WALES will go into a national 'circuit-breaker' lockdown from Friday in a bid to stop incresaing rates of coronavirus.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the 2-week shutdown which will come into effect from 6pm this Friday.

It will last until November 9 and see everyone told to stay at home, while pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops will shut.

The lockdown will cover the half-term holidays, plus Halloween and Guy Fawkes night.

Mr Drakeford told a Welsh Government press conference in Cardiff that the measure was necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus and prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

The “sharp and deep” lockdown will begin at 6pm on October 23 and last until November 9, with everyone in Wales “required to stay at home”.

“The only exceptions will be critical workers and jobs where working from home is not possible,” Mr Drakeford said.

It comes after a UK government minister shrugged off suggestions that the whole UK could be put into a 'circuit-breaker' lockdown.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The argument for a national circuit-breaker is not one that I, personally, find, at all persuasive.

“This is to apply on a blanket level – the same approach in Nottingham, the city which my constituency is next to, where the number of cases today is well over 700, to Somerset or Herefordshire, where the number of cases per 100,000 is below 40.

“It also means that, in addition to, undoubtedly, the difficult measures that we are talking about for Greater Manchester and other areas in Tier 3, such as restrictions on hospitality, the outright closure of all schools, the outright closure of most workplaces.

“The damage to the economy and to our broader health and wellbeing that would be brought about by a circuit-break, I think, would be very, very significant.

“And so the Government’s approach is a localised, a proportionate and localised, approach for as long as there is such wide variations in infection.”