It is less than a week since Wales went into a short national lockdown, and a senior minister has already accepted that a second national firebreak could be needed by January or February next year.
The existing lockdown, which came into play last Friday and is set to last for 17 days, came following an increase in coronavirus cases across the country.
The deputy minister for economy and transport, Lee Waters, said that while the Welsh government was trying to “flatten the curve” of the second wave of Covid-19, it could not stop the virus from spreading entirely, and that is why “this is not the last lockdown we’re likely to see”.
He told the BBC: “I think the projections in the papers we’ve published on our worst-case scenarios shows it’s likely we’re going to need to have another firebreak in January or February.”
The latest figures from Public Health Wales (PHW) show 42,681 people have now tested positive in Wales since the pandemic began last March.
PHW also announced that the overall death toll with lab-confirmed coronavirus now stands at 1,777.
The first minister Mark Drakeford said that “nobody can rule out us [the Welsh government] needing to take further extraordinary measures if things were to be again as serious as they are in Wales today”.
He commented: “In the new year, who knows what position we will face?”
Another national lockdown would see estate agents forced to close their branches across Wales once again as part of tougher coronavirus restrictions.
Non-essential retail shops in Wales, including estate and letting agents, are currently closed for just over two weeks as part of new lockdown restrictions introduced by the devolved administration last week.
The current lockdown period in Wales began on 23 October and will last until 9 November.
As well as non-essential retail, leisure and tourism businesses including restaurants and pubs have closed, along with close-contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians.
Meanwhile, all gatherings indoors and outdoors with people from other households have been temporarily banned.