Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

10 hours ago

First Cymru bus services from June 1

First Cymru will be reintroducing some of their bus services from 1st June 2020, and will be increasing frequency on those services already operating.

Temporary timetables will be introduced on the following routes:

  • 103 Ammanford – Llandybie - Llandeilo
  • 124 Ammanford – Garnant - Brynaman
  • 127 Ammanford – Betws - Garnswllt
  • 128 Ammanford – Cross Hands - Llanelli
  • 129 Ammanford – Cross Hands - Carmarthen
  • 145/146 Ammanford – Cwmaman
  • 195 Llanelli – Pontyberem - Carmarthen
  • 197 Llanelli – Pontiets - Carmarthen
  • L1 Llanelli – Morfa – Penyfan
  • L2 Llanelli – Prince Philip Hospital – Swiss Valley
  • L3 Llanelli Prince Philip Hospital –Pontarddulais
  • L4 Llanelli – Llundain Fach
  • L5 Llanelli – Dafen
  • L6 Llanelli – Tyisha
  • L7 Llanelli - Hendy

Timetables will be amended and frequencies increased on the following routes:

  • 111 Kidwelly – Llanelli – Swansea
  • T1 Carmarthen – Lampeter - Aberystwyth
  • X13 Llandeilo – Ammanford – Swansea

Further details will be available at First Cymru’s website or by calling 0345 646 0707.

Information on bus services throughout Wales is available from Traveline Cymru or Freephone 0800 464 0000.

Vehicles will be running at significantly reduced passenger capacity and passengers are asked to consider using contactless payments or purchasing tickets via the First Bus App wherever possible.

Further information and guidance

Council meetings

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision was made to suspend council meetings.

Welsh Government has now passed temporary emergency regulations to relax some of the rules relating to the conduct of council business, so that important decisions can be made through virtual meetings.

We will introduce virtual meetings starting with Executive Board on June 1 and the Annual Meeting of Council on June 10. All other meetings will be restarted on a phased basis. You can view the papers and webcast of our meetings as normal on our Council and Democracy pages.

Further updates will be provided as other remote meetings are introduced.

 

Council and Democracy

Play equipment gifted to children with disabilities

Children with disabilities in Carmarthenshire have been gifted play equipment by the county council during the coronavirus pandemic

Some 26 children are already making use of new play materials and outdoor equipment which are helping to maintain their health and well-being during the lockdown.

Items such as garden swing seats, paddling pools, tablets, sensory back out tents, trampolines are making a huge difference to them whilst staying at home.

 

Read More

Household waste and recycling centres open from today

Trostre and Nantycaws household waste and recycling centres re-open today for the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic. Wernddu in Ammanford and Whitland will re-open from tomorrow (Wednesdays-Sundays).

The centres are open to those Carmarthenshire residents who have already pre-booked an appointment. Appointments for this week are now full for Trostre and Wernddu recycling centres. Please don’t turn up to the centres without an appointment as you will not be able to enter.

Appointments for next week can be made through an online booking form. The appointment slots will go live on Thursday at 8.30am at Carmarthenshire.gov.wales/recyclingcentres

The situation will be continuously reviewed and any updates or changes to the system will be posted on the council’s website or Facebook and Twitter pages.

To ensure it is fair to everyone, residents will initially be able to make one appointment per month.

Thank you for your continued co-operation throughout these difficult times.

Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund

There are grants of up to £10,000 available towards creative and engaging projects, that can be delivered under social restrictions, for people from Armed Forces communities who are isolated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The following are eligible to apply:

  • a registered charity or Community Interest Company (CIC) and able to show that you have three or more unrelated Trustees/directors
  • a school
  • an Armed Forces unit or base

The closing date for applications is June 30 

 

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Further childcare hub opening in Llanelli

An additional childcare hub is opening in Llanelli from next week (w/c Monday, May 25) due to increasing demand to provide care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

It will be located at Ysgol Ffwrnes in Llanelli and follows the opening of an extra three hubs at Bryn Primary School in Llanelli, Model Primary School in Carmarthen and Ysgol Tycroes.

It is important that numbers are kept low at the hubs to ensure the health and safety of both the children and staff.

Parents are being reminded to keep their children at home where possible to help contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). However, if you are a critical worker, and your child cannot stay at home, then your childcare will be prioritised.

Parents should only apply for childcare to cover their working hours; and are also being reminded to please cancel as soon as possible if they no longer need the provision.

Please note the timetable for applications to the childcare hubs has also changed, and that applications now close at 5pm on the Wednesday of the week before.

Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to consider any applications made after deadline. Due to the significant increase in demand for places at our hubs we must make sure they are staffed sufficiently. The health and safety of both staff and pupils is vital and has to be our main priority.

More information on the childcare hubs

Trostre recycling centre

Trostre recycling centre is now fully booked. Please keep an eye on our website for cancellations during the week, otherwise new appointments will be available again at 8.30am on Thursday morning.

There are plenty of slots still available at Nantycaws and Whitland, and a limited number at Wernddu.

Thank you for supporting us as we introduce this new system.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

More Carmarthenshire residents on shielding list

More residents in Carmarthenshire who have been asked to take shielding measures will receive a letter with information and advice from the council.

People with serious underlying health conditions, which put them at high risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) are being advised to stay at home to keep safe.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has sent out a further 21,000 letters to high risk patients across Wales setting out the steps they should take to protect their health.

In line with the initial 12 week shielding advice issued in late March, the latest letters advise people to shield until at least June 15. This means reducing contact with other people as far as possible to reduce the risk of being exposed to coronavirus.

In Carmarthenshire, an additional 2,776 extremely vulnerable people have been added to the shielding list.

As well as receiving a letter from the Chief Medical Officer, residents in Carmarthenshire also receive a letter from Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole providing local information and support.

Read more

Plan launched to support education for over-16s

The plan is aimed at education for learners aged 16 and over, including further and higher education, apprenticeships, employability and adult learning.

The ‘Resilience Plan for post-16 learning’ sets out how the Welsh Government will work with colleges, universities and training providers to help ensure that learners are supported throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan identifies the priority groups most in need of support and sets out the expectations of how education providers and the Welsh Government will work together in response to Covid-19 and how key decisions will be communicated.

Read more

Applications for recycling sites now open

Applications are now open to book a slot in one of our four household waste recycling centres in Carmarthenshire for next week. There is also a comprehensive FAQ section to help prepare for your visit. Please bear with us as we’re expecting a high demand, remember that this is for essential use only.
Book an appointment on the recycling centre section of our website.

Flying Start app launched to connect with families

A new app has been launched in Carmarthenshire to help Flying Start families to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

Flying Start is a Welsh Government funded programme which supports families in disadvantaged areas of Wales to give children under the age of four a flying start in life.

The team developed the app as a way to increase engagement, and to signpost families to important information and promote events in the local areas.

It has been particularly useful since the coronavirus outbreak to communicate with families by using push notifications to provide COVID-19 information and to direct families to trustworthy sources.

The Flying Start Language and Play team is also using the app to carry out story time and sing-a long videos.

Read more

Support for children to use Welsh at home

There is lots of help and advice for parents in Carmarthenshire to support their children to use the Welsh language at home, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council has various resources in place to help English-speaking parents whose children attend Welsh-medium schools.

The Education department has a team of Welsh language support officers who work locally in support of Welsh-medium learners.

it is also a key priority in the council’s Distance Learning Plan which sets out the way forward for learning in Carmarthenshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out more

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Scheme to launch in May

A new online service will launch on May 26 for small and medium sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees, the Government has announced.

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme was announced at Budget as part of a package of support measures for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.

 

Read More

 

Golf clubs

Golf clubs are now permitted to open under revised Welsh Government regulations if they wish. Clubs must put sufficient protocols in place to ensure any visitors adhere to social distancing.

People are reminded that due to restrictions, they must not travel a significant distance from their home to exercise. People with specific health or mobility issues may need to travel a short distance from their home to exercise, but the journey should be to the nearest convenient accessible location.

 

Visit Golf Wales

 

Leaving home to exercise – Welsh Government guidance

Residents encouraged to sign up to My Account

As Carmarthenshire County Council starts planning for the future and re-looks at opening some of its services residents are being encouraged to create a My Hwb Account

By creating an account residents will be able sign up to receive alerts, easily manage any bookings as well as view recent requests and manage Council Tax. Tenants can also link to their rent accounts to check the balance and make a payment.

Residents who already have an account are being encouraged to check they know their details.

Childcare hubs should only be used to cover working hours

It has come to our attention that there is a small minority of parents that are using the hubs for childcare when they are not in work.

Please can we remind you that you should only book your children into the hubs to cover your working hours; and if your children cannot be cared for by a spouse or other family member.

These hubs have been provided for critical workers only to ensure essential frontline services can continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is vitally important that parents follow Government advice and keep their children at home where possible to help contain the spread of Covid-19. If your child cannot stay at home, then your childcare will be prioritised.

We have only a limited number of spaces at our hubs, and we are grateful to staff from our schools and the education department for providing this service.

Continued misuse of the childcare hubs could result in places being withdrawn; this is something that we do not want to do, however, we may have no choice if the situation continues.

Parents should expect to be questioned by reception staff at the hubs in order to discourage this behaviour.

It may also be necessary to introduce other measures, for example, providing proof of key worker status, to prevent some parents taking advantage.

We would like to thank you for your co-operation on this so that we can continue to provide this vital service for you.

More information on the childcare hubs

Recycling Centres to re-open by appointment only

Carmarthenshire County Council will be re-opening its four Household Waste Recycling Centres from next week (w/c May 26) - but only to those Carmarthenshire residents who have already pre-booked an appointment.

Appointments can be made through an online booking form on a first come-first served basis. This is to ensure the number of visitors to the site at any one time is regulated in the interest of safety for staff and the public. Anyone arriving on site without an appointment will not be allowed entry.

Initially, appointment slots will be open for one week at a time. The appointments will go live every Thursday at 8.30am, starting from Thursday, May 21. The situation will be continuously reviewed and any updates or changes to the system will be posted on the council’s website or Facebook and Twitter pages.

Trostre and Nantycaws will be open seven-days a week and Whitland and Wernddu in Ammanford will be open Wednesdays to Sundays.

Read statement in full

Welfare telephone calls help dozens of elderly residents

Dozens of elderly residents have been helped by Carmarthenshire County Council’s trading standards team through welfare telephone calls in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the residents that were helped include a 93-year-old in self isolation, who normally relies on a family member for support, and was unable to access essential food and medication as the relevant family member was, at the time, in self isolation.

Also, a consumer in self isolation was found to be suffering from severe mental health issues as well as a respiratory condition. They required support as they had been unable to access essential goods and were living off yoghurts and diet drinks due to an eating disorder.

 

Read More

Warning over council tax refund scam

Residents in Carmarthenshire are being warned to be on their guard against a new council tax refund scam.

Fraudsters are contacting people via email to tell them that they’re due a council tax reduction running into hundreds of pounds.

The email implies the reduction is due to Covid-19 and because the person is on a low income or receives benefits.

Read more

Bin collections on Bank Holiday Monday

Refuse and recycling crews are working on Bank Holiday Monday (May 25), in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Residents are being urged to put their waste (including garden waste) out on their usual collection day.

They are also being reminded to put their bins out the night before as collections may take place earlier than usual.

Latest update on schools from Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has today published a document setting out how it is considering the next phase for schools, in response to COVID-19. Find out more on the Welsh Government website.

Message from Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education

 

Parks and playgrounds

The closure of county council-owned parks and playgrounds remains in force in Carmarthenshire in line with Welsh Government guidelines.

