Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

39 days ago

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.

Read more

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

More information

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.

Read more

Guidance for students planning to return home at the end of term

Welsh Government has published guidance for students on going home safely at the end of term.

More information

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Find out if you're eligible

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.

Find out if your business is eligible and apply 

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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 for 14 days before travelling home for the Christmas break.

More information

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

Find out more

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.

Read more

New regulations - Frequently asked questions

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Two schemes to help people self-isolate to be introduced in Wales

People on low incomes can apply to receive a £500 payment if they have tested positive for coronavirus or they are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

And a new top-up payment is being introduced for the social care workforce in Wales, to increase statutory sick pay to their normal wages if they have to take time off because they have coronavirus or are self-isolating.

Up to £32m is being made available by the Welsh Government for the two schemes to support people and remove the financial barriers faced by people needing to self-isolate.

The final arrangements are being made for the scheme to go live, payments will be backdated to October 23. We will update the Newsroom as soon as we have details of the application process and guidance notes. In the meantime please note that there is no need to contact us.

Further information about the details of the schemes is available on the Welsh Government website.

An update from the Education Minister on qualifications in Wales

More information on the Welsh Government website.

£12.5m to support vulnerable families and children during pandemic

It will support a range of services for children and families whose lives have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

More information

Free school meals payments

Families with children in receipt of free school meals will receive £19.50 a week during school holidays, if your child has been instructed to stay at home by Welsh Government, or has been asked to self-isolate for 14 days. You need to register online to receive this payment. If you have already registered, you DO NOT need to complete a new form. However, if your bank details have changed or you have additional children in receipt of school meals you need to email us.

More information

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.

Economic Resilience Fund Business Development Grants

This fund is intended to support businesses in Wales with development projects to assist with recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and future sustainability.

The business development grants will be open to businesses of all sizes.

  • Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) will be able to apply for up to £10,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10%; For Tourism and Hospitality micro businesses and those micro businesses forced to close due to the short Fire Break lockdown there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100%;
  • SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) will be able to apply for up to £200,000. Small businesses (up to 50 employees) will be required to match this with their own investment of at least 10% and medium businesses (between 50 and 249 employees) with at least 20% of their own funding; For Tourism and Hospitality SME’s and those micro businesses forced to close due to the short Fire Break lockdown there will be discretion for grant awards of up to 100%;
  • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) will be able to apply for up to £200,000 on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.

If the project is creating new jobs for young people (under 25) you may be eligible for a higher level of award.

The grant fund will be open for applications on the 28 October 2020 and remain open until the 25 November or until funds are fully committed.

Use this tool to check your eligibility for the ERF Phase 3 Business Development Grant

Carmarthenshire sports clubs get cash boost

Sports Clubs in Carmarthenshire have had a welcome boost to help protect their sport during the Coronavirus pandemic. Nearly £62,000 has already been allocated to clubs within the county who have been struggling financially during lockdowns and to help them prepare for re-opening safely. The fund is still open and clubs who require support should contact the council’s Actif Communities Team.

 

Read More

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies during the fire-break

Between 6pm on Friday October 23 and 9am Monday November 9, attendance at ceremonies will be restricted to the couple plus four guests. This decision has been taken in line with advice from Welsh Government and the General Register Office, in order to meet fire-break regulations in Wales.

Couples who have ceremonies booked will be contacted by our registration services team.

Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships

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.

 

Open / Closed / Restrictions in place

Let’s pull together to make the fire-break work

People in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to work together to ensure the fire-break has the chance to break the chain of Covid-19 infections.

As the country heads into a two-week national lockdown, Carmarthenshire County Council said the restrictions put in place in Llanelli prove that people can make a difference.

Read more

Free school meals payments

If your child is entitled to free school meals, you will receive payment of £19.50 per child per week during the following:

School holidays
If you child is instructed by Welsh Government to stay at home for periods other than school holidays
If your child is instructed to self-isolate for 14 days because of a positive case of COVID-19 at their school

Details of how to access payments is currently being finalised following receipt of guidance from Welsh Government.

Every family with children entitled to free school meals will receive an email with more information followed by payment as soon as possible.

 

Public transport - buses

Following Welsh Government’s announcement requiring bus operators to revise their services during the Firebreak period, there are likely to be reductions or withdrawals to services. Operators are working on the details and passengers are advised to check with them if travelling. Please remember that during this period public transport will be provided to allow users to make essential journeys only – please do not travel unless you need to.

