On Friday, October 23, Wales entered a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the nation.
Residents of Wales entered a total lockdown for a duration of two weeks, following advice from scientists advising the Welsh Government. As part of the process, the Welsh Government shuttered all non-essential retail and hospitality businesses, schools, and instituted a ban on socialising between households.
"The only exceptions will be critical workers and jobs where working from home is not possible,” said First Minister Drakeford at the time of the announcement, adding that that the lockdown would only last for two weeks and not be extended beyond November 9.
Today, Wales exited the total lockdown, but new evidence demonstrates the extreme measure may have been ineffective.
According to Spectator journalist Ross Clark, the virus spread faster in Wales after the lockdown was instituted than it did in nearby England, where no such lockdown was in place.
"During the first 12 days – when Wales was in lockdown but England wasn’t – the epidemic seems to have grown far more quickly in Wales than it did in England. When Wales went into lockdown on 23 October, the seven-day average for new infections leading up to that date was 893. By 5 November, the seven-day average had grown to 1,299, a 45 per cent increase. In England, by contrast, the seven day average leading up to 23 October was 17,085, growing to 19,497 by 5 November – a 14 per cent increase." Ross writes, noting a recently-published graph from the UK government which supports his claim.
In recent days, other nations have considered entering a circuit breaker lockdown in a similar fashion to Wales, including the United Kingdom. Ireland entered a six-week total lockdown in late October, beating Wales for the strictest lockdown in the EU.
The lockdown in Ireland is still in progress, and some are eagerly awaiting the results from the drastic measure to determine whether or not it was effective.