We appreciate that the lockdown rules do not prevent people from taking exercise locally, and that some open-access parks and green spaces may already be accessible on foot or cycle, however, we continue to urge people to maintain social distancing in these areas, and not drive to such venues. Whilst lockdown restrictions are in place, county council-owned parks, and our coastal car parks, will remain closed.

Unfortunately in recent weeks our staff have had to deal with gatherings of people and instances where people have travelled a considerable distance to visit against the guidelines about non-essential travel. This is not only a concern, but has impacted on our resources and that of colleagues in Dyfed Powys Police.

We ask for patience and understanding. Please bear with us and keep an eye on our website and social media feeds for further updates.

Blue Badge applications

There may be a delay in processing Blue Badge applications as a result of COVID-19. All our customer service Hwbs are currently closed, please send any supporting documents for your application by email to bluebadge@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

In line with Government advice on social distancing, we will only be conducting desk-based assessments for new applications and some re-applications. For new applications where we are unable to make a decision with the evidence submitted without a face-to-face assessment, we will be unable to process these applications at this time and they will be completed when an appropriate level of assessment can be done.

More information on blue badge scheme

X13 bus service

Changes to X13 timetable on Mondays to Fridays from Monday, May 18. Buses will leave Ammanford at 0600, 0830, 0930, 1130, 1330, 1600, returning from Swansea at 0705, 0940, 1040, 1240, 1440, 1750. Saturday and Sunday timetable unchanged.

Bus services

Guidance for farmers

New funding to support Welsh dairy farmers through COVID-19

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has announced funding for Welsh dairy farmers hardest hit by the recent exceptional market conditions as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

To support the sector during these challenging times, the minister has confirmed eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income in April and subsequently May will be entitled to up to £10,000, to cover 70% of their lost income. This will help ensure they can continue to operate without impacting animal welfare and the environment.

Read more

 

Hub launched to help Welsh farmers

An initiative to help Welsh farmers with their business and personal resilience has been launched by the Wales Farm Support Group.

Visit Wales Farm Support Group

 

Livestock market guidance

Livestock market operators should ensure auctions comply with public health protection requirements, while being aware of legislation and guidance.

Visit Livestock Auctioneers' Association

 

Sources of support

If you are a livestock farmer affected by symptoms of Coronavirus and struggling to care for your animals during self-isolation please get in touch with our animal health team. They work closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to advise how you may be able to address any issues or welfare concerns.

Just call 01267 234567 between 8am and 6pm, seven days a week.

We can also guide you to sources of financial support for your business, and assistance if you are elderly, vulnerable and isolated. Don’t forget, there are other sources of support you can rely on, including:

Farmwell

Samaritans

Mind

Citizens Advice

Join the council and clap for our foster carers

This Foster Care Fortnight a big heartfelt thank you is going out to all Carmarthenshire foster carers for everything they do to help our most vulnerable children, particularly now during this coronavirus pandemic.

Foster Care Fortnight is taking place between May 11 – 24 and the council wants to pay tribute to all its amazing foster carers for the continued care and support they are providing to our children and young people.

As well as clapping for our wonderful NHS staff and all the other key workers that are going above and beyond the call of duty, we will also be clapping for our foster carers.

Read more

Coronavirus and Me – survey for children and young people

An online survey asking Wales’ children and young people for their views and opinions during the coronavirus pandemic has been launched.

Called Coronavirus and Me, the survey is open to those aged between seven and 18 and covers a range of topics including health and education, the social impact coronavirus is having on their lives as well as looking at the needs of specific groups.

A symbols version of the survey is available as well as a picture activity task as an alternative to filling out the text version of the survey so that as many children and young people as possible can take part.

Welsh Government has teamed up with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Children in Wales and Welsh Youth Parliament / Senedd Ieuenctid Cymru to design the survey.

The survey closes on May 27.

Take part in the survey

Three new childcare hubs to open due to demand

Three additional childcare hubs are opening in Carmarthenshire due to increasing demand to provide care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

The new hubs are located at Bryn Primary School in Llanelli, Model Primary School in Carmarthen and Ysgol Tycroes and will open from Monday, May 18.

Read more

Temporary closure of public toilets in Eastgate, Llanelli

The public toilets near the bus station in Eastgate, Llanelli have been temporarily closed from today (Wednesday, May 13).

The situation will be constantly reviewed. Any updates will be found here.

Update on re-opening of Household Waste Recycling Centres

Preparation work is continuing between Carmarthenshire County Council and CWM Environmental into how the Household Waste and Recycling Centres across the county can be re-opened in a safe manner.

All Recycling Centres still remain closed – please do not attempt to travel to them. We will be re-opening as soon as possible, but we need to ensure guidance and the safety of staff and users can be met.

We will continue to keep you informed every step of the way on the council’s website and social media feeds.

Thank you for bearing with us.

Building work re-starts at two major school projects

Building work is re-starting at two major school projects in Carmarthenshire after it was temporarily put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After careful consideration and in line with Welsh Government guidance, the council has agreed with contractor Lloyd and Gravell to recommence works at the new school site for Ysgol Rhys Prichard and Ysgol Gorslas.

Read more

Statement by Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole

Welsh Government has today confirmed a further three-week lockdown, with some minor adjustments.

One element of these adjustments allows local authorities to begin planning for the safe re-opening of our Household Waste Recycling Centres and libraries.

We have already started considering how we can do this, in line with the Welsh Government guidelines and other local authorities, but we wish to be clear that we will only re-open our services when we are confident that we can do so safely, taking into consideration the welfare of our staff and our residents.

Thank you for bearing with us - we will keep you informed every step of the way.

Please keep an eye on our website and social media feeds for any further updates. In the meantime please stay at home and keep safe.

 

Welsh Government statement

Lockdown and Learn Welsh

Welsh learners in Carmarthenshire are continuing with their lessons and much more during the coronavirus pandemic - thanks to the latest digital technology.

Welsh for Adults courses are being delivered online through various platforms including Zoom, Skype and Google classroom with great success.

There are also a number of other community education courses that are continuing online including GCSE maths and English, British Sign Language, English for Speakers of other languages and Essential Skills classes.

Find out more

Staff go extra mile to help extremely vulnerable residents

Staff at Llesiant Delta Wellbeing are going the extra mile to make sure extremely vulnerable people in Carmarthenshire are supported during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coming into work every day throughout the national emergency, staff have worked tirelessly 24/7 behind the scenes to support vulnerable people across the county.

Llesiant Delta Wellbeing, formerly Carmarthenshire Council’s Careline service, has conducted approximately 5,000 calls to residents in Carmarthenshire that have received shielding letters from Welsh Government to ensure they have everything they need to stay safe during these difficult times.

Read more

Situation for schools will not change on June 1, Education Minister says

“The situation for schools in Wales will not change on June 1.”

That was the message from Education Minister Kirsty Williams today.

Read more

Highway weed control

We will shortly begin our annual weed control maintenance on our road network.

Risk assessments and safe systems of work will be in place for these works to ensure government guidelines associated with social distancing are adhered to. Please assist our operations and the safety of our workforce by observing the social distancing requirements where we’re carrying out these works.

Carmarthenshire has over 3,500km of rural and urban roads. Each year our highways team undertakes an extensive programme of weed control to ensure that channels, drains and footways remain free of weed and vegetation growth and prevent surface water ponding. This work also stops vegetation establishing which can cause drainage blockages and surface water flooding.  

Maintenance also takes place on footways and carriageways to ensure that vegetation does not encroach and impede pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.  

 

HMRC invites self-employed to get ready to make their claims

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will start contacting around three and a half million customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain the application process and help them get ready to make a claim.  

The claims service opens on Wednesday, May 13 and is being delivered ahead of schedule, with payments reaching bank accounts by May 25, or six working days after the claim is made.  

The scheme will benefit self-employed individuals or those in a partnership whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, covering most people who get at least half of their income from self-employment.  SEISS is a temporary scheme that will enable those eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits) in a single instalment. 

 

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Celebrate at home the 75th anniversary of VE Day

Families in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE day from home.

A revised programme of events, in response to coronavirus, means that people can still commemorate and give thanks to the Second World War generation from the safety of their own home on Friday, May 8.

Families can take part by observing the two-minute silence at 11am and holding themed 1940s afternoon tea in their home or garden. They can also decorate their properties and windows with bunting.

Children can get involved by colouring special edition posters which are available to download on the VEDay75 website and then displaying them in their front windows.

 

Read more

Free school meals – payment information

Families eligible for free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic will receive their first payments this week.

Please make sure you have completed our online form as we need your bank details.

Applications are being processed as quickly as possible; however, it does take a few days to set up payments. You will be notified by email when you are to receive your first payment.

Families that have not completed an online form in time to receive a payment this week will be delivered a food parcel instead, and a payment next week. You will receive an email to inform you of this.

Payments will then be made fortnightly.

If you haven’t already submitted your details to us, please complete the online form as soon as possible.

New volunteer prescription delivery scheme to support those shielding or self-isolating

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Minister has announced new arrangements to ensure people who are shielding or self-isolating can continue to get their prescription medicines in partnership with the National Pharmacy Association, Wales’ third sector organisations and Royal Mail.

The arrangements will support community pharmacies and dispensing doctors to allocate deliveries to volunteer drivers where people do not have family, friends or neighbours who can collect their prescriptions for them.

Read more

Bin collections on VE Day Bank Holiday

Refuse and recycling crews are working on VE Day Bank Holiday (Friday, May 8), in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Residents are being urged to put their waste (including garden waste) out on their usual collection day.

They are also being reminded to put their bins out the night before as collections may take place earlier than usual.

Where possible crews will be joining the nation in observing the two-minute silence at 11am to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Lots going on at our childcare hubs

The council’s childcare hubs which look after the children of critical workers responding to the coronavirus crisis are a hive of activity.

Located across Carmarthenshire, the hubs are providing essential childcare to make sure frontline services can continue during the pandemic, as well as to support our more vulnerable children.

Find out more

Discover your past whilst staying at home

Carmarthenshire County Council’s library services are offering families free access to the online Ancestry Library Edition throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

Ancestry.com is a huge resource of genealogy and historical information, with over 20 billion records in its database. 

The site has thousands of family trees shared by other members which help identify how ancestors are related and gives clues about birth, marriage, and death information.

 

Read More

Thank you to our foster carers, we clap for you

A big heartfelt thank you is being sent to foster carers across Carmarthenshire for everything they do to help our most vulnerable children – particularly during this coronavirus pandemic.

The council wants to pay tribute to all its amazing foster carers for the continued care and support they are providing to our children and young people.

Read more 

Director of Education thanks parents for support

Carmarthenshire's Director of Education Gareth Morgans has sent a letter thanking parents for all their support since the closure of schools due to the coronavirus crisis.

In the letter, he also paid tribute to staff for all their hard work, and expressed how proud he was of all the children for how they had responded so well and continued with their learning at home.

Read more

Grants and funding - COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 emergency a number of schemes have been launched to provide financial support to assist a wide range of organisations.

Read more

Pupils to benefit from £3m digital support package

Schoolchildren in Carmarthenshire will benefit from a funding package of £3 million to support ‘digitally excluded’ learners in Wales during the coronavirus pandemic.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams made the announcement as part of Welsh Government’s ‘Stay Safe. Stay Learning’ programme.

The funding will be used to provide digitally excluded learners with repurposed school devices and 4G MiFi connectivity.

Read more

Works set to start on new cycling and walking path

Work is set to re-start on a new shared use path (cycling and walking) alongside Pontarddulais Road (B4297) through Llangennech.

This is a continuation of works previously completed outside Tal-y-Clun estate and forms part of the wider master plan for improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to support Active Travel in the Llanelli area.