 

More info

New letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales to those who were previously shielding

Letters from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (CMO) to those who are extremely vulnerable and were previously shielding, are currently being issued. This letter contains the latest advice to people on how to best protect themselves.

More information

 

Walrus Dip

Pembrey Country Park’s annual Walrus Dip will not be held this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The decision is in line with Welsh Government guidance and increasing concerns about the spread of coronavirus linked to large gatherings.

 

Read More

Free school meals

Welsh Government has guaranteed free school meal provision for all school holidays up to and including Easter 2021.

This means families in receipt of free school meals will receive financial support over the October half-term holiday and the week following half-term for pupils in year 9 and above (as they will not be attending school due to the fire-break restrictions).

Families will be contacted over the coming days regarding any changes to the details previously supplied by them.

Payments will then be made as soon as possible, but families are being asked to please be patient as processing will take time.

The Lamb Inn, Blaenwaun

A closure notice has been served on the person responsible for the Lamb Inn, Blaenwaun, following a breach of coronavirus regulations, meaning the pub cannot re-open for at least 14 days.

Covid-19 fire-break

The First Minister has today announced that a new set of ‘fire-break’ measures will come into force at 6pm on Friday, (October 23) in efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

This will mean the return of many restrictions, which will impact on some of our services.

We are currently updating our website with relevant information - please bear with us, we will bring you up to date as soon as we can. In the meantime, please visit gov.wales for further information and frequently asked questions.

Freelancer Fund

Phase 2 of the Creative Freelancer Fund will open again tomorrow (Monday) at 10am. This is a grant to provide financial assistance to freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors that are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Welsh Government grant of £2,500 is available per individual and applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.

 

Read More 

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.

 

Wales to introduce travel restrictions

The Welsh Government is preparing urgent action to prevent people who live in areas with high coronavirus infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

Wales’ travel restrictions will apply to everyone living in areas of the UK where there are high levels of the virus. People, including students, will not be able travel to and from these areas without a reasonable excuse.

More information

Concerning rise of Covid-19 cases in Carmarthenshire

The health protection zone covering a large part of Llanelli is working well and helping bring down the number of positive Covid-19 cases, however concerns are increasing about the spread of Covid-19 elsewhere in Carmarthenshire.

Residents living in the zone are being thanked for their efforts and asked to keep up the good work for at least another week to help bring numbers down even further.

Carmarthenshire County Council, working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Welsh Government, is keeping the situation under constant review.

Discussions are also taking place to prepare for a potential ‘circuit breaker’ - a measure being considered by Welsh Government to stop the rapid spread of the virus across Wales.

It would mean a return of stronger national restrictions for two-three weeks. Welsh Government is due to announce its decision on Monday.

Read more

Use our postcode checker to find out if you live in the defined area where the local restrictions are in place.

Read our FAQs to find out what you can and cannot do.

Free School Meals announcement

The Welsh Government has guaranteed free school meal provision for all school holidays up to and including Easter 2021, thanks to £11m confirmed today by Education Minister Kirsty Williams.

Making the announcement ahead of the October half term through a video released on her Twitter channel, the Minister said she hoped the confirmation would provide ‘some reassurance in these times of uncertainty’.

We are putting plans in place and will be directly in touch with free school meals families in Carmarthenshire as soon as possible.

Read more

 

Carmarthenshire is at risk - please stick to the rules

People living in Carmarthenshire are being urged to follow Covid-19 rules to help prevent spread of the virus.

Community transmission of the virus is a real concern and despite just one part of the county in effective ‘lockdown’, people are being reminded that the whole of Carmarthenshire is on high alert.

Read more

Wales to introduce travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus

The Welsh Government is preparing urgent action to prevent people who live in areas with high coronavirus infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford today (October 14) confirmed.

Find out more

 

Update: Beach Hotel, Pendine

The closure notice has now been lifted and the premises has been allowed to re-open.

Advice for owners of holiday homes, caravans or boats in a restricted area

New advice has been issued for anyone who owns a holiday home, caravan or boat that is in a restricted area.

Owners are now permitted to visit such property to collect belongings and secure property for winter, but should remain at the location for the shortest period possible before returning straight home.

