Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
Libraries offer home delivery service to all shielding and/or vulnerable individuals.
Whilst click, collect and access to library premises are temporarily suspended a home delivery service is now available from our regional libraries and our housebound service is now available to all shielding and/or vulnerable individuals. For further information, call the Housebound Service on 01554 744315.
Don't forget you can access our digital library 24/7.
Mass vaccination centres - Carmarthenshire
Letters will arrive in the coming days inviting 20,000 Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine at a mass vaccination centre, Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) has announced.
The letter will provide an appointment time at one of the following mass vaccination centres:
- Aberystwyth – Thomas Parry Library, Llanbadarn Campus, Aberystwyth University
- Cardigan – Teifi Leisure Centre
- Carmarthen – Halliwell Conference Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
- Haverfordwest - Pembrokeshire Archives, Prendergast
- Llanelli – Ffwrnes Theatre
- Tenby – Tenby Leisure Centre
These mass vaccination centres will provide a safe environment, space to maintain social distancing while allowing more people to be vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support Hywel Dda University Health Board deliver this important vaccination programme by offering the use of Y Ffwrnes as a mass vaccination centre. The Covid-19 vaccine offers a glimmer of hope after what is, and continues to be, a very difficult and worrying time for everyone.”
As at week ending 17/01/2021, a total of 155,514 does of Covid-19 vaccine have been given in Wales. In the Hywel Dda Health Board area, 19,103 doses have been given.
*data correct as at 12pm on 21/01/2021
Changes to qualifications confirmed by Education Minister Kirsty Williams following further disruption to learning
Learners in Wales studying for Qualifications Wales approved GCSE, AS and A levels this year will receive grades determined by their school or college, based on work they have completed over their course.
This policy decision was confirmed by Education Minister Kirsty Williams today (Wednesday, January 20) following further disruption to face-to-face learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Weekly Hywel Dda UHB vaccine bulletin
Every week Hywel Dda UHB will publish a vaccine bulletin, providing up-to-date information regarding the progress of the Covid-19 Mass Vaccination Programme across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
£40 million extra to support students facing financial hardship
The Welsh Government will today announce an additional £40m for universities to support students facing financial hardship, helping the students most affected by the pandemic with expenses such as accommodation costs.
Universities will be asked to prioritise funding towards the most vulnerable students, as well as strengthening advice and support services for students.
With most students currently being asked to study at home, the funding will also be used to address ‘digital poverty’ among students, to enable better access to online learning, and costs incurred due to the need to self-isolate.
The funding is in addition to over £40 million the Welsh Government has already provided to help universities this financial year, which has included £10m towards student hardship, mental health support and student unions.
The funding will come from the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 Reserve, to support the national response to the pandemic, and will be distributed to universities by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).
As at week ending 10/01/2021, a total of 88,163 does of Covid-19 vaccine have been given in Wales. In the Hywel Dda Health Board area, 12,292 doses have been given.
*data correct as at 12pm on 14/01/2021
Welsh Government to strengthen legislation to ensure workplaces and shops are safer
Businesses in Wales will have to carry out a specific coronavirus risk assessment under new Welsh Government legislation. These risk assessments will be the starting point for implementing the reasonable measures that are required to be taken to minimise exposure to the coronavirus on premises open to the public and in workplaces.
New mandatory Coronavirus testing for travellers into Wales
Passengers arriving into Wales from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally, Health Minister, Vaughan Gething has confirmed.
From 4am Monday 18th January 2021, inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train from countries outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Brazil, Denmark and South Africa.
Every household in Carmarthenshire will soon receive letters about Covid-19 vaccination plans.
The letters will provide information on the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccines currently available in Wales. It will also tell you how the vaccines are being made available and in what way you will be invited to an appointment.
People are being urged to be patient and wait their turn. Please do not contact NHS or health services to request the vaccine.
Exercise should begin and end at home
In line with Alert Level 4 restrictions you should not drive to places for exercise unless you have mobility issues. These include local beauty spots/parks such as Pembrey Country Park. This is the law and not just guidance. For example police can fine people who travel beyond their local area to beauty spots.
