Wales confirms ‘firebreak’ lockdown as country ordered to stay home for two weeks

Published: 19 October 2020, 4:47 PM

Post Desk : Wales has confirmed a two-week “firebreak” lockdown.

The Welsh Government will introduce the shutdown in Wales from 6pm on Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

He said the move needed to be “short and sharp” to curb the rising rates of coronavirus. He said the measure was necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus and prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home, working from home wherever is possible.

The only exception will be critical workers and those who can not work from home.

All retail, luxury and tourism businesses will close, as will libraries and recycling centres. Places of worship will be closed, except when being used for funerals and weddings.

However, child care will stay open – as will primary and specialist schools. Secondary school pupils in years 7 and 8 will attend school, as will those sitting exams.

Although, the exception for social bubbles will remain.

Mr Drakeford said that an extra economic resilience fund of £300m has been created to fund the restrictions.

He confirmed the “firebreaker” will end on November 9 but warned the benefits of it would not be seen within the lockdown period.

“The benefit will be seen in the weeks that follow,” Mr Drakeford said.

Under the lockdown, people must stay at home except for limited purposes such as for exercise and must work from home wherever possible.

They are not allowed to visit other households or meet people they do not live with, with no gathering allowed outdoors including Halloween or fireworks and Bonfire Night events.

All non-food retail and hospitality businesses, including cafes, restaurants and pubs – unless they provide take-away or delivery services – must close.

Close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians, and events and tourism businesses such as hotels, must also shut.

Local parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain open.

The Welsh Government said a new set of national rules would then be introduced following the lockdown period.

They will cover how people can meet as well as how the public sector and businesses operate.