Public urged to ‘pull together’ as local lockdown restrictions come into force across four North Wales counties tonight
Residents in four North Wales counties are being urged to “pull together” after it was announced that local lockdown measures are set to be introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
As of 6pm today (Thursday, October 1) extra restrictions will be brought in across Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy.
It will mean that residents will not be able to travel out of the county in which they live without a valid reason amid concerns over growing infection rates.
By taking early action, senior public figures said they were hoping to slow the upward trend in cases over the last few weeks in order to protect people from the virus.
They added businesses currently allowed to open could continue to do so, with work ongoing to prevent the need for more radical lockdown measures.
The two other North Wales council areas – Anglesey and Gwynedd – have lower rates of Covid-19 at the moment, but will continue to be monitored.
Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant said he was “disappointed” that the measures were required.
However, he encouraged people living in the areas affected to stick together and follow the rules.
The Labour politician said: “I know many of you will be as disappointed as I am that these steps have had to be taken.
“We must now all pull together and follow the guidelines laid out by the Welsh Government in order to bring down cases and help save lives.
“I am working to ensure we receive clarity on these new rules and I urge anyone who requires more information to get in touch, I will do my very best to get you the answers you need.
“This continues to be an incredibly difficult time for everyone. Please remember to stay safe, be kind and look after one another.”
The restrictions which come into effect from tomorrow will mean that:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave the county in which they live 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.
Unlike the original lockdown restrictions introduced in March, shops, restaurants, pubs and cinemas will all remain open.
However, residents are unable to visit businesses with anyone outside of their household.
Councillor Ian Roberts, leader of Flintshire Council said public bodies were working to ensure traders could stay open.
He said: “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.
“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.”
People are also asked to stick to existing guidance, which includes staying at home if you have coronavirus symptoms, working from home where possible, avoiding car-sharing and wearing face masks in indoor public spaces and on public transport.
Hospitality businesses will still have to close by 10pm, with table service only, and off-licences and supermarkets having to stop selling alcohol from 10pm.
Councillor Mark Pritchard, leader of Wrexham Council, said: “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, are available at gov.wales/local-lockdown
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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