- We know exercise is important, but while Wales is at alert level 4, you should not be driving to get to somewhere to exercise
- The more people gather, the greater the risk of spreading the virus
- The further you travel from home the more likely you are to come into contact with a wider group of people beyond your local area, and potentially increase the spread of coronavirus across Wales
- There is a new variant of coronavirus which is highly contagious and fast moving. It is widespread in some parts of Wales, including North Wales. We want to do all we can to protect people from this new form of the virus and prevent it spreading into more areas of Wales
- Always starting our exercise from our home limits the number of people we are likely to come into contact with
ERF Restrictions Business Fund discretionary grant
We have temporarily closed the Restrictions Business Fund discretionary grant for new applications, as the eligibility criteria has been extended to include businesses that were affected by the Tier 4 restrictions that were put in place on the 19th December. The application form is being updated to reflect these changes.
If you have already applied you do NOT need to re-apply, we are assessing all applications and you should receive an update within 30 working days from when you submitted your application.
COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund Sector Specific Grant Eligibility Checker
The ERF Sector Specific Support (operating cost) package is targeted at Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure (HTL) businesses and associated supply chain businesses that will be materially impacted by a greater than 60% impact of turnover as a result of the restrictions introduced on 4 December 2020 until the 22 January 2021.
The funds seeks to compliment other COVID-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.
You can use the tool on the Business Wales website to check your eligibility for the COVID-19 ERF Sector Specific Grant.
All applications are currently expected to be open by 12:00 midday on 13 January 2021 and remain open for 2 weeks or until funds are fully committed.
“Stay home to save lives”
First Minister Mark Drakeford today said everyone must stay at home to save lives as he confirmed the alert level four coronavirus restrictions in Wales will continue.
The lockdown restrictions will be strengthened in some key areas to prevent the new, highly-infectious strain of the virus spreading from person to person in those shops and workplaces which remain open. And unless there is a significant reduction in cases of coronavirus before 29 January – the date of the next three-week review of the regulations – school and college students will continue to learn online until the February half term.
Qualifications Wales cancels the spring internal assessment window for GCSE, AS and A levels
Qualifications Wales has cancelled the spring internal assessment window (due between February 22 and April 23) for GCSE, AS and A levels. Revised assessment arrangements for the award of these qualifications in summer 2021 will be put in place shortly.
Following the First Minister’s announcement (January 8 2021) that most pupils will continue to learn remotely until January 29 or possibly even February half term, Qualifications Wales is announcing that the spring internal assessment window for GCSE, AS, and A level, which were planned to take place between February 22 and April 23, will not take place and new arrangements will be made.
Alert level four coronavirus restrictions in Wales will continue
And unless there is a significant reduction in cases of coronavirus before 29 January – the date of the next three-week review of the regulations – school and college students will continue to learn online until the February half-term.
Covid-19 vaccine scams
People working in the care sector in Carmarthenshire are being warned of Covid-19 vaccine scams.
Fraudsters, claiming to be from the NHS, have been sending emails to care workers offering them a chance to get the vaccination. They ask for the person to register and provide personal data including bank details. This is a scam.
Always check the sender’s address and if it’s not a .gov.uk or .nhs.uk address the chances are it isn’t genuine. Also the NHS would not ask for your bank details in this way. Do not reply.
For further help and advice please email email@example.com or call 01267 234567.
If you think you have been scammed call Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Covid puts social care services under significant pressure
Social care services in Carmarthenshire are straining under the significant pressure of Covid-19.
Both council-run and private care homes across the county are battling the impact of the virus on vulnerable people requiring care with a reduced workforce as large numbers of carers are forced to self-isolate.
Restrictions Business Fund Non Domestic Rate Grant
Applications are now open for the Welsh Government’s Restrictions Business Fund to support businesses that have been directly impacted by the additional restrictions put in place on December 4 to control the spread of Covid-19. The purpose of the grant is to provide businesses with cash flow support and to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions introduced. The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.
Second COVID-19 vaccine given go-ahead
A second COVID-19 vaccine has been given the go-ahead and its roll-out across Wales will start next week, the Health Minister has announced today.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now authorised the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as safe and effective on the basis of detailed independent expert review of evidence from large scale clinical trials.