These are essential works to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Read more

Childcare hubs – help us to help you

Parents are being reminded to please cancel as soon as possible if they no longer need a place at one of our childcare hubs.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of children are failing to attend despite places being booked which means we have to send staff home, creating extra work and causing unnecessary stress. So please let us know by sending a reply to your confirmation email - ECSCommunications@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

We also want to remind parents and pupils to please follow our hub rules at all times. This includes making sure children are in clean clothes as far as possible and that they do not bring in any items from home, for example, toys, books or tablets.

Please do not gather at entrances or in playgrounds and do not send your children in if they are unwell - please follow the Covid-19 guidance from Public Health Wales.

Good behaviour is essential to the smooth running of the hubs and any poor pupil behaviour will not be tolerated. It is important that any incidents of poor behaviour are managed safely in line with social distancing rules and without putting staff and other pupils’ health at risk. As a result, persistent incidents of poor behaviour may result in the child losing their place at the hub.

We would like to thank parents for their co-operation so that we can continue to provide this service for you.

More information on the childcare hubs

A new scam circulating on Facebook

Residents and businesses in Carmarthenshire are being warned not to respond to messages from a fake company offering grants of up to £2,000 on Facebook.

Scammers claiming to be from a business called DFID are targeting social media accounts and are also friend requesting people from the person’s friend list.

The fake company offers ‘free money’ to help people who are experiencing difficulty as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Read More

Free school meals payments reminder

We are changing the way we will provide free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak.

From next week (Monday, May 4) we will be making payments into bank / building society accounts so that eligible families can continue to provide breakfast and lunch, five days a week for their children.

In order to set up a payment, we will need to verify a few details from you, and you will also need your bank details.

If you haven’t already submitted your details to us, please complete our online form as soon as possible.

Find out more

SirGâredig vans hit the highway to help those in need

A fleet of Carmarthenshire County Council vans are clocking up the miles delivering food parcels to people in need of support.

Staff who usually work on regeneration projects, planning, employment support and more have swapped their usual daily activities to help colleagues on the frontline respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.

They’ve been hitting the highways in a fleet of specially branded SirGâredig vans.

 

Read more

Emergency repairs assistance service

If you have an urgent home repair but are struggling to find a contractor, the council’s emergency repairs assistance service might be able to help you.

To be eligible you must own your home, be on a means tested benefit and in financial hardship.

For further information please call our team on 01554 899389.

Councils support call for urgent action on steelworks

South Wales local authorities are supporting calls for Tata Steel to receive urgent support to ensure it can withstand pressures caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

 

Read more

 

Covid-19 business impact survey

Businesses across Carmarthenshire are being urged to take part in a council survey on the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey has been put together to find out the impact that Covid-19 is having on businesses throughout the county.

Officers in economic development want to gather as much information as possible so that going forward the council can provide businesses with the assistance they need, whether that is financial help, legal advice, training or digital support.

Find out more

Major construction site re-opened following suspension

Work has resumed on a major construction project in Carmarthenshire that was put on hold in March due to Coronavirus.

After careful consideration and in line with Welsh Government guidance, Carmarthenshire County Council has agreed with its contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd to recommence work on its Cross Hand East Strategic Employment Site.

A new completion date of September has now been set for the 24 acre (10 hectare) site that will create seven more plots for employment premises to accommodate around 500 new jobs.

Construction teams were back on site on Tuesday, April 28, exactly a month since works were suspended.

 

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May Bank Holiday bus update

The only bus services running in Carmarthenshire on May Bank Holiday (Friday, May 8) will be the Sunday timetables on routes T1, 111 and X13.

Residents’ Parking Permit Duration extended

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) residents’ parking permits will be extended.

Applications for the 12-month permits will continue to be issued as normal but in recognition of those permit holders who have currently paid to park in residential parking zones, a free period – equivalent to the length of the lockdown – will be added when they come to renew next year.

Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme – apply now for May 4 – 15

Applications for childcare from May 4 - 15 as part of the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme are now open.

The Welsh Government scheme supports the cost of childcare for pre-school children of parents whose jobs are critical to Wales’ response to COVID-19.

Please note Friday, May 8 is a bank holiday so you will need to check if your childcare provider is open on this date before applying for childcare.

The applications for the above dates will close on Friday, May 1 at 12pm.

Further information and how to apply

Funerals during COVID-19 restrictions

In line with Welsh Government advice during the Coronavirus pandemic, there are restrictions on the number of people who can attend funeral services.

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Ammanford Registry Office

Ammanford Registry office has temporarily closed and services have relocated to Llanelli Town Hall. Please check for updates as this is expected to be a short-term measure.

 

Registering a birth or death

 

 

Bonfire warnings

Residents are being urged by the council’s Environmental Health team to be mindful of their neighbours and not to have bonfires.

Bonfire smoke may cause temporary local air pollution issues whilst some people can also be sensitive to smoke, so we would discourage any burning which might cause smoke drifting onto nearby properties.

Despite the temporary closure of the recycling centres due to Coronavirus, residents are being reminded that there are other options available to getting rid of waste.

Weekly bin collections are continuing as normal. Please place all food waste in your food caddy which is collected weekly.

Applications are still open for garden waste collections

The council’s website also has more information on how to compost garden and kitchen waste and reducing the content of your black bag by recycling as much as you can in the blue recycling bags.

Officers in Environmental Health are investigating complaints when received and will be taking enforcement action if required

Essential maintenance work

Working within Welsh Government guidelines, we are allowing a small number of essential highway works to restart.

Essential maintenance work to repair storm damage will recommence on the A484 at Tirgwili, Cynwyl Elfed and Nantclawdd Cwmduad. The works at Tirgwili are programmed to take 15 weeks and Nantclawdd around five weeks.

Site clearance work will also restart on the Cross Hands Economic Link Road, to ensure compliance with a biodiversity licence which stipulates that work needs to be complete by the end of May.

Changes to bus journeys from Monday, April 27

The following bus journeys will be suspended from Monday, April 27 until further notice.

Morris Travel:

  • 226 - 1305 Davies Estate to Carmarthen Bus Station (Service 226 will end at 1303)
  • 207 - 1325 Carmarthen Bus Station circular to Carmarthen Bus station via Brynmeurig (Service 207 will end at 1245)

Free School Meals payments – coronavirus

We are changing the way we will provide free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak to make it easier for families to access.

From the week beginning Monday, May 4, the majority of eligible families will receive payments into their bank / building society accounts.

As well as making it easier for families, this also follows Government guidance regarding essential travel.

The payments will be made every fortnight so that parents / guardians can continue to provide breakfast and lunch, five days a week for their child / children.

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‘Incredible team’ behind Carmarthenshire’s field hospitals

Carmarthenshire County Council has paid tribute to the remarkable work of its contractors as it hands over four field hospitals to the NHS.

In just three weeks, contractors commissioned by the county council have converted two leisure centres, a bowling and events arena and a rugby stadium into temporary hospitals to help Hywel Dda University Health Board deal with its response to coronavirus.

 

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Online storytime sessions for children

Children can now enjoy online storytimes with Carmarthenshire Libraries whilst staying at home.

Read with Gaynor, is a digital series of tales to entertain children during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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Learning plan in place for Carmarthenshire pupils

The council’s education department has been working hard to develop a learning continuity plan for children and young people in Carmarthenshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the closure of schools, a lot of good work has been carried out to mitigate the impact on pupils by providing appropriate activities and high-quality learning resources.

However, with the lockdown continuing for at least another three weeks, it is important that plans are in place to build on the excellent work carried out to date.

We would like to reassure parents that preparations are well underway, and that Carmarthenshire is in a strong position to maintain a constructive and robust learning continuity plan for our young people.

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Keep active with the council’s leisure team online

Families are being encouraged to help keep children active whilst staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Actif sport and leisure team have put together a series of online challenges which can be done in the home or garden.

Every Monday a video or infographic of a new skill is posted to Actif Sport and Leisiure Facebook page.

 

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Community Recycling Centre Changes

All can and paper banks at our community recycling centres will be swapped to additional glass bins starting from today (Monday, April 20)

It was the council's intention this financial year to make the change as cans and paper can be recycled at kerbside in the blue recycling bags. However, the changes will now be starting from this week as there has been a marked increase in glass recycling and the demand for glass recycling facilities in villages and towns across the county as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions.

Priority will be given to those sites where waste and cleansing services are reporting a rise in fly tipped glass at the sites.

Residents are being reminded to take their glass home if the bins are full as any glass left on the floor is fly tipping and you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Please be mindful to follow government guidelines. Some supermarkets have bottle banks so if you are out essential food shopping use these, if not please keep all glass somewhere safe until the restrictions are lifted.

Find your nearest community recycling centre

 

Bulky Waste collections to re-start

Bulky Waste collections will re-start from today (Monday April 20) with a limited service.

Six slots a day will initially be available for residents to book.

The situation is being evaluated daily.

We will collect up to three large items such as beds, carpets, fridges, freezers and wardrobes, for £25 from your usual refuse and recycling collection point.

More information and how to book can be found on the recycling and bins page on the website.

Updated - Public Rights of Way

The council’s Public Rights of Way network remains open for the public to use with exception of the below footpaths, which have been closed under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

  • Pembrey Mountain, Trimsaran – C2122 Mountain Road through Pen-y-Mynydd Picnic site to Heol Waunyclun (Footpath 57/32)
  • Pembrey – from junction of Factory Road and Rotary Way to Cefn Sidan foreshore (Byway Open to All Traffic 57/55-part)
  • Carmarthen – Morfa Lane opposite Tesco store entrance to Lammas Street (Footpath 61/8)
  • Llangynin – C2001 road, through Blossom House to SE corner of Eithin Forest plantation (Footpath 20/6- part)
  • Fforest – Plas-y-Fforest Farm to the north edge of the Fforest woodland plantation (Footpath 34/36 - part)

The network will remain under review and the number of temporary path closures may change if additional routes are identified where groups of people are congregating and actively ignoring measures set out by the Government.

We ask that all members of the public follow the requirements for social distancing and use their local routes rather then travel to the countryside unnecessarily.

Many public rights of way cross private land, working farms and in some cases are close to private homes. Please keep to the paths, keep your distance from landowners and continue to follow the restrictions and measures which are in place to protect you and others.

 

 

Applications open for UK Government furlough scheme

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Coronavirus symptom tracker app

You can help in the fight against coronavirus by reporting your health daily, even if you feel well.

Welsh Government and NHS Wales are encouraging everyone to download the COVID-19 symptom tracker app to log their daily symptoms to help build a clearer picture of how the virus is affecting people. The app is for everyone, not just those who are experiencing symptoms.

Developed by researchers at King’s College London and healthcare science company, ZOE, the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker is already being used by more than 38,000 people in Wales, and over 2 million across the UK. It is also being used by healthcare and hospital workers.

Data from the app will be shared daily with Welsh Government and NHS Wales and will give early indications of where future hospital admissions are going to be.

The app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play from the links at covid.joinzoe.com

 

TrawsCymru T1C bus service suspended

The TrawsCymru T1C service has been suspended from today (April 20) until further notice.

More information on this and all updates to bus services can be found at www.traveline.cymru

Working together for care home residents

Care homes are a central and essential part of frontline services in West Wales, in particular by ensuring and supporting the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable of the population. Many of our care settings are facing significant challenges and supporting care staff in these settings has never been more important. We recognise that this is a time of great anxiety for families of residents and the care homes who provide such outstanding care throughout this unprecedented time.

 

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Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme

Critical workers in Carmarthenshire can now apply for free childcare for 0-3 year-olds during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Welsh Government has announced that it is providing funding to all local authorities in Wales to support the cost of childcare for pre-school children of parents whose jobs are critical to Wales’ response to COVID-19.

