Four North Wales councils, the Welsh Government and other key partners have agreed to support extra restrictions to help fight coronavirus in the region.
As of Thursday at 6pm, extra restrictions will be introduced in the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. The restrictions will mean that residents will not be able to travel out of the county in which they live without a valid reason.
By taking early action, partners hope they can slow the upward trend in cases over the past week or so – helping to protect local people from the virus, as well as businesses from more radical lockdown measures further down the line.
The two other North Wales councils – Anglesey and Gwynedd – have lower rates of coronavirus at the moment, but will continue to monitor the situation.
Councillor Sam Rowlands, Leader of Conwy County Borough Council says:
“We all know the figures are going up, so taking early action to control the spread of the virus and to protect people’s health is crucial. By supporting extra measures now, we have a better chance of reversing the trend, keeping people safe.”
Councillor Hugh Evans, OBE Leader of Denbighshire County Council adds:
“It makes sense for Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham to act together given the rise in cases. However, it is important to stress that the restrictions will mean that residents will not be able to travel freely between the counties unless they have a valid reason.”
What do the restrictions mean?
The restrictions, which come into effect from 6pm on Thursday, will mean that:
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the county in which they live (Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham) without a reasonable excuse such as travel for work or education.
- People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households (sometimes called a “bubble”).
Residents are also asked to remember to stick to existing guidance, which includes:
- Staying at home if you have Coronavirus symptoms and request a test immediately.
- Working from home wherever you can.
- Avoiding car-sharing.
- Those over 11 must wear a face-mask in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
- Covering your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough.
- Keeping your hands clean.
- Hospitality businesses in Wales have to close by 10pm, with table service only, and off-licences and supermarkets having to stop selling alcohol from 10pm.
Getting the balance right
Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council says:
“We know many businesses will be worried about further restrictions, but by taking these measures now, we hope we can protect them from the need for tighter restrictions in the future. We will continue to work in partnership and lobby Welsh Government for additional support for businesses affected as a result of these stricter regulations.”
Councillor Mark Pritchard Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council concludes: “It’s a balance between people’s health and the economy, and we have to do everything we can to get it right.
“These measures will be kept under constant review as we look to control the spread of the virus in the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.”
Full details about the restrictions, including frequently asked questions, will be available on https://gov.wales/local-lockdown as soon as possible.
Acting early to protect residents and the economy
Councillor Pritchard adds:
“In Wrexham we acted early to put in place community testing to protect residents when we had outbreaks at Rowan Foods on Wrexham Industrial Estate, and at the Maelor Hospital. Given that all the scientific analysis and figures now show that the virus is spreading in communities across North Wales, we’re all disappointed, but it is right to act early to protect residents and the local economy.
“We’re all aware that this virus takes lives, so can I ask once again that we all work together to keep Wrexham safe.
“These restrictions are not a full scale lockdown of businesses and the hospitality sector – they do enable businesses to continue to operate. By acting early we are protecting people’s lives and supporting the local economy. If we didn’t act now we would see more cases and potentially more severe restrictions and greater lockdowns of local businesses.
“Once again, thank you to everyone in Wrexham for their continued support in these extremely challenging times. The way that all communities in Wrexham are working together is something we should all be proud of.”DOWNLOAD THE NHS APP