The UK Government has procured vaccines on behalf of the four nations and around 100m of these are of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, with Wales receiving its allocation based on population over the next weeks and months.
Covid-19 - Carmarthenshire cases
The rate of infection in Carmarthenshire currently stands at 739.5 per 100,000.
Information about rates of Covid-19 in Carmarthenshire can be found at Public Health Wales, along with a breakdown of figures at local levels.
*Data correct as at 9am on 22/12/2020
Message to the people of Wales ahead of Christmas
The First Minister and Wales’ public service leaders have issued a message to the people of Wales ahead of Christmas.
As the festive period fast approaches, please think carefully about what you ‘should do’ rather than what you ‘can do’
New advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable – previously ‘shielding’
The advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, previously ‘shielding’ has changed from today to advise those within this group that they should no longer attend work or school outside the home. This is particularly the case for those whose work requires them to be in regular or sustained contact with other people, or where individuals share a poorly ventilated workspace for long periods. Letters from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (CMO) will be issued confirming this advice but will take some time to reach individuals due to the festive period.
Following the latest Welsh Government announcement our library services will continue to the housebound and online only for now.
Click, collect and delivery and access to library premises are temporarily suspended and will be reviewed in line with national guidelines. For queries on our continuing services please contact your local regional library:
- Ammanford 01269 598360
- Carmarthen 01267 224824
- Llanelli 01554 744327
Don’t forget the library is available every day online. Please follow Carmarthenshire Libraries social media pages which will be updated with new events and activities to see you through the pandemic.
FAQs - New variant of Covid-19
Public Health Wales has been working with UK partners to investigate and respond to this variant. Visit their website for further information and advice.
Restrictions Business Fund Discretionary Grant
The Welsh Government has launched the Restrictions Business Fund to support businesses that have been directly impacted by the additional restrictions put in place on December 4 to control the spread of Covid-19. The purpose of the grant is to provide businesses with cash flow support and to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions introduced. The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.
Open / Closed / Restrictions in place
With alert level four restrictions in place, some of our council services are closed or have restrictions in place. Keep up to date with the latest information with our at-a-glance view of open, closed or restricted service information
Information for our tenants in our homes
All non-essential property maintenance and inspections will be postponed until restrictions have been eased. Only urgent and essential housing maintenance will continue.
Household Waste Recycling Centres
Our Household Waste Recycling Centres will remain open throughout the alert level four restrictions. If you already have an appointment booked, this will not be affected.
There will be some changes over the Christmas period:
- Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day - all closed.
- Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve - 8.30am to 12noon (last appointment 11.30am).
Our website will be updated with business advice and support as soon as it’s available. Welsh Government has published guidance for businesses which must close during alert level four, as well as information about the limited way some closed businesses may be accessed.
All leisure centres are closed until further notice.
All Direct Debit memberships will be frozen and no collection will be made for the month of January. The days not used due to closure from 20-31 Dec (12 days) will be added onto your membership when we reopen, you therefore do not need to do anything with your membership. All frozen accounts will remain frozen, be assured you do not need to do anything to your account.
All annual memberships (365, annual swimming membership) and Standard / Super Saver cards will be extended taking into account the time lost as a result of closure.
Anyone who has paid for activities or made hire bookings from 20 December onwards will be credited accordingly.
A reopening date will be set in line with Welsh Government announcements and guidelines.
Alert level four restrictions
Guidance on how you can keep safe and what rules are in place to protect people at alert level 4.
Welsh Government announcement
The First Minister has tonight announced to bring forward the alert level four restrictions for Wales from midnight. This will mean non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will close at the end of trading today. Stay-at-home restrictions will also come into effect from midnight. Two households can come together to form a Christmas bubble on Christmas Day only.
Covid-19 - Carmarthenshire cases
In the last seven days*, there have been 1,229 cases out of 5,131 tests in Carmarthenshire - 24 per cent of people tested have had positive results.
The rate of infection in Carmarthenshire currently stands at 651.1 per 100,000, but a lag in reporting means this figure is slightly skewed.
