Posted: Wed 30th Sep 2020

Flintshire Council Leader: “No option but to support a pre-emptive strike on virus with local lockdown

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 30th, 2020

The leader of Flintshire council has said they had ‘no option’ but to support a local lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus in the region.

First minister Mark Drakeford, health minister Vaughan Gething and minister for north Wales Ken Skates met with north Wales local authority leaders, the police, the NHS and public health experts on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the rise of coronavirus infections in parts of north Wales.

“After extensive discussions and taking into account the local incident management teams, it was agreed by everyone in that meeting that urgent action is needed now to control the spread of the virus in north Wales and to protect people’s health.” The health minister told members of the Welsh parliament yesterday.

Mr Gething went on to announce local restriction measures will be put in place in Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire, and Conwy from 6.00 p.m. on Thursday.

Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council said “we have had no option but to support a pre-emptive ‘strike’ on the transmission of the virus.”

“Our local incidence rate of the growth of the virus has doubled over the past two weeks. It is expected to continue to rise.

Unless we take local action then the situation might spiral out of control.”

“We really do understand that this means that everyone has to make sacrifices.

We appeal to everyone to be responsible and follow the local restrictions.”

Cllr Roberts also said the council will contuine to push the Welsh government for more support for local bsuinesses affcted by the new local lockdown measures.

“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.”

On the use of the term “local lockdown”, Flintshire council’s Chief Executive said earlier this week there needs to be an important distinction between the new measures coming into force and the previous UK wide lockdown.

Colin Everett said: “It’s quite important we use that term ”Health Protection Zones” rather than “Lockdown” which is a “free and easy” term.

A Health Protection Zone “is not like the lockdown we knew a few months ago and this is where one of the confusions comes from.”

A Health Protection Zone “curtails travel outside of the county for non-essential reasons unless there is reasonable excuses called purposes” the Health Protection Zone also “prevents social gatherings indoors in private places like housing.”

“Other than that, the economy and towns still function in a way they didn’t under the previous lockdown.”

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.

You can view a full guide here on the Welsh Government Q&A

 

 

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