 people across Wales in the last week, and that the rate of cases is now below 100 per 100,000 in every part of the country.

Wales’ R rate remains below 1 and the total number of coronavirus-related patients in hospital has fallen below 1,500, Mr Drakeford told a press conference in Cardiff.

“All of these are encouraging signs that the worst of the second wave is hopefully behind us and we can look forward together with confidence to more positive days and weeks ahead of us,” Mr Drakeford said.

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However, earlier today Mr Drakeford told a virtual meeting with Welsh businesses and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer that he was concerned about talk of opening up international travel.

“It worries me hugely to hear the Prime Minister say that he intends to reopen international travel in May of this year," he said.

“Our September in Wales was made far more difficult by the fact that we had a big importation of the virus from France, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey. Every day I will be reading of new outbreaks of people who have gone away, caught the virus and brought it back with them.

“If ever there was a year to be staying at home and to be enjoying all the fantastic things Wales has to offer, this must be it.

“I would build the walls higher for now against the risk that we would bring into this country the variants that could be brewing in any part of the world, and could then put at risk all the careful work we have done to try and keep Wales safe.”