Information about rates of Covid-19 in Carmarthenshire can be found at Public Health Wales, along with a breakdown of figures at local levels.
*Data correct as at 9am on 17/12/2020
School re-opening arrangements January 2021
Unfortunately, the current situation with the increasing transmission of Covid-19 across Wales makes it very difficult to predict the impact it will have on staffing levels in our schools following the Christmas break.
Our priority is to minimise disruption to our children and young people’s education as much as possible, however, schools will need to assess their staffing levels at the beginning of the new term, and as a result some flexibility will be required in relation to pupils’ return.
Christmas advice for people who were shielding
Forming a Christmas bubble if you are clinically extremely vulnerable - guidance and frequently asked questions
Community Christmas events must be cancelled or postponed
Carmarthenshire’s safety advisors have warned that any Christmas events involving even small numbers of people could have a serious impact on public health as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the area.
The county’s Events Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) has urged community event organisers to do the right thing and cancel, postpone or move their planned events online to protect people in the run-up to Christmas.
Sadly, this means even small community events such as socially distanced village tractor runs, Santa’s grottos, elf workshops, sleigh parades, charity swims and dips, as well as countryside hunt gatherings traditionally held on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, need to be cancelled or postponed.
Free school meals payments
Payments for the three weeks (week prior to Christmas holidays and two weeks Christmas holidays) have been processed and will be in bank accounts either Friday, December 18 or Monday, December 21.
Payments for the October firebreak have also been processed. There are still some outstanding queries to be resolved, but we are working with families to release payments as a matter of urgency.
We will now be moving on to process the self-isolation payments. The numbers of pupils and the complexity of the various scenarios in schools are challenging, but please be assured that we have additional staff working on this to ensure payments are made as soon as possible in the new year.
Our registration services are currently experiencing delays due to the impact of Covid-19 – we thank you for your patience.
Appointments to register a death are being prioritised. Please make an appointment via our booking system and we will make contact once the necessary paperwork has been received from the doctor and/or the coroner.
Parents are advised that there are no appointments available to register a recent birth until January 1, 2021. Please contact us after that date to make arrangements.
Anyone wishing to request a copy of a certificate before January 2021 should visit the General Register Office.
If you have any other enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01267 228210 during office hours - we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Education Minister provides further clarity on system to replace exams for general qualifications in 2021
Education Minister Kirsty Williams has provided further details of how the system put in place to replace examinations for general qualifications in 2021 will work.
The Minister has confirmed her intention is for general qualifications in Wales to be supported by a three pillar approach made up of:
- non-examination assessments
- internal assessments
- assessments that are externally set and marked
The decision has been supported by the news that the Welsh Government is investing an additional £1.9 million in education resources to support learners in years 12 and 13 in preparing for their A Level assessments.
Consider isolating before Christmas as Covid-19 accelerates
People in Carmarthenshire are being asked to consider isolating themselves to protect their families in time for Christmas with another sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in our communities.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) team is experiencing a huge surge in demand as the virus is spreading so rapidly, with around 600 new cases coming in over the last few days alone.
With the current isolation regulations standing at 10 days, it means anyone contacted from today - December 15 - will be told they have to isolate on Christmas Day.
Changes to eligibility criteria for self isolation support payments
From 14 December 2020, eligibility has been extended to include parents and carers who meet the following criteria:
- The child attends a school, Further Education or childcare setting up to and including Year 8 (or up to age 25 if the learner has multiple and complex needs);
- The child has been asked to self-isolate by TTP or has been asked to self-isolate for 7 or 10 days or more by the school or child-care setting as a result of an outbreak in a school, childcare or further education setting; and
- Parents or carers meet the criteria of the main scheme or the application is accepted under the discretionary scheme.
Welsh Government announce plans for serial testing in schools and colleges from January
Under this process, pupils and staff identified as close contacts would be asked to either self-isolate as normal or to take a lateral flow test at the start of the school day for the duration of the self-isolation period.
Those who test negative would continue attending school as normal, those who test positive would be required to self-isolate and book a confirmatory test.
Schools and colleges will be offered support, equipment and training. All staff working in special schools will be offered weekly testing.
Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert Levels in Wales
Written Statement by Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister:
Today, we are publishing an update to our Coronavirus Control Plan, which builds on the traffic-light framework of restrictions we originally put in place in May.
The revised plan puts in place four alert levels, aligned to the measures we will need to have in place to control the spread of the virus through the difficult winter months ahead of us and to protect people’s health.
It also sets out how and when Wales will move between these alert levels. The all-Wales measures are designed to be as simple, fair and clear as possible and they will provide greater certainty for people and businesses about what legal restrictions will be put in place, depending on the level of risk, helping them to plan for the future.
Covid-19 hits new record and still rising in Carmarthenshire
Covid-19 is now circulating widely in Carmarthenshire with the rate of infection growing every day.
Carmarthenshire County Council is issuing an urgent plea, asking people to limit their contacts with other people in efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
The positive case rate in Carmarthenshire has now surpassed 360 per 100,000 people - the highest case rate recorded in the county and a cause of serious concern.
Latest figures (as at 1pm on 10/12/2020) show the case rate is now 367.1, up from 252.2 in the previous seven days.
The number of people self-isolating - either as a precaution or because they have Covid-19 - is also having a serious impact on the running of essential services including schools and social care.
Test, Trace, Protect teams are working around the clock to deal with the growing number of cases.
Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, is urging people to limit their movements to stop the virus spreading so easily.
Self-isolation support payment
The BBC recently published an article saying that if you were asked to self-isolate you could apply for a £500 payment through the UK Government app. This is not the case in Wales, you can find out further information on who is eligible to receive support payments and how to apply on our Newsroom.
ERF Restrictions Business Fund
On the 30 November the First Minister announced a £340m package of support directed primarily at the hospitality, tourism and related supply chain sectors. Businesses that have been directly impacted by the additional restrictions put in place on the 4th December to control the spread of Covid-19.
The purpose of the fund is to support businesses into the new year with cash flow support to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions put in place.
Local Authorities across Wales have been asked to deliver two separate grants. We are currently working with the Welsh Government on the final details and will update our website when the guidance and application forms are accessible for both grants.
Situation updates prior to November 1, 2020
Situation updates prior to November 1, 2020, have now been archived. If you are looking for a particular update that has now been archived, please contact us.
Coronavirus self-isolation and quarantine reduced to 10 days in Wales
Updated Christmas guidance has been published by Welsh Government today
£500 payment scheme now open to parents and carers of children required to self-isolate
The Self-Isolation Support Scheme was launched last month to provide financial support to people on low incomes or facing financial hardship when they were asked to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.
It will now be extended to help parents and carers who have to take time off work to look after their children when they have to self-isolate because of a coronavirus outbreak in their school or childcare setting.
People will be able to apply for the self-isolation payment from December 14 and payments will be backdated to October 23.
Call to remember the basics and respect the rules
Cases of Covid-19 in Carmarthenshire continue to rise in a worrying trend in the run up to Christmas.
On the day that new national restrictions come into force across Wales, Carmarthenshire County Council is asking everyone to make greater efforts to bring down cases of Covid-19 and help services cope over the busy Christmas period.
Cases are now up to 241.6 per 100,000 of the population (as of 1pm on 03/12/20) - an increase on the previous week when cases were 209.2 per 100,000 people.
Latest coronavirus travel restrictions
Travel between Wales and areas of the UK with high rates of coronavirus will not be allowed from 6pm today.
Wales’ coronavirus regulations will be amended to prohibit travel to and from tier three areas in England; level three and four areas in Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland, which is currently in lockdown.
New travel guidance will be issued strongly advising people in Wales not to travel to other parts of the UK with lower levels of coronavirus – tier one and two areas in England or level one and two areas in Scotland – to help control the spread of the virus.
People from Wales will be required to follow any legal restrictions, including relating to travel, which are in place in other parts of the UK.
All travel restrictions within the UK will be suspended between 23 and 27 December to allow people to meet members of their Christmas bubble. People travelling to and from Northern Ireland will be able to travel the day before this period starts and the day after.
Updated taxi and private hire vehicle guidance
Information for the taxi and private hire vehicle industry.