Children who are considered vulnerable will also be included in the scheme.

Find out more

More than 360 people volunteer for field hospitals

More than 360 people have volunteered to help set up furniture and equipment at Carmarthenshire’s four field hospitals.

The council is converting Carmarthen and Llanelli Leisure Centres, the Selwyn Samuel Centre and the Parc y Scarlets barn in Llanelli, into temporary hospitals to provide additional bed space for the NHS.

In just 24 hours after the appeal for volunteers went live, more than 360 people come forward to offer their help – which was absolutely amazing.

The volunteers have been split between the four sites and will help to unload deliveries, and unpack and assemble furniture and equipment.

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Advice for the taxi trade

Our licensing team have been busy contacting the taxi trade offering advice in relation to Coronavirus, including information about continuing to work and keeping drivers and passengers safe, support for those who are financially impacted, and advice about MOTs and tax.

Much of this advice can also be found on the Welsh Government’s Business Wales website.

 

Taxi trade advice

Hotels to provide emergency accommodation for key workers

Hotels, guest houses and self-catering outlets in Carmarthenshire have come together to provide emergency accommodation for front line workers.

The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli and The Ivy Bush Royal in Carmarthen have already opened their doors to key workers including doctors, nurses and domiciliary care in response to coronavirus.

 

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New Economic Resilience Fund

Further details about support from the Welsh Government’s new £500m Economic Resilience Fund has been published today.

 

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Information on shielding for ‘extremely vulnerable’ people

People with serious underlying health conditions, which put them at very high risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) are being advised to follow “shielding” measures to keep them safe.

This means staying at home for at least 12 weeks, and reducing contact with other people as far as possible to reduce the risk of being exposed to coronavirus.

Everyone in the extremely vulnerable category will have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton, setting out the steps you need to take to protect your health. These are known as “shielding” measures.

Residents in Carmarthenshire will also receive a letter from the council with local information and advice. We have been working hard to put arrangements in place to make sure support is available locally for people who are shielding.

More information

Change to bus route for hospital staff

A bus service is changing its route to ensure staff can get to work in Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli.

Carmarthenshire County Council has been working with First Cymru and the Hywel Dda University Health Board to identify changes to the temporary bus network which would assist with transport for key workers to hospitals.

Executive board member responsible for environment, Cllr Hazel Evans, said: “We are grateful that First Cymru have offered to extend service 111 so that journeys running between Llanelli Bus Station and Parc Trostre and Parc Pemberton will now divert to and from Prince Philip Hospital from Mondays to Saturdays starting from today (Tuesday, April 14).”

This will provide a service to and from the hospital from Kidwelly, Burry Port, Pwll and Llanelli town centre as well as to and from Trostre, Pemberton, Llwynhendy, Bynea, Loughor, Gorseinon and Swansea.

*NHS staff can travel for free on this service when showing their NHS ID Badge.

Council staff take on frontline roles

Many staff at Carmarthenshire County Council have stepped forward to help frontline services in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Officers from planning, enforcement, catering, libraries, leisure centres, museums and theatres are just some of the workers that have moved across to provide additional support to essential services.

Training has been completed in many areas with staff undertaking roles such as cleaners, community carers, food delivery drivers, child care hub support staff and also assisting the homeless team.

 

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New COVID-19 ventilator gets approval

A new type of ventilator developed in Carmarthenshire to treat coronavirus patients has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The device has been designed by Glangwili senior consultant Dr Rhys Thomas with the help of Maurice Clarke of CR Clarke & Co, an engineering company in Ammanford.

The Covid CPAP machine helps patients to breathe more easily, and will now undergo clinical trials.

Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole has welcomed the news.

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Ammanford Cemetery - update

Following much consideration, a decision has been made to reopen Ammanford Cemetery, however the situation will continue to be monitored.

Please continue to follow Government advice about social distancing and unnecessary travel.

Dogs on leads

We are appealing to dog owners to please keep your dogs on a lead when you are out walking to help with social distancing from other people.

By putting your dog on a lead, it will make sure they are under control at all times and prevent you having to chase after them and possibly running into someone else’s space.

We would really appreciate people’s co-operation on this as we have had residents get in touch with their concerns.

Remember the Government’s advice is to stay 2 metres (or 6 foot) away from other people.

The full guidance on staying at home and away from others can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Housing support for residents

Specialist housing advice is available to residents in Carmarthenshire during the coronavirus crisis.

It is very important to stay at home at present, and we understand that this can difficult for some, but we can help.

Please contact us for advice if you are:

  • Currently homeless or sofa-surfing between different properties
  • Can no longer remain at your current home
  • Living in a private property and can’t pay the rent
  • Having difficulties paying your mortgage and other bills
  • Need help with claiming benefits or housing costs
  • Work for the NHS, social care or are a key worker that can’t return home because someone vulnerable lives there

Whatever your situation, our specialist advice team can provide you with a range of housing options. They may be able to help resolve your current issues or find you somewhere temporary and safe to live. It is available for all Carmarthenshire residents, not just council tenants.

Please call our housing advice team on 01554 899389, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, or on Saturdays between 9am-12noon. You can also email SCHOptions@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.

If you are a council tenant and you are experiencing difficulties paying your rent, please contact your housing officer directly so they can discuss with you what support is available. All of our officers can be reached by telephone and email. If you do not know who your housing officer is, please call 01554 899389.

Bonfire warnings

Residents are being urged by the council’s Environmental Health team to be mindful of their neighbours and not to have bonfires.

Bonfire smoke may cause temporary local air pollution issues whilst some people can also be sensitive to smoke, so we would discourage any burning which might cause smoke drifting onto nearby properties.

Despite the temporary closure of the recycling centres due to Coronavirus, residents are being reminded that there are other options available to getting rid of waste.

Weekly bin collections are continuing as normal. Please place all food waste in your food caddy which is collected weekly.

Applications are still open for garden waste collections

The council’s website also has more information on how to compost garden and kitchen waste and reducing the content of your black bag by recycling as much as you can in the blue recycling bags.

Officers in Environmental Health are investigating complaints when received and will be taking enforcement action if required.

Planning applications

A temporary suspension on the registration of new planning applications has now been lifted.

Planning applications, submitted electronically only, are being accepted and registered.

However, applications will not be determined until the appropriate statutory publicity has been followed, and the site visited.

Currently no site visits or posting of site notices to advertise planning applications are being undertaken due to the Coronavirus crisis.

Current ongoing applications will, where possible, be progressed to determination subject to consultation responses having been received, and also the evolving redeployment demands of the planning team to assist with the council’s front line services.

Enforcement complaints will be progressed where they are considered by officers to be urgent (with significant health and safety implications) or matters that are able to progress in the absence of a site visit.”

Eggstra special Easter treat for Carmarthenshire children

Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in Carmarthenshire will be getting an eggstra special Easter treat this year.

Kind donations of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns are being delivered to all the childcare hubs and food hubs in the county.

The childcare hubs have been set up to look after the children of critical workers and to support vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of food hubs have also been set up by the council across the county to help families in need. Children who are entitled to free school meals also receive food supplies to feed the whole family.

Now thanks to the generosity of local businesses and organisations, the children and staff are guaranteed a very ‘hoppy’ Easter.

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Livestock market guidance

Livestock market operators should ensure auctions comply with public health protection requirements, while being aware of legislation and guidance.

Find out more

Updated - Easter bus services

No change to current temporary timetables on Good Friday and Easter Saturday except service 222 which will NOT run.

NO SERVICES on Easter Sunday, except for T1c.

Sunday services will run on Easter Monday.

 

Bus services changes from April 14

Taf Valley Coaches:

Reduced service on 222 on Mondays to Fridays only, no Saturday service. The service will start from Whitland (Lon Hywel) at 7.05am to Carmarthen running via Tavernspite, Red Roses, Pendine, Laugharne, Pwll Trap, St Clears, Lon Hafren, Bancyfelin, Johnstown. Return journeys will leave Carmarthen at 10.30am (as far as St Clears, beyond St Clears on request only) and 5.50pm. Direct journey Whitland (Keefe Stores) at 5.15pm to Carmarthen.

Morris Travel:

Services will continue as normal except that the following routes will be reduced:

  • 198 will run only at 0855 and 1310 from Carmarthen and at 0951 and 1410 back from Four Roads
  • 206 will no longer run.
  • 207 will run only at 8.25am, 9.25am, 10.25am, 11.25am, 12.25pm, and 1.25pm.
  • 225 12pm journey from Carmarthen Bus Station will only run if there are passengers at the Bus Station or have pre-booked from any point after the bus station, and the 12.45pm return journey from Trelech will only run for pre-booked passengers. To book please ring 01267 235 090 on weekdays up to 2pm the day before you wish to travel. The 5.25pm journey from Carmarthen will no longer run.
  • 226 will run only at 8.50am, 12.50pm, and 1.50pm from Carmarthen and 9.05am, 11.05am and 1.05pm back from Davies Estate.
  • 227 will run only at 8.35am from Carmarthen and 11am from Morrisons/11.10am from Carmarthen, and at 9.10am and 11.45am back from Llanybri.
  • 228 will run only at 9.50am and 11.50am.
  • 277 arriving at Carmarthen Bus Station at 10.35am will extend to Tesco or Morrisons on request. The return journey will now leave Carmarthen Bus Station at 12.30, starting from Tesco or Morrisons on request and will run as normal until Abergwili but thereafter will only run for passengers already on board.
  • 279 journeys at 4pm from Llandelio or 4.25pm from Botanic Gardens will no longer run.
  • 282 journey from Glangwili at 5.10pm and Carmarthen Bus Station at 5.25pm will instead leave Glangwili at 3.25pm and Carmarthen Bus Station at 3.30pm, and will only run for passengers already on board before or at the bus station. The return journey from Brechfa will not run.
  • 283 return journey at 2pm (Wednesdays) or 2.30pm (Saturdays) from Carmarthen Bus Station will run as normal until Abergwili but thereafter will only run for passengers already on board.
  • 284 return journey 12.40pm from Ammanford will run as normal until Llandybie but thereafter but thereafter will only run for passengers already on board.
  • B11 will extend to Pensarn (Morrisons) and will return at 11.05am and 2.10pm
  • B12 all journeys will start from Pensarn (Morrisons).
  • PR1 and PR2 will run only between 7am and 5.55pm and will run from Nantyci via Johnstown (St Clears Road).

Emergency fund for sport

Emergency funding of £400,000 for community sport in Wales has been announced by Welsh Government and Sport Wales.

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Warning to residents selling on digital marketplaces

Residents are being warned to avoid selling items via digital marketplaces that require face-to-face contact during the coronavirus outbreak.

The council’s Trading Standards team is aware of several local ‘buy and sell’ pages where individuals are still advertising items for sale, requiring the buyer and seller to meet in person.

This is despite people being told to avoid all but essential travel and to follow social distancing guidelines.

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Supporting vulnerable children and their families

Support for vulnerable children and their families is continuing during the coronavirus crisis.

Staff from Education and Children’s Services are continuing to offer wellbeing support as well as respite to families that need it.

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Non-essential travel

Families are being warned not to travel for any pre planned vacations over the Easter holidays or face a fine.

Carmarthenshire County Council, along with Dyfed Powys Police, are warning people to stick to the government guidelines and stay at home or face being turned back and issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

The move comes in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and helping to reduce its transmission.

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Expressions of interest wanted from county businesses

Local businesses that could potentially help Carmarthenshire County Council deliver essential services during the Coronavirus emergency are being asked to get in contact.

Plumbers, electricians, care workers, caterers, builders and HGV/delivery drivers now have the chance to register an interest.

