In a statement last night, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said the new strain is “significantly more contagious and is spreading faster than the original”.
In an emergency cabinet meeting and with the Prime Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the British government’s Michael Gove, it was announced that Wales will begin their third national lockdown at midnight overnight last.
In addition to the new restrictions introduced with the lockdown, there are changes to the rules on extended households during the Christmas period.
In light of these new restrictions, here is what you can and cannot do in Wales during the lockdown.
The nationwide lockdown in Wales means thousands of people across the country will have to reconsider their plans for Christmas.
Before the announcement, the rules on extended households were supposed to be relaxed for a period of five days starting Wednesday, December 23, but that will no longer be the case.
Instead, two households – and a one-person household – will be allowed to form a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day only.
Yesterday, at the end of negotiations, all non-essential retailers, convenience services, gymnasiums and recreation centers and hotels were forced to close.
It is not yet clear how long they will need to remain closed, but the definition of “essential” retailers and items has not changed since the firewall was locked.
Therefore, stores that have been allowed to remain open during this period will be able to do so from today.
With Wales now at Alert Level Four, people will have to stay home.
This is the most severe set of restrictions and means people will not be allowed to form extended households.
So as it is now, people living in Wales can only mix with people living in their household.
A support bubble can be created by single adults or single parents who wish to join another household.
Weddings and funerals can take place with a limited number. Specific details on this have yet to be announced, but during the firewall lockdown the figure was 15.
No reception or alarm clock will be allowed.
Travel is only permitted for essential purposes, such as work and family responsibilities.
International travel is currently prohibited.
To have your say on this story, please use our comments section at the top of this story.
Sign up for our newsletter here for the latest news on the North Wales Coronavirus delivered straight to your inbox for free