First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford said the introduction of a new lockdown would deliver a “short, sharp shock”
Wales is imposing a “firebreak” lockdown for 17 days from 6pm on Friday, the Welsh government has announced.
The new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will take Wales back to the same restrictions that were introduced back in March, with most businesses in the country shutting down, and people being told to stay at home and to work from home if possible.
This comes after a four-week “circuit breaker” style lockdown will come into force throughout Northern Ireland on Friday in an attempt to stall the rise in coronavirus infections.
First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford has said that the introduction of a new coronavirus lockdown in the country would deliver a “short, sharp shock”.
“It will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need,” he told reporters in the city of Cardiff.
“Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home. All non-essential businesses will have to close.”
The new measures for Wales include:
- Non-essential retail businesses, as well as leisure and hospitality are to close
- People told to work from home wherever possible, with exceptions for critical workers
- Household mixing banned both indoors and outdoors, although those in social bubbles will still be able to meet
- Primary schools open after the half-term week and secondary schools will open only to Year 7 and Year 8 pupils
- Places of worship to be closed except for weddings and funerals
- The circuit break will last until Monday 9 November
Mr Drakeford said without the new measures, the NHS will not be able to cope and “even more people will die”.
“There are no easy choices in front of us as the virus spreads rapidly in every part of Wales,”
Small, as well as medium-sized retail, leisure and hospitality businesses that will be forced to shut their doors will be receiving a one-off payment of up to £5,000 from the government.
Mixing between households in the country will not be permitted both indoors and outdoors, although those within social bubbles will however still be able to meet.
This comes after London is dealing with Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions since Saturday, with the capital’s mayor warning that the coronavirus is “spreading rapidly in every corner of our city”. It means millions in the capital will be banned from meeting people from other households indoors, whether that’s in their home or in a pub.
Primary schools in the nation will open following the half-term week, with secondary schools being open only for Year 7 and Year 8 students, while university students will have to remain within their university accommodation.
Places of worship will be closed with exemptions for for weddings and funerals. Community centres in Wales, as well as libraries and recycling centres will also be forced to close.
“There will be no gatherings with people you do not live with either indoors or outdoors during this two-week period,” Mr Drakeford said.
“There will continue to be an exception for adults living alone and single parents will continue to be able to join with one household for support.”