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No change to Easter bin collections

We will be collecting waste and recycling (including garden waste) on Good Friday (April 10) and Easter Monday (April 13) this year, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Residents are being reminded to put their bins out the night before as collections can take place earlier than usual within the day.

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Helping vulnerable residents at risk from scams

Trading standards officers in Carmarthenshire have been carrying out welfare calls to vulnerable residents who are risk from coronavirus-related scams.

In doing this work, they have also identified a number of issues, one of which is that there are some self-isolating residents who are unable to access funds to pay for essential goods and services.

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Caring for your pets during the coronavirus outbreak

Welsh Government has published information and advice for pet owners on how to care for your pets with the restrictions in place during the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out more

 

Scam text ‘issues fine’ to people leaving house

Residents are being warned about a new scam text which is being sent telling people they are being given a £250 fine because they have been out of the house ‘more than once’.

The message claims to have been sent by GOV.UK and claims the fine is due to ‘irresponsible behaviour’ and goes on to say the charge could increase to £5,000 and/or arrest.

This is the latest in a number of coronavirus-related scams that are doing the rounds and the council’s Trading Standards team is urging residents to remain vigilant.

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Children’s Services department is operating as normal

Remember our Children’s Services department is operating as normal so if you have any concerns about a child or young person, please get in touch. Email CRTChildren@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01554 742322. If a problem occurs out of office hours that cannot wait, please call 0300 333 2222.

Free childcare for critical workers

Critical workers in Carmarthenshire will be able to get free childcare for 0-3 year-olds during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Welsh Government is launching a coronavirus childcare assistance scheme and will be providing funding to all local authorities in Wales to support the cost of childcare for parents whose jobs are critical to Wales’ response to COVID-19.

Children who are considered vulnerable will also be included in the scheme.

Find out more

Keep up the good work

We would like to thank food businesses who have acted responsibly during the Coronavirus outbreak.

From those who have closed, diversified and managed social distancing measure effectively during these unprecedented times.

The restrictions are likely to remain for the short term as we continue to manage any potential outbreak within the communities

Stay safe, protect the community, protect yourself and reduce transmission.

For further information and guidelines, email the environmental health team publicprotection@carmarthenshire.gov.uk 

 

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Council supports businesses impacted by Coronavirus

Carmarthenshire County Council is responding quickly to support local businesses impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.

Staff have already processed more than 1,000 applications to the value of £15million for a Welsh Government business support grant, since application forms were first made available a fortnight ago.

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SirGâredig - Sharing Carmarthenshire’s Kindness

Residents and businesses across Carmarthenshire are showing remarkable community spirit by helping and supporting those in need in their communities during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The council has been overwhelmed by the kindness of residents’ during this extraordinary time when supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities is more important than ever.

A number of voluntary groups have been set up to help wherever they can, offering both practical and emotional support – and it is truly amazing to see.

Now we want to help bring all this together and share the good work that is taking place across the county.

SirGâredig – Sharing Carmarthenshire’s Kindness will connect people in need, with those that can help. It will provide a focal point for community activities and encourage people to share stories of kindness.

Find out more

Warning to pubs and public on flouting coronavirus regulations

Pubs in Carmarthenshire are being warned that if they are caught flouting the coronavirus lockdown they could be closed permanently.

Residents are also being warned that if there are found gathering at licensed premises, they could be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Pubs, bars and clubs were officially ordered to close by the Government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and save lives.

The council’s licensing and trading standards officers are working with the police to enforce the closure rules.

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Stay Home - Protect the NHS - Save lives

Residents in Carmarthenshire are being urged to please stay at home this weekend, as warmer weather is forecast.

Please don’t be tempted to travel to the coast or local beauty spots but continue to follow Government advice to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Remember stay close to home, only go out with members of your own household once a day for exercise and please avoid creating a crowd.

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

Staying at home and away from others guidance

Further changes to bus services

Bysiau Cwm Taf

Reduced service on 222 on Mondays to Fridays only, no Saturday service. The service will start from Whitland (Lon Hywel) at 0705 to Carmarthen running via Tavernspite, Red Roses, Pendine, Laugharne, Pwll Trap, St Clears, Lon Hafren, Bancyfelin, Johnstown. Return journeys will leave Carmarthen at 1030 and 1750. Direct journey Whitland (Keefe Stores) at 1715 to Carmarthen.

Morris Travel

Services will continue as normal except that the following routes will be reduced:

  • 198 will run only at 0855 and 1310 from Carmarthen and at 0951 and 1410 back from Four Roads
  • 206 will no longer run
  • 207 will run only at 0825, 0925, 1025, 1125, 1225, and 1325
  • 225 1725 journey from Carmarthen will no longer run
  • 226 will run only at 0850, 1050, and 1250 from Carmarthen and 0905, 1105 and 1305 back from Davies Estate
  • 227 will run only at 0835 from Carmarthen and 1100 from Morrisons/1110 from Carmarthen, and at 0910 and 1145 back from Llanybri
  • 228 will run only at 0950 and 1150
  • 279 journeys at 1600 from Llandelio or 1625 from Botanic Gardens will no longer run
  • 282 journey from Glangwili at 1710 and Carmarthen Bus Station at 1725 will instead leave Glangwili at 1525 and Carmarthen Bus Station at 1530
  • B11 will extend to Pensarn (Morrisons) and will return at 1105 and 1410
  • B12 all journeys will start from Pensarn (Morrisons)
  • PR1 and PR2 will run only between 0700 and 1755 and will run from Nantyci via Johnstown (St Clears Rd)

Three more food hubs set up for families in need

The council is providing an additional three food hubs in Carmarthenshire to help families in need as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The food hubs will open at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn in Newcastle Emlyn, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo and Maes Y Gwendreath in Cefneithin from tomorrow, Friday, April 3.

In addition, QE High School will no longer be used as a food hub or as a collection point for free school meals after tomorrow. This will be provided by Ysgol Bro Myrddin instead from Monday, April 6. This is because the kitchens at QE High could be used to support the temporary hospital at Carmarthen Leisure Centre.

The remaining food hubs are located at Bryngwyn School in Llanelli, Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford and Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland.

Find out more

Free school meals will be available during Easter holidays

Free school meals will be available to eligible families during the Easter holidays.

The council is supplying food packs containing breakfasts and lunches for five days to all children registered for free school meals.

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Housing advice line open Saturday

The council’s housing advice line will be open on Saturday, April 4 between 9am-12noon to offer support to residents in Carmarthenshire during the coronavirus crisis.

Whatever your situation, our specialist advice team can provide a range of housing options to help you.

Please contact us for advice if you are:

  • Currently homeless
  • Sofa-surfing between different properties
  • Can no longer remain at your current home
  • Living in a private property and can’t pay the rent
  • Having difficulties paying your mortgage
  • A council tenant needing support
  • Work for the NHS, social care or are a key worker that can’t return home because someone vulnerable lives there

Call 01554 899389 or email SCHOptions@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.

Ammanford Cemetery

Following much consideration, Ammanford Cemetery will be closed to visitors from tomorrow (Friday, April 3), in response to Government advice about social distancing and unnecessary travel. The cemetery will continue to be open for funerals and burials, but only to the permitted small numbers of mourners.

We appreciate this may be upsetting for families wishing to visit to pay their respects to loved ones, but hope for understanding that this decision has been made to protect visitors and staff at the site. We are aware that other local cemeteries and memorial sites and crematoriums have introduced similar restrictions, so we would advise that people check before travelling.

Families may wish to consider paying their respects in other ways, for example lighting a candle at home, until these restrictions have been lifted.

We apologise for any upset this decision may cause.

Information on council housing repairs

Tenants are being reassured that any emergency repairs or safety-related works will be carried out on council homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes the servicing and repair of gas boilers as it is a safety and legislative requirement under the Gas Safe scheme for landlords.

Read more

'Shut Up and Dance With Me'

Peripatetic music staff from our education department have been busy working on something to spread a little joy. Turn your speakers up and enjoy!

Parks

We would like to remind people that parks including Pembrey Country Park, Mynydd Mawr, Llyn Llech Owain and Parc Howard have been closed to deter social gatherings in line with Government advice to help prevent the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The decision was taken as a local authority due to the overriding priority of the need to protect the public, conserve our resources and those of partner agencies during these unprecedented and challenging times.

We do appreciate that people need fresh air and exercise, but unfortunately we are no longer able to manage our outdoor facilities in a manner that would meet Government advice.

All car parks and playgrounds along the Millennium Coastal Path are also closed.

Please do not drive to the parks to walk your dog, to exercise or for any other reason or you could face a police fine.

Thank you for adhering to the rules and stay safe.

Council Tax – information for residents

These are unprecedented times and we would like to thank residents for their co-operation and understanding as we continue to respond to the various challenges brought by this crisis.

For those residents that are still in employment and can continue to pay their Council Tax, we would like to thank you, this will allow us to continue to provide critical services to communities during this uncertain time.

Read more

Childcare update

The deadline for applications for childcare for next week is 12noon this Friday. We will be unable to process any late applications after the deadline.

Read More

Blue bags

We have now completed our annual delivery of blue bags to households across the county.

Every property will have received their allocation of three rolls for this year.

If you think you will require more you will be able to pick up a roll from:

  • near the entrance to the market office in Carmarthen indoor market
  • Co-op in Ammanford
  • Customer service desk in Asda, Llanelli
  • Co-op in Johnstown, Carmarthen

Please be considerate to others and take one roll per household.

 

Reminder to parents using care hubs

Parents using the care hubs are being reminded to please cancel if childcare is no longer required.

The hubs have been provided to look after children of essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

We understand circumstances can change at short notice, so please let us know if you need to cancel by sending a reply to your confirmation email (ECSCommunications@carmarthenshire.gov.uk).

We would also like to remind you that children should not to bring in items with them from home, for example, toys, teddies etc and would appreciate your support on this.

We would like to reassure parents that safe working practices have been adopted in all of our care hubs and a set of guidelines are in place to help prevent the spread of the virus.

We have procedures on social distancing and personal hygiene for staff and pupils, and we are continually reviewing and implementing additional measures to our normal cleaning regimes.

All procedures are updated daily as more Government advice becomes available, and as our hub working develops.

More information on the care hubs

Over 100 iPads handed out to council care homes

More than 100 iPads are being handed out to council care homes in Carmarthenshire so that residents can communicate face to face with their loved ones.

It comes after visiting restrictions were placed on residential homes across the UK in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Read More

Further changes to bus services

First Cymru

  • X13 – the Monday to Saturday timetable will be reduced to 6 journeys in each direction between Ammanford and Swansea. Buses will leave Ammanford at 0600, 0900, 1030, 1200, 1430 and 1645, and will return from Swansea at 0705, 1010, 1140, 1310, 1540, 1750. The Sunday service will remain unaltered.
  • 111 – an hourly service will run between Kidwelly, Burry Port, Llanelli and Swansea on Mondays to Saturdays. Buses will leave Kidwelly for Swansea at 0723 then at the same minutes past each hour until 1623, with an additional journey form Llanelli to Swansea at 1800. Buses will return from Swansea to Kidwell at 0850 then at the same minutes past each hour until 1450, with additional buses from Swansea to Llanelli at 1550, 1650, 1800 and 1900. The Sunday service will continue but will finish earlier at 1956.

Celtic Travel

No service on route X14

New Adventure Travel

A reduced service will operate on route 64, with journeys from Ystradgynlais to Brynaman and Ammanford at 0700 and 1125 and from Ystradgynlais to Brynaman at 1615, buses return from Ammanford to Brynaman and Ystradgynlais at 0805 and 1300 and from Brynaman to Ystradgynlais at 1645

National Express

A reduced service will operate

For further information contact Traveline Cymru on 0800 464 00 00 or at www.traveline.cymru

Guidance for tradespeople working in people’s homes

The council’s Trading Standards team has received a number of calls from tradespeople asking if they can continue working during the coronavirus outbreak.