We have updated our frequently asked questions for the Llanelli area restrictions to reflect this change.

Local restrictions FAQs

Use our postcode checker to find out if you live in the defined area where the local restrictions are in place.

Read our FAQs to find out what you can and cannot do.

Freelancer fund - Phase 1 of applications is now closed

To provide enough time for freelancers to apply the fund has been split into two phases.  Phase 2 of the Freelancer Fund will open to applications from the 19th October 2020.  A grant of £2,500 is available per individual and applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. This may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted if the fund is fully committed.

Individuals can apply for the grant by accessing the Culture Recovery Fund Eligibility Checker on the Business Wales website. If eligible to apply you will be directed to the online application form.

If you require support with your application, Business Wales are accepting applications from D/deaf and/or disabled creative freelancers now up until Phase 2 closes.  Call the Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000 or Email FreelancerWCRF@gov.wales.  

For further information on this grant please read the Freelancer Fund guidance notes and FAQs.

Pupils’ experiences to inform recommendations for next year’s qualifications

A new survey has been launched to hear the views of learners, teachers and other stakeholders about the way GCSEs, A levels and vocational qualifications were assessed this summer and their thoughts about arrangements for 2021.

The survey is part of the Independent Review of the Summer 2020 Arrangements to award grades, which will also provide recommendations for how qualifications are assessed in 2021.

Take part in survey

Update: New Rolling Mill Llanelli

The closure notice has now been lifted and the premises has been allowed to re-open.

Premises closures

Closure notices have been served on two more licensed premises in Carmarthenshire for breaches of coronavirus regulations. The council has served 14-day closure notices on:

Santa Clara, St Clears
Beach Hotel, Pendine

Llanelli restrictions ‘helping control’ high Covid-19 cases

Today we have reviewed the local Covid-19 restrictions affecting people in a large part of Llanelli.

Positive cases in the ‘health protection zone’ are still three times higher than other parts of the county, but your actions appear to be making a difference.

Whilst the signs are encouraging, the restrictions need to remain in place for at least another week to ensure the spread of infection can continue to be controlled.

The situation will be reviewed weekly, with figures and decisions announced every Friday afternoon.

The rest of Carmarthenshire continues to be monitored and all residents are being asked to continue social distancing, washing hands, wearing a face covering indoors - and also outdoors where you can’t keep two metres apart - self-isolating and getting a test if you experience Covid-19 symptoms including a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of taste and smell.

 

Further information, including a full breakdown of updated figures

Use our postcode checker to find out if you live in the defined area where the local restrictions are in place.

Read our FAQs to find out what you can and cannot do.

Tenancy Saver Loan scheme

A new £8 million Welsh Government Tenancy Saver Loan scheme to help tenants struggling with rent arrears due to coronavirus has launched today (October 8 2020), Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James has announced.

First of its kind in the UK, the Tenancy Saver Loan scheme will be open to private rented sector tenants in rent arrears and those who may also struggle to pay future months’ rent as a result of coronavirus; it will be open until March 31 2021.

More information

Update October 5, 2020: The closure notices have now been lifted and the premises have been allowed to re-open

South Star, Llanelli

Felinfoel Rugby Club, Llanelli

Llangennech Rugby Social Club

Cross Keys, Glanamman

Llanelli COVID-19 drive-through testing centre

The Llanelli based COVID-19 drive-through testing centre will move from Parc y Scarlets Car Park B, to Dafen Yard, Heol Cropin, Dafen, from tomorrow morning (Tuesday, October 6 2020).
Tests will be carried out in the same way and booking remains through the UK-wide website or by phoning 119 between 7am and 11pm.
There should be no need for people to travel far as there is good capacity for testing in Llanelli and the nearby Carmarthen Showground.
The type of tests carried out on these sites is to find out if people with symptoms have COVID-19. Symptoms are – a new continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss/change to sense of smell or taste.

Read more

Use our postcode checker to find out if you live in the defined area where the local restrictions are in place.

Read our FAQs to find out what you can and cannot do.

Freelancer Fund

This is a grant to provide financial assistance to freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors that are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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. The grant seeks to complement other COVID-19 response measures to support organisations and businesses in Wales as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund.

More information

Situation updates prior to October 1, 2020

Situation updates prior to October 1, 2020, have now been archived. If you are looking for a particular update that has now been archived, please contact us.