Hope on the horizon, but more to be done

363 days ago

There is now hope of better times ahead, says the Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council as Covid-19 cases continue to fall.

Today, the Welsh Government has announced that lockdown will continue with alert level four restrictions remaining in place for another three weeks, in attempt to drive cases down even further.

At the moment, the rate of infection in Carmarthenshire stands at 187 per 100,000 of the population (correct as at 9am 28/01/21) - slightly higher than the all-Wales average.

The vaccination programme is also gathering pace, with 17,677 people in the priority groups called receiving their first dose of the vaccine - that’s 9.4 per cent of Carmarthenshire’s population (correct as of 28/01/21).

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council, said that hope is now shining brightly on the horizon, but echoed calls for people to continue adhering to the rules.

“It’s very encouraging to see an improving picture in Carmarthenshire, but it’s clear that more needs to be done,” he said. “There are too many families across the county still affected by Covid-19 - those that have lost people they love, those that are fighting for their health, and those that are missing their friends and family.
“By working together as a collective effort, we are making a difference. Please continue doing everything possible to protect each other - please stay at home and only venture out if it is essential.”

The First Minister, Prof Mark Drakeford, today also outlined plans to help children return to the classroom.

Should the public health situation continue to improve, primary school children could return to school after the half term, from February 22. Students studying vocational qualifications will also be among those prioritised for the phased return to colleges.

He also announced two small changes to the current alert level four restrictions, which will come into effect on Saturday, January 30, 2021:

  • A maximum of two people from different households will be able to exercise outdoors together, as long as they maintain social distancing. This must involve exercise starting from and finishing from home – driving for exercise to beauty spots should still not take place.
  • If a support bubble arrangement has broken down, a new one can be formed as long as there is gap of 10 days before doing so.

Welsh Government has also announced a new £200million package of support for non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses to help firms with operational costs.

Businesses with a rateable value of up to £500,000 will receive support payments of between £3,000 and £5,000.

In alert level four lockdown, everyone must:

  • Stay at home.
  • Work from home if they can.
  • Keep a 2m distance from others.
  • Wear a face covering in all indoor public places.
  • Not meet anyone not in your immediate household or support bubble.

 

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