It mainly relates to work carried out in people’s homes, for example carrying out repairs and maintenance.

This type of work can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms, and Government guidance is followed in relation to social distancing and hygiene / cleanliness.

Find out more

Care hubs will remain open over Easter holidays

Carmarthenshire’s care hubs will remain open over the Easter holidays to look after children of essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Childcare is being provided at hubs across the county Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm for children aged between 4 and 12.

The hubs will be open during the school holidays including Good Friday and Easter Monday to make sure critical frontline services such as the NHS and the police can continue to operate.

Read more

Beware of coronavirus-related fraud and scams

Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears over coronavirus COVID-19) to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from their family and friends.

The council’s Trading Standards team is warning residents in Carmarthenshire to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from people’s concern and uncertainty.

Residents should ignore scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19.

Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals.

Read more

We are recruiting – staff needed

The council is urgently seeking more staff as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

We are looking to recruit people into a number of jobs throughout Carmarthenshire to help keep frontline services running, but particularly need carers, cleaners and catering staff.

No previous experience is needed, as full training will be provided.

Read more

Thank you to staff at care hubs

A big thank you is being sent to staff at Carmarthenshire’s care hubs set up to look after children of essential workers during the coronavirus crisis.

During the first week more than 700 children attended the hubs and were looked after by almost 800 members of staff who have gone above and beyond to support Carmarthenshire’s young people.

Without the support of both the headteachers and all the staff involved, it would not have been possible to set up these hubs so quickly and effectively.

Read more

Licensed business must comply with new regulations

A wide range of premises, including some licensed ones, have been told been told to close as the outbreak branches further into our communities.

Read more 

Works being carried out by contractors are essential

Residents are being asked to please understand that our building contractors are carrying out essential works to create temporary hospitals for the NHS.

We have commissioned Lloyd and Gravell, TRJ and Andrew Scott Ltd from our framework of contractors to prepare Carmarthen Leisure Centre, and the Selwyn Samuel Centre and Parc y Scarlets barn in Llanelli, to provide additional bed space for the NHS.

These companies have also engaged a number of firms to supply materials and services including LBS Builders Merchant, Talbot Timber, RT Electrics, DD Plumbing Services, Hayworker Construction, Commercial Flooring and Power Electrics.

Unfortunately, some of the companies, the staff and delivery drivers are being targeted as to why they are still working.

Read more

Reminder to takeaways on social distancing measures

A number of food premises in Carmarthenshire have diversified and are offering takeaway food during the coronavirus outbreak.

This is a valued service for communities and very helpful under the current circumstances, however, it is important to follow the guidance relating to social distancing and consider how people approach your premises.

Several premises have experienced and reported large unregulated queuing, potentially fuelling further spread of the virus.

All businesses have a duty of care to their staff and customers. We would urge you to consider the following:

Limit the number of customers entering your premises - preferably one at a time.
Ensure social distancing of 2 metres, especially when queuing. Use chalk or barriers to mark standing distances and erect suitable signage.
Use online / telephone ordering systems and provide specific individual pick-up slots to reduce interaction and contact.
Encourage staff and customers to hand sanitise when on site where there is provision
Increase the frequency of sanitising and cleaning of hard surfaces, during pick-up, serving and delivery.

Further information and guidance.

Face-to-face registration appointments suspended

Following advice and in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, all face to face appointments are now suspended at our offices in Ammanford Registration Office, Llanelli Town Hall and Parc Myrddin, Carmarthen.

Appointments to register a death will be completed over the telephone. Please make your appointment via our booking system and we will ring you once we’ve received the necessary paperwork from the doctor and/or the coroner. You will not need to attend an appointment in person.

Appointments to register a birth are currently deferred. Parents can now make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered.

We will not be undertaking any notice of marriage or notice of civil partnership appointments during this time. The team will be in contact with those who have appointments or ceremonies already booked.

Please call us on 01267 228210 during office hours if you have any further questions.

Message for registered childcare providers

The council is aware that many childcare providers have closed over the last three weeks as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

We need to ensure that there is sufficient childcare available locally, particularly for 0-2s, for key workers who are delivering critical services.

It is uncertain at present what demand there will be for childcare from key workers, but we anticipate that there will be an increasing demand over the next few weeks as more patients are diagnosed and treated.

We are urgently calling for all registered childcare providers to consider remaining open, all be it on a reduced capacity basis, with small numbers of children, over the next few weeks so that we can help ensure that critical services continue to run.

We are currently exploring how we can support you to do this. If you would be interested in working with us to achieve this, please email the Family Information Service at ChildrenInfo@Carmarthenshire.gov.uk.

Car parks in recreation areas to close

Car parks in all Carmarthenshire recreation areas will close from 6pm tonight (Friday, March 27).

The decision has been taken to help deter public gatherings in line with Government measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Unfortunately, people are continuing to drive to these areas, despite Government advice.

All car parks and access points will be closed at the Millennium Coastal Park, Pembrey Country Park; Mynydd Mawr Country Park and Llyn Llech Owain Country Park.

This includes:

Bynea
North Dock
Sandy Water Park
Festival Fields
Burry Port Woodlands
Burry Port Harbour West and East
Shoreline
Pembrey Rotary Way
Fisherman’s car park

The car parks at Llansteffan beach and Cenarth picnic site will also be closed.

The parks / recreation areas will still be open to local people on foot only. However, we would like to remind residents to please follow Government guidance to take only one form of exercise a day - alone or with members of your household.

Social distancing of more than 2 metres from other people should also be followed at all times.

 

Planning

We are currently unable to process new planning applications as we are unable to undertake site visits. Current applications are progressing though the timeliness of which will be affected by the ability of interested parties (for example, statutory consultees) to provide responses as required and planning officers availability as a result of redeployment.

This decision is based on the safety of our staff, and to allow staff from the planning department to support colleagues across the authority to deliver critical services.

This decision will be reviewed daily and we encourage people to keep an eye on updates.

Further to previous updates, our planning committees are currently suspended.

If you are unable to get hold of an officer directly by phone please contact the team by email at planning@carmarthenshire.gov.uk and we will arrange someone to get back to you.

Planning

Food hubs for families in need

The council is setting up four food hubs across Carmarthenshire for families in need.

It means children who are entitled to free school meals will also receive dry food supplies to feed the whole family.

The council has teamed up with Cross Hands-based food supplier Castell Howell to help families who may be experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The food hubs are being piloted at four county secondary schools - Bryngwyn School in Llanelli, QE High School in Carmarthen, Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford and Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland - from today Friday, March 27.

They will be open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 11.30am and will be run by council staff who have been redeployed to help deliver essential services.

If successful, the food hubs will be rolled out to other locations.

Read more

 

 

Housing support for residents

Specialist housing support and advice is available to residents in Carmarthenshire who are worried about the coronavirus crisis.

This is an extremely difficult time for residents, and we want to help as much as possible, whether you are a homeowner, a council tenant or a tenant in privately rented accommodation.

We can also help if you are currently homeless or ‘sofa-surfing’ between properties, or maybe you are a key worker and you can’t return home because someone vulnerable lives there.

Whatever your situation, our specialist advice team can provide you with a range of housing options to help you.

Read more

Llanelli Indoor Market

Further to ongoing restrictions and decisions taken by individual traders, Llanelli Indoor Market is currently closed. Some traders continue to offer a delivery service, information can be found on our community support directory.

Currently, Carmarthen Indoor Market is open with a small number of food traders still operating from their premises.

This will be reviewed daily, please keep an eye on updates.

Changes to bus services

Many bus services in Carmarthenshire will be reduced or suspended from Monday, March 30 until further notice.

First Cymru:
All services will be suspended on Mondays to Saturdays except the following:

  • T1 – the Sunday timetable will operate throughout the week
  • X13 – the timetable will be reduced to six journeys in each direction between Ammanford and Swansea
  • 111 – an hourly service will run between Kidwelly, Burry Port, Llanelli and Swansea.
    Sunday services will continue to operate.

Jones Login:
Services 221 and 223 will run only for pre-booked passengers. To book your place, call 01437 563 277 up to 5pm the day before travel.

Morris Travel:
Services will continue as normal except for the following routes, which will be reduced:

  • 198 will run only at 0855 and 1310 from Carmarthen and at 0951 and 1410 back from Four Roads.
  • 207 will run only at 0825, 0925, 1025, 1125, 1225, 1325, 1525 and 1625
  • 226 will run only at 0850, 1050, 1250, and 1650 from Carmarthen and 0905, 1105, 1305 and 1505 back from Davies Estate.
  • 227 will run only at 0835 from Carmarthen and 1100 from Morrisons/1110 from Carmarthen, and at 0910 and 1145 back from Llanybri.
  • PR1 and PR2 will run only between 0700 and 1755
  • 225 1725 journey from Carmarthen and 282 1710 journey from Glangwili Hospital/1725 from Carmarthen will run on request (only for passengers on the bus at Carmarthen Bus Station)

Richards Brothers:
A reduced service will run on route 460 on Mondays to Saturdays.

Buses will leave Cardigan at 0645, 0955, 1310 and 1625, and from Carmarthen at 0808, 1118, 1433 and 1805

Bwcabus fixed journeys are suspended but the service is still available for pre-booked passengers.

No service on route 441

Taf Valley Coaches:
Reduced service on 222 on Mondays to Fridays only, no Saturday service.

The service will start from Whitland (Bryngwenllian) at 0710 to Carmarthen running via Tavernspite, Red Roses, Pendine, Laugharne, Pwll Trap, St Clears, Lon Hafren, Bancyfelin, Johnstown. Return journey will leave Carmarthen at 1750. Direct journeys will run from Carmarthen at 0900 to St Clears and Whitland, returning from Whitland (Keefe Stores) at 1715.

No service on route 224 but some stops will be included in service 222 journeys.

Services 322 and 351 will only run for pre booked passengers (322 on Wednesdays only, 351 on Thursdays only) - to travel phone operator on 01994 240 908 up to 3pm the day before travel.

TrawsCymru:
The weekend Free Travel scheme on Trawscymru services including T1 and T1c is suspended until further notice.

For further information contact Traveline Cymru on 0800 464 00 00 or at www.traveline.cymru

*Most operators will offer free travel for NHS staff when showing a NHS ID Badge

 

Work well underway on Carmarthenshire’s temporary hospitals

Rapid progress is being made converting three sites in Carmarthenshire into temporary medical provision.

Carmarthenshire County Council has commissioned its framework contractors to prepare Carmarthen Leisure Centre, and the Selwyn Samuel Centre and Parc y Scarlets barn in Llanelli, to provide additional bed space for the NHS.

It is hoped the sites will be ready within weeks, in time for an anticipated peak demand for beds in May.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, and Deputy Chief Executive Jake Morgan, visited the sites today to check progress and thank contractors and operational staff for working tirelessly to prepare the facilities.

Read more

Carers needed to start work immediately

The council is urgently recruiting carers to help support older and vulnerable residents of Carmarthenshire as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

We are particularly appealing for people who have worked within the care sector previously who would consider returning to work during these unprecedented times.

If you have ever worked as a domiciliary care worker or in a residential care home, we are urging you to please get in touch.

Experience is desirable but not essential, so if you do not have any experience in the care industry, but want to help, then we can quickly provide the relevant training.

