Last week, Welsh Government announced a new set of rules would come into force across Wales from December 28.
However, a new variant of coronavirus that is significantly more infectious and spreads more quickly than the original one is contributing to the current increase in cases across the UK, including North Wales.
As a result, the Alert Level 4 restrictions due to come in on December 28, came into force at midnight last night (December 19).
While this is serious, Public Health Wales says that it’s normal for viruses to mutate in this way, and that although the variant is easier to transmit, there’s currently no evidence that it’s more severe.
At the same time, vaccination will continue to offer protection, so it’s important to remain calm and look to the future with hope and optimism.
What do you need to do?
As of midnight last night (December 19) you should stay at home and limit the number of people you have contact with.
This means you should:
- Only mix with people in your own household.
- Not meet up with other households (this applies to both indoors and outdoors).
- Only travel for essential purposes, such as work, health reasons or caring duties.
Take a look at the Welsh Government website for more info.
What will close in Wrexham?
The following facilities are closed, starting from midnight last night (December 19):
- Non-essential retail premises/shops.
- The General Market.
- The Monday Market on Queens Square.
- Tŷ Pawb car park and building.
- Hospitality and entertainment venues.
- Visitor attractions, including Wrexham Museum.
- Libraries, except for order and collect.
- Leisure and fitness centres, including Wrexham Waterworld and other Freedom Leisure venues, sports courts and golf courses.
- Venues for wedding receptions and wakes.
The council will focus on providing critical services (e.g. highways maintenance) and therefore some other services will be paused.
What will stay open?
The following things will stay open:
- Council-managed parks, country parks and playgrounds.
- Childcare provision.
- Places of worship.
- Wrexham Crematorium (with restrictions for attending services) and cemeteries.
- The register office at the Guildhall for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, as well as births registrations.
- The Butchers Market for food retailers.
- Cafes at Plas Pentwyn and Llay Resource Centres for take-away services only.
- Outdoor work on council housing, and indoor repairs for tenants if it’s an emergency.
- All three recycling centres at Bryn Lane, Brymbo and Plas Madoc are planning to remain open, but we’re awaiting final guidance from Welsh Government, which is expected soon. The Brymbo site is by appointment only.
Christmas bubbles now limited to Christmas Day
The rules to allow two households to come together to form a Christmas bubble will now only apply on Christmas Day (instead of the five-day period originally planned).
And it’s still important to remember that the risk of catching or spreading the virus increases whenever we come together, especially with the new variant, so please think carefully before deciding to ‘bubble up.’
A smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas.
Useful sources of information
- Welsh Government infographic on Alert Level 4 restrictions
- Welsh Government website – Alert Level 4 restrictions FAQs
- Public Health Wales website – daily statement