Covid-19 briefing note

From tomorrow (Saturday, March 27), people in Wales will no longer be asked to ‘stay local.’

Instead, they’ll be allowed to travel anywhere in Wales.

However, non-essential travel in or out of Wales still won’t be permitted (so you shouldn’t cross the Welsh-English border for non-essential reasons like leisure).

Welsh Government has confirmed the changes as part of the gradual easing of restrictions after nearly three months of lockdown.

As always, common sense will be needed…so please avoid crowded places, take things slowly, and stay in Wales.

The stay local rule has been lifted in Wales.

Other changes

Other changes confirmed by Welsh Government include:

Saturday, March 27

  • Self-contained tourism accommodation can re-open (although owners should only take holidays bookings from people living in Wales for the moment).
  • Six people (instead of just four) from two households can meet outside to socialise, including in gardens.
  • Organised activities and outdoor sports for under-18s can start again.

Monday, April 12 (previously confirmed)

  • All shops will be able to reopen (the same date as shops in England).
  • All pupils (both primary and secondary) will be back in school.

Coronavirus levels where you live

Wrexham as a whole is now thirteenth in Wales, with 29.4 cases per 100k population on a seven-day rolling basis.

Only one area has more than 100 cases per 100k:

  • Hermitage and Whitegate – 114 per 100k.

If you want to check the figures where you live, visit the Public Health Wales data dashboard and click on the ‘MSOA’ tab.

Vaccination update

This week the local health board – with support from GPs – will pass the milestones of providing 300,000 first doses and 400,000 total vaccinations in North Wales.

Over the past few days, the focus has remained on vaccinating the following groups:

  • People aged 65-69 years (Priority Group 5)
  • People aged 16-64 years with underlying health conditions (Priority Group 6)
  • People aged 60-64 years (Priority Group 7)
  • Second doses to those who received their first vaccination up to 12 weeks ago.

Supply interruptions…but still on course

Delay to the UK’s vaccine supply means health boards will receive less doses than originally planned for from early April.

This means first doses for people in Priority Groups 6-9 may be later than anticipated, but appointments for second doses will be unaffected.

If you’re in Priority Groups 6-9 and you haven’t been called yet, please don’t contact your GP or the Vaccination Contact Centre.

You’ll be contacted when it’s your turn, and it won’t be much longer now.

Despite the interruption to supplies, North Wales is still on course to meet the target of offering a first dose to Priority Groups 1-9 by April 19, and to the rest of the population by the end of July (subject to no further interruption).

You can read more about the vaccination programme in North Wales on the local NHS health board website.

New text message appointment service

This week the health board has started sending out a new text message invite for vaccination appointments that’s slightly different to previous messages.

The new text will include your appointment details and you’ll be able to respond directly if you can’t make the appointment.

As well as a text message, you’ll also receive a letter by post containing details of your appointment. Please let the health board know if you can’t attend.

And remember…vaccination is free. You’ll never be asked for copies of your personal documents or bank details.

Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective

Please be assured that the Covid-19 vaccines currently licensed for use are safe and effective.

The results from a US trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine show that it’s 79% effective at stopping symptomatic Covid-19 disease and 100% effective at preventing people from falling seriously ill.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), World Health Organisation (WHO), Public Health Wales and Wales’ Chief Medical Officer Frank Atherton have all confirmed its safety.

If you have symptoms…

If you have coronavirus symptoms, make sure you self-isolate and get a test.

It could be the most important thing you ever do.

Read more on the Welsh Government website.

Useful sources of information