Read more

Taxi and PHV drivers

New information released by the Department of Transport

Read More

 

 

Public toilets to close

Council-run public toilets will be closed from tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) until further notice, except for key public transport hubs - Llandovery castle car park and East Gate bus station, Llanelli, - which will remain open.

Ammanford Town Council continue to operate their facility adjacent to Ammanford bus station.

Childcare hubs

Applications for childcare for next week (March 31 - April 3) will close on Thursday, March 26 at 9.30am. Parents will be notified on email by 5pm (on Thursday, March 26).

Find out more

 

Stay home, stay safe, and take care

Never in my time as Leader did I think I’d see the council setting up temporary hospital facilities to support our colleagues in the NHS.

These are extraordinary times – it is unsettling for all of us who are trying to adapt to a new ‘normal’, at least for the time being, to help protect ourselves, the people we love, and the communities where we live.

Read  more

School closures – information and support for parents

We would like to thank parents and guardians for their continued support and co-operation during the ongoing challenges posed by coronavirus (Covid-19).

Please visit our webpage for all updates and information regarding school closures and the measures we are putting in place during this time.

 

Free school meals

Families entitled to free school meals in Carmarthenshire will be able to collect food packs from Thursday, March 26.

The council has teamed up with Cross-Hands based Castell Howell and other suppliers to the schools catering service to provide food for children registered for free school meals.

The packs will contain breakfasts and lunches for five days.

Free sanitary products will also be available at all of the collection points as part of the #PeriodPovertySirGâr project.

Find out more

Bwcabus

In line with Government advice, all Bwcabus fixed route services will be temporarily suspended from Wednesday, 25 March. Bwcabus will continue to operate a pre-booked service to enable key/essential journeys – but please only travel if necessary. If you are not sure how to pre-book your journey with us please ring our friendly bi-lingual call agents, who will take you through the process - call 01239 801 601. Please consider whether your journey is essential – stay safe, stay at home and take care.

Update - Weddings / civil partnerships / Ceremonies

Last night the Prime Minister addressed the UK outlining further measures that are now required to continue to manage the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We are working with the General Register Office (GRO) and discussing the implications of these measures on weddings and civil partnerships and will be contacting all couples affected.

Recycling centres closed

All recycling centres are now closed to the public as of 1pm this afternoon, in line with Government advice.
This includes:

  • Nantycaws, Carmarthen
  • Trostre, Llanelli
  • Wernddu, Ammanford
  • Whitland

Remember, please do not discard tissues in your blue recycling bags.

Warning of coronavirus-related scams and cold-calling

Residents are being warned of scammers and unscrupulous cold callers who are taking advantage of fears surrounding the coronavirus.

Trading standards are warning of a number of coronavirus-themed emails, as well as phone calls, trying to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial information.

There are also reports of bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home testing’ for Covid-19, resulting in distraction burglaries; and residents giving money to individuals who have offered to pick-up some shopping on their behalf, but then they do not return. Residents should only accept help from friends and family or have deliveries from established local businesses.

Read more

Prime Minister’s announcement

Our Gold Command has met remotely this evening to discuss the Prime Minister’s announcement. Further information on how this will have further impact on Council services will be issued tomorrow

Prime Minister’s announcement

Statement by Welsh Government’s Education Minister, Kirsty Williams

I’d like to thank parents for listening to the advice and keeping most children at home. I’d be grateful if tomorrow morning you only use schools or childcare as a last resort.

The advice has not changed as a result of tonight’s decision to further restrict movement, which our First Minister, along with other UK leaders took with the sole aim of slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Children should be at home wherever possible, critical workers will still need to have safe care arrangements for their children.  Our schools and childcare settings are providing a vital service to support critical workers and our most vulnerable children.

Those involved in the current arrangements looking after children should continue. Many thanks to our amazing teaching and childcare professionals for their commitment in this time of national need.

This situation will continue for the immediate term but we will be reviewing with healthcare professionals, local authorities and our teaching unions.

Childcare for key workers

We are now taking applications to provide care for children of key workers from Wednesday, March 25 when we will have further provision to meet demand.

Find out more

 

Childcare for children aged 0-3

Please continue to use your current registered childcare provider; however, if you are unable to, we can help.

Places in childcare will be highly limited, and even for key workers, provision will only be made available in childcare settings where there is no safe alternative for your family.

First, search for childcare via the Dewis Cymru directory on the Family Information Service website.

Then contact your chosen childcare provider directly to see if there is availability and to make the necessary arrangements.

If after following the above, you are unable to find childcare, please phone Carmarthenshire Family Information Service on 01267 246555.

Council help residents and businesses with Covid-19 queries

Carmarthenshire County Council officers are busy signposting residents and businesses to sources of Covid-19 advice and support. Since a new phone response service went live at the end of last week, officers have already responded to over 120 queries.

 

Read More

Food businesses in Carmarthenshire

Many food businesses in Carmarthenshire are now diversifying with a view to minimise potential spread of Coronavirus, but more importantly, helping to cater for and support members of our community. These measures must be undertaken safely. If you are a business that has diversified in this regard, we kindly ask that you take heed of the following:

  • Are you a registered food business? – If not, notify us at publicprotection@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
  • Diversifying to door to door deliveries? – Notify us at publicprotection@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
  • Delivering hot meals? Deliver them hot and at a temperature greater than 630C – please monitor this
  • Delivering cold foods? Deliver them cold. Deliver at a temperature below 80C and please monitor this
  • Be allergen aware! You are still obliged to do so
  • Delivery personnel and customers are at risk of exposure – socially distance, minimise contact, sanitise hands at point of contact. Consider how you take payment
  • Regularly clean high contact areas. Be mindful this issue is viral, not bacterial

If you are unable to fulfil the above, review your systems. Contact your Environmental Health for advice on 01267 234567

Car parks

We have temporarily suspended pay and display at all our town centre car parks in response to COVID-19.

Whilst we appreciate there is a need to go out to get essentials, we urge people to heed government advice about social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel.

Car parks

Food – purchasing and preparing

We appreciate the current climate is causing significant panic buying, but please consider the following when purchasing your groceries or preparing food. Only purchase what you need.

  • Foods have limited shelf life – make sure you consume food within its use by date
  • Prepare foods safely – keep raw and ready to eat totally separate and wash your hands
  • If you are batch cooking, cool foods quickly (within 90 minutes) and refrigerate or freeze
  • If you are unwell, ask someone else to prepare foods
  • Store waste appropriately
  • Shop sensibly – limit food waste

Please consider long term Public Health and Safety, not just the short term. One person’s non-essential goods may be another one’s need!

Planning Committee

Following discussions with the Chair of the Planning Committee it has been agreed to suspend all Planning Committee meetings until further notice.

The meeting scheduled for Thursday March 26, 2020, has been cancelled.

Council converts buildings to create NHS beds for COVID-19

Carmarthenshire County Council is working with Hywel Dda University Health Board to put hundreds of additional beds in place, in the event they will be required by the NHS over the coming weeks.

Preparing for and responding to unprecedented challenges, the council is working with Llanelli Town Council and the private sector to support the Health Board manage an anticipated increased demand for care.

Over the coming days, contractors will be commissioned to convert spaces at Carmarthen Leisure Centre and - with the support of Llanelli Town Council - the Selwyn Samuel Centre.

Parc y Scarlets has also generously offered a large part of its site and buildings for free to the local authority to convert for the use of the NHS.

 

Read more

Council closes its parks in response to Coronavirus

All Carmarthenshire County Council run parks will be closed to the public from 6pm this evening.

This decision has been taken for the overriding priority of protecting visitors and staff, and in line with Government advice around social distancing.

It includes Pembrey Country Park, Llyn Llech Owain, Mynydd Mawr Woodland Park and Parc Howard. It also applies to enclosed spaces across the Millennium Coastal Park, for example the playground in North Dock.

 

Read more

Council teams up with Castell Howell to provide food service

Carmarthenshire County Council has teamed up with one of its major local food suppliers to offer a food distribution service in response to the Coronavirus emergency.

The council is working with Cross Hands-based Castell Howell to make food available to everyone.

A ‘phone and collect’ service is now available, with a number of customer collection points throughout the county.

Read more

Challenges arising from sudden surge in tourism

"It is with great regret that we are taking an unprecedented step and asking people not to come on holiday to Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion or Carmarthenshire at this time."

 

Joint statement

 

Care provision for children of key workers

Care provision has been provided for around 500 children in Carmarthenshire whose parents work in key roles within the NHS and social care sector.

Carmarthenshire County Council has set up three strategic care hubs across the county to provide care on Monday (March 23) to trial and further refine its approach before it is rolled out to additional communities by Wednesday.

 

Read more

Hywel Dda University Health Board statement

"As part of our preparations for managing the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in Hywel Dda the health board has begun to enact plans for all of our acute hospitals and other care facilities to ensure that we can keep patients safe while continuing to provide the highest standards of care possible for our population."

 

Read more

 

Whitland and Wernddu recycling centres

The recycling centres in Whitland and Wernddu are closed. We will aim to re-open as soon as possible.

Financial help for small businesses

Financial help is being made available for small businesses in Carmarthenshire impacted by the Coronavirus crisis. Carmarthenshire County Council has introduced a support package to help small businesses suffering from loss of income or hardship, based on their need.

The package includes:

  • County Council business tenants, who operate private businesses from County Council owned properties, being entitled to rent holidays of up to three months This will apply to tenants trading from industrial sites, markets and commercial properties. Any tenants who wish to apply should email sundry.debts@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 228730.
  • A small business hardship relief fund that will be available to non-council tenants who are suffering a loss in income or hardship as a consequence of the Coronavirus. This fund will provide access to a grant of up to £3,000 to support the short-term rental liability of businesses for up to three months. Further information is available by emailing bureau@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or calling 01267 234567.

Any tenants who have received a rental demand for rent payment from today (Friday March 20) are advised that no action will be taken by the council for non-payment during the next three months.

Read more

Support your local markets

Our indoor markets at Llanelli and Carmarthen, and our outdoor market at Ammanford, are open and well stocked with fresh fruit, veg, meat and fish – as well as items like newspapers, books, music, puzzles, games and more.

Our traders would appreciate your support. Please remember to take care of your own health and protect others, including our traders, by following good hygiene practice and washing your hands regularly.

The following traders at our indoor markets are offering deliveries for anyone in isolation.

Carmarthen Indoor Market

  • Fruit of Eden (fruit and vegetables)
  • Eric Davies and Son (butchers)
  • Cwtch Gwlan (knitting and wool supplies)
  • R Davies and Son (flowers)
  • Albert Rees (butchers)
  • Siop y Pentan (Welsh gifts, CDs, cards, books)

Llanelli Indoor Market

  • Dew Cosmetics (underwear, nightwear)
  • Garretts Fish
  • Pet Pantry (pet products)
  • Phillips (fruit and vegetables)
  • Sewards (fruit and vegetables)
  • Roy Morgan (butcher)
  • Welsh Maid (bread/cakes)
  • Balloons
  • Blodau Elli  (flowers)
  • Jelfs (health food stuffs)

Contact details on our website

Carmarthenshire Markets

Transport For Wales

Transport For Wales is running a reduced service from Monday. Passengers need to check before travelling. 

 

Transport For Wales

 

Registering births and deaths

There is no change to appointments to register births and deaths in our offices in Ammanford Registry Office, Llanelli Town Hall and Parc Myrddin, Carmarthen.

Following guidance by the government to reduce unnecessary contact, we would ask you to try and limit the number of people attending.

When registering a birth both parents need only attend if the couple are not married. For your own protection we would urge, where possible, to leave your baby and any siblings at home.

When registering a death, elderly relatives should stay at home.

Weddings / civil partnerships / Ceremonies

Following government advice, all marriage/civil partnerships and ceremonies planned over the next few months will be limited to a maximum of 10 guests.