Pubs closed and fined for breaching Covid-19 rules
Two licensed premises in Carmarthenshire have been handed £1,000 fines for staying open beyond the current 10.20pm closing time.
The operators of the Coopers Arms in Betws and Betws RFC, were issued with the fixed penalty notices for breaching the current Covid-19 regulations.
Around 200 licensed venues have been visited by Carmarthenshire County Council officers in the last fortnight to check for compliance with regulations and to offer necessary advice.
As well as issuing two FPNs, the council has had to take action to close three premises where there were significant shortfalls in safety measures to ensure the safety of their customers.
They were the Biddulph Arms in New Street, Llanelli; the Greenfield Inn, Llanelli, and the Wheaten Sheaf in Abergwili.
They will now have to demonstrate a range of improvements before being allowed to re-open.
Funding for businesses
Welsh Government announced further funding yesterday for the business community.
We await further details from Welsh Government and will communicate once these become available
Closure notices have been served on two more licensed premises in Carmarthenshire for breaches of coronavirus regulations:
- Greenfield Inn, Llanelli
- Wheaten Sheaf, Abergwili, Carmarthen
£340m support for Welsh businesses as new coronavirus rules
A set of new targeted restrictions in the hospitality and leisure sectors, together with a £340m support package, has been announced by First Minister Mark Drakeford.
The new measures are being introduced as cases of coronavirus accelerate in Wales once again, eroding the gains achieved during the recent firebreak period.
From Friday, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol. After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services.
Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions must also close.
New rules for the festive period
A broad set of UK-wide measures to help people come together with their loved ones during the festive period, in a way that is as safe as possible, have been agreed by the governments of the UK’s four nations.
The four administrations have reached agreement on a single set of UK-wide measures to help people come together with their loved ones in a way that is as safe as possible.
- Travel restrictions across the four administrations and between tiers will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between the 23 and 27 of December.
- Up to three households can form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed, and must not be changed or extended further at any point.
- Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.
Biddulph Arms, Llanelli
A closure notice has been served on the person responsible for the Biddulph Arms in Llanelli following a breach of coronavirus regulations.
Changes to face coverings policy in schools and colleges
The Welsh Government has updated its operational guidance on the use of face coverings in secondary schools and colleges. The guidance now states that face coverings should be worn:
- in all areas outside the classroom by staff and learners in secondary schools and colleges
- on dedicated school and college transport for learners in year 7 and up
- by visitors to all schools and colleges, including parents and carers dropping off and picking up children
Please don’t put families and friends at risk of Covid-19
We’re putting the people we love the most at the greatest risk by flouting the rules and spreading the virus - that’s the stark message as Covid-19 cases rise in Carmarthenshire.
The county is now experiencing the highest number of positive cases since the pandemic began with the daily rate of infections now a serious concern.
Freelancer Fund - phase 3
Phase three of the Freelancer Fund will open for applications on Monday, November 23, 2020.
The purpose of the grant is to support freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors facing financial challenges in the period from April 2020 - March 2021.
In this phase we will also look to support freelancers who work in events that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, including those working in weddings and corporate events, but not sport events.
The length of time phase three remains open across Wales will depend on the number of applications received across all local authorities.
Please review the criteria now to help prepare for the opening of the applications.
Share your views about temporary changes in town centres
People and businesses are being asked for their feedback on changes which have been made in Carmarthenshire’s three main towns as part of Covid-19 safety measures.
Self-isolation support payments
If you have been contacted by NHS Wales Test, Trace, protect service (TTP) and been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to financial support. If you're eligible, you can apply to receive a £500 payment if you have been told to self-isolate on or after 23 October 2020.
Reminder: Lockdown Business Fund
If you run a business that was impacted by the recent fire-break lockdown, there’s still time to apply for financial help. Applications for the Lockdown Business Fund close at 5pm on November 20 - please don’t miss out.
Let’s do our bit to help cases fall even further
Coronavirus cases in Carmarthenshire are starting to fall, showing promising signs that the fire-break restrictions have had the right effect.