We understand that this will be extremely disappointing, but our registrars are working closely to support individual couples and local businesses who have ceremonies planned over the next few months to provide alternative options. The decision as to whether to continue with the wedding reception and other festivities is at the discretion of the couple and the venue.

We will transfer any payments and support couples who would prefer to postpone the marriage/civil partnership to a later date (still within Carmarthenshire) and support them with their venue as much as we can to book an alternative date and time.

This situation will be reviewed regularly as it is constantly changing. Any couples who have not yet been contacted by us are asked to all us on 01267 228210 in the first instance should they require advice and support over the coming months.

 

Providing care for children of key workers

Following the announcement regarding school closures, there is a need to provide childcare services to ensure the continuation of frontline services.

We are putting measures in place to open a limited number of our schools to provide care for children of key workers from Monday, March 23.

More information

 

Blue badge applications

Our customer service Hwbs are closed but you can still apply online, by post or by phone on 01267 234567. You can send any supporting documents for your application by emailing: bluebadge@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.


The Blue Badge Team
Department for Communities
Carmarthenshire County Council
3 Spilman Street
Carmarthen, SA31 1LE

Providing care for children of key workers

We are planning to develop school sites for the provision of emergency childcare cover for key workers and support for vulnerable children and young people.

Plans are also in place to ensure the provision of free school meals can continue.

More information on this will follow as soon as possible including how you can register.

Covid-19 contact number for businesses and residents

We are providing additional support to help and advise Carmarthenshire businesses and residents throughout the on-going Coronavirus crisis.

You can connect to this new service by calling us on 01267 234567. This is available between 8.30am and 6pm seven days a week.

Council officers will be on hand to provide guidance and signposting on areas including:

  • Financial support and other help for businesses
  • Assistance available for the elderly, vulnerable and isolated
  • Linking the needs of communities with volunteers

This service builds on work already being carried out in our communities, with council staff helping volunteers on the ground.

Council housing repairs

Only urgent or emergency work on council homes will be undertaken by the property maintenance team for the foreseeable future.

Any work which is not urgent will be put on hold and tenants will be contacted when the work is planned to take place.

You can report an emergency repair by calling 01267 234567 during office hours (8.30am - 6pm, Monday - Friday). Outside of these times please call 0300 333 2222.

Request a routine housing repair

We apologise for any inconvenience.

 

Bus services

All bus services are continuing to run as normal, although as the Coronavirus situation develops this could be subject to change. We advise you to check your journey with Traveline in advance in case of any changes.

Traveline is the national transport enquiry service. It is available online at www.traveline.cymru or by calling freephone 0800 464 00 00. Traveline has set up a special page specifically for Coronavirus updates, including links to operator websites.

Traveline - Coronavirus

Join the library to enjoy our free digital resources

If you would like to join the library during the current temporary closure in order to access our free online resources, please contact your local regional library on

  • Llanelli: 01554 744327
  • Carmarthen: 01267 224824
  • Ammanford: 01269 598360

Find out more about our digital library.

Adult Community Learning

In line with the announcement of school closures yesterday, Adult Community Learning venues also remain closed until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Residents enrolled on Learn Welsh Carmarthenshire courses will be able to continue with distance learning and keep in touch with tutors via Facebook. All learners will be contacted directly.

The situation will be reviewed regularly.

Temporary closure and reduction in service of learning disability and mental health day services

From today (Thursday, March 19) we are starting a staggered temporary closure of our learning disability and mental health day services and a reduction in respite / short breaks.

All parents/carers and service users have been called and notified of the changes and made aware of the alternative help available to them depending on their individual needs. These range from

  • Wellbeing telephone calls
  • Online contact such as facetime, skype, youtube videos
  • Activity packs such as contract work, craft, exercise plans, TEACCH schedules etc.
  • Lunchtime assistance
  • Support with personal care
  • Respite activities within the persons home

Everyone affected has also been allocated a contact person so they can discuss concerns and let us know if their situation changes.

We will be reviewing the position regularly to ensure we can support those with critical needs.

Council buildings close to public from Friday

All council buildings, including the Hwbs in Ammanford, Carmarthen and Llanelli, will be closed to the public from tomorrow morning (Friday, March 20). This decision will be reviewed regularly.

For general enquiries on council services please visit our website, email direct@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 234567.

Childcare

Schools across Wales will close from this Friday (March 20), however, this does not apply to childcare, childcare will remain open. If you are looking for childcare in Carmarthenshire please visit fis.carmarthenshire.gov.wales or contact the Family Information Service on 01267 246555 or e-mail ChildrenInfo@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Libraries closed

A decision has been made to close all our libraries from tomorrow (March 19) until the end of May. The health and wellbeing of users and our staff is our main priority. This decision will be reviewed regularly. You will not be fined if you have items to return and members are encouraged to access services online in the meantime.

Leisure centres closed

A decision has been made to close all our leisure centres from tomorrow (March 19) until the end of May. The health and wellbeing of our customers and our staff is our main priority. Please be reassured that no customers will lose out financially; all memberships will be frozen automatically, bookings will be credited or amended etc.

All customers will be contacted directly and we urge customers not to get in touch directly unless absolutely necessary.

Please check for updates on the Actif website, Facebook and Twitter pages, and via the ‘Actif Sport and Leisure’ app. This situation will be updated regularly.

Country parks remain open, with some changes

All our country parks currently remain open to visitors, however, there are some changes to some services / activities.

The visitor centres at Pembrey Country Park and Llyn Llech Owain Country Park are closed until the end of May, along with Yr Orsaf (restaurant), the Ski Centre and all toilets at Pembrey.

A decision has also been made to postpone all events at all of the country parks, and the Millennium Coastal Park, until further notice. Staff will be contacting event organisers to re-schedule.

The campsite at Pembrey Country Park will remain open for all seasonal campers, and self-contained units only. Bookings will no longer be taken for tents, trailer tents, or any other unit that is not self-contained with its own facilities. i.e. toilet and/or shower. If you have already make a booking to stay between now and May 31, please email camppembrey@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01554 742435. A full refund will be issued to all affected bookings.

We apologise for the inconvenience, however, the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers remains our priority and we advise all visitors to adhere to the Government’s social distancing guidance. All these decisions will be regularly reviewed.

School closures in Wales

Please see below announcement released by Welsh Government today. As from Friday all schools will be closed.

Welsh Government: School closures in Wales

Mobile libraries service suspended

We have taken the precautionary decision to suspend our mobile library service until the end of May. We appreciate some residents will be disappointed but hope residents will appreciate why we have made this decision in light of the evolving situation.

The safety of our staff and customers is of paramount importance. This decision will be reviewed regularly.

Council meetings

As the coronavirus situation develops, we have taken the precautionary decision to suspend some of our council meetings.

The Executive Board, Planning Committee and Licensing Committee will continue to meet to make key decisions on council business. This decision will be reviewed regularly.

We would like to reassure residents that we continue to take advice and direction from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government; and are working with multi-agency partners to prepare for what may be a lengthy period of disruption.

Joint Statement by WLGA and Welsh Government

Joint statement by Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, and leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, Cllr Andrew Morgan

“We are facing a serious public health emergency, which has the potential to affect large numbers of people across Wales and to cause major disruption to normal daily life.

“We know people are worried. If we work together we can overcome challenges together.

“Local government services are at the heart of every community in Wales. They are relied on by children, adults and the elderly every day in every part of Wales. The coronavirus outbreak will have an impact on public services – as demand for key services will increase but there will be fewer people providing them.

“We are working together to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring local government has the support and resources it needs as we face this outbreak together.”

Actif NERS classes

From tomorrow (March 18, 2020) all National Exercise Referral (NERS) classes at Actif Leisure Centres and community venues will be suspended until the end of May.

Find out more

Pendine Outdoor Education Centre

Pendine Outdoor Education Centre is currently closed until the end of May.

Find out more

Ski Pembrey

The ski slope at Pembrey Country Park is currently closed until the end of May.

More information

Museums and galleries

A decision has been made to close all our museums and galleries.

Find out more

Theatrau Sir Gâr

A decision has been made to close all Carmarthenshire theatres until the end of May.

More information

Coronavirus-related scams

Our trading standards team want to make residents aware of coronavirus-related scams and to be vigilant.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of such scams, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0808 223 1133.

Welsh Government announces £200 million support package for small businesses

Measures include:

  • Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less to receive 100 per cent business rate relief
  • Pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 to receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill

The Welsh Government also says a further £100 million will be made available for a new grant scheme for small businesses not eligible for this new business rate relief.

Details will be published on gov.wales as soon as they’re available.

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections postponed

The UK Government has announced that all polls scheduled for May 7, 2020 will be postponed for 12 months. This includes the Police and Crime Commissioner election for the Dyfed-Powys Police area.

Further information is available on the .gov.uk website.

Bin collections and recycling centres

New advice has been issued on bin collections and recycling centres. Find information here:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

Schools update

We have updated our information for parents following the latest advice from Public Health Wales.

More information

Announcement about Urdd Eisteddfod Carmarthenshire 2021

Urdd Gobaith Cymru has announced changes to its programme of events in light of the Coronavirus situation. As part of several changes, the Urdd Eisteddfod due to be held in Llandovery in May 2021 will now take place in 2022.

 

Read more from Urdd Gobaith Cymru

Three more cases

Three more cases have today been confirmed in Carmarthenshire, bringing the total number of cases to seven.

Public Health Wales

 

One new case

One additional case has been confirmed in Carmarthenshire, bringing the total number of cases to four.

Public Health Wales

Council implements contingencies in response to COVID-19

Carmarthenshire County Council is preparing and implementing a comprehensive response to coronavirus (COVID-19) to prevent and limit the spread of the outbreak as far as possible.

A tactical command group bringing together the council’s leadership team is implementing contingency plans and taking special measures to help protect residents.

The council continues to take advice and direction from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government, and is working with multi-agency partners to prepare for what may be a lengthy period of disruption.

Read more

Cases confirmed

Three cases have been confirmed in Carmarthenshire

Public Health Wales

Protecting residents at our care homes

As part of our preparation and response to the evolving coronavirus situation we are taking additional measures to prevent any potential risks at our care homes. As such, we are implementing sections of our visitors’ policy - that we have to implement from time to time - to restrict visits from families and friends, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

In addition, day services for older people are temporarily closed with bespoke plans for residents who need alternative provision that cannot be provided by friends and family.
These actions are purely precautionary to ensure that the people we care for are protected. We continue to take advice and guidance from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government, and our position will be reviewed daily.

We appreciate this decision may cause inconvenience and some distress, but please be assured that we are acting in the best interests of our residents and service users.

 

Advice issued to headteachers

We have issued advice to headteachers and asked that they consider rearranging any events that would involve large gatherings of pupils, staff and guests.
At this time there is no decision to close schools.

Parents and pupils should be reassured that we continue to take advice from Public Health Wales and are taking all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Public Health Wales advice

 

We appreciate the cooperation of pupils and parents to help prevent the spread of infections.
Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family. These include:
• Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
• Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash hands immediately

If your child is feeling unwell and has been to one of the countries or regions listed on the Public Health Wales website, or has been in close contact with an individual with confirmed Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), please call NHS 111 straight away for further advice.

Coronavirus Testing Units set up

Hywel Dda University Health Board has today (Tuesday, March 10) announced they have opened a Coronavirus Testing Unit in Carmarthen in a bid to assess and test more people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Another unit has opened in Cardigan with the possibility of others opening in more areas during the coming weeks.

The specific location will not be announced due to the need to protect patient confidentiality.

The testing unit is only for people with a prior appointment and instruction from 111.

Read the statement in full