Carmarthenshire County Council has welcomed the encouraging news but is appealing for everyone to stay on their guard and continue to limit their contacts to help the numbers fall even further and protect our most vulnerable.
The rate of infection for the county is now 129.8 per 100,000 of the population, down from 190.7 per 100,000 in the previous week*.
As businesses re-open following the fire-break and the autumn rugby internationals kick off tonight, council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said people should take hope from the decline but remain as vigilant as possible if they’re going out and about.
Additional £10 million is made available for arts and culture in Wales
Following high demand for funding support across the arts and cultural sectors a further £10.7 million will be made available to support organisations and individuals during the pandemic.
Education Minister announces Christmas travel plans for students
New COVID-19 lateral flow tests, designed to diagnose people without symptoms, will be provided to students who are planning to travel home for the holiday.
Universities across Wales will also end the majority of 'in person' lessons in the week ending 8 December, allowing anyone who tests positive for coronavirus to self-isolate before travelling home for the Christmas break.
Wales’ approach for qualifications in 2021 confirmed
Education Minister Kirsty Williams has confirmed Wales’ approach for qualifications in 2021 and her decision that there will be no end of year exams for learners taking GCSEs, AS levels or A levels.
The Minister outlined:
- that in place of exams, the Welsh Government intended to work with schools and colleges to take forward teacher-managed assessments
- that this should include assessments that will be externally set and marked but delivered within a classroom environment under teacher supervision
- her expectation this work will form the basis for centre-based outcomes which will be linked to an agreed national approach to provide consistency across Wales
New coronavirus regulations
A new set of national measures will come into force today, replacing the firebreak regime. But people’s actions will be more important in controlling the spread of the virus than rules and regulations in the weeks and months ahead.
The First Minister is urging everyone to reduce the number of people they see and the time they spend with them to help reduce their risk of catching and passing on the virus.
It’s down to us to make a difference
With a new set of national Covid-19 regulations coming into force on Monday, people in Carmarthenshire are being asked to think about what they can do to help stop the spread of the virus.
Cases in the county are still rising but Carmarthenshire County Council hopes people will make a difference by continuing to limit their contact with other people and staying at home.
The cases currently stand at 184.9 per 100,000 of the population - up from 139.9 in the previous week*.
With just a few days before the fire-break is lifted and new regulations coming in, Leader of the Council Cllr Emlyn Dole is urging everyone to think of the steps they can take to protect themselves and others.
Stay safe this Bonfire Night
We are working with Mid and West Wales Fire Brigade and Dyfed-Powys Police to ensure everyone stays safe this bonfire night.
Covid-19 restrictions mean the autumn festivities will be impacted.
We understand that some people will want to have their own private firework display, and while we want people to enjoy themselves, we ask everyone to think how they can Keep Wales Safe this Bonfire Night and not spread coronavirus.
New national Covid measures for Wales
A new and simpler set of national rules will apply once the Wales-wide firebreak lockdown comes to an end at 00:01 on Monday November 9.
People and not rules are at the heart of Wales’ response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said today as he sets out the new post-firebreak measures in Wales.
Public transport during the fire-break
There will be reductions or withdrawals to services operated by First Cymru and New Adventure Travel. Please check timetables with the bus company. Public transport is only being provided to allow you to make essential journeys – please do not travel unless you need to.
Welsh Government Education update following the First Minister’s press conference
For learners, in schools and in further education colleges there will be an opportunity to sit core GCSEs in English Language, Mathematics, Mathematics-Numeracy and Welsh Language in November 2020 as planned. Other qualifications will be available in January 2021 and as part of the summer 2021 series.
This is so that those learners due to take GCSEs will be able to continue with their education with the minimum possible disruption, under the circumstances. This also applies to learners due to sit their university entrance exams. More information on the website.
Further operational guidance to support centres (i.e. schools and colleges) on the safe running of the exam series will be published on Monday.
As the First Minister said today, keeping schools open is a top priority for the Welsh Government and we’ll do everything we can to maximise education and minimise disruption.
However, we face some incredibly difficult decisions to bring the virus under control - ministers will meet over the weekend to discuss a fire-break.
As always, I will update you about matters involving education.