Posted: Fri 23rd Oct 2020

Wales set to enter two week ‘fire-break’ lockdown from 6pm today in bid to ‘help regain control of coronavirus’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 23rd, 2020

A two week fire-break requiring people to once again stay at home will come into place this evening.

From 6pm on Froday until Monday 9th November all non-essential retail, hospitality and tourism will close; and where possible people will be asked to work from home and to not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with either indoors and outdoors.

There are exceptions for single parents and people who live alone who are allowed to bubble up with one other household

No gatherings will be allowed outdoors, such as Halloween or fireworks/Bonfire night or other organised activities and community centres, libraries and recycling centres will be required to close.

However unlike the initial lockdown primary schools will return after half-term and childcare facilities can remain open.

Only years 7 and 8 – and pupils sitting exams – will return to school for the second week of the fire-break. Years 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 will stay at home and use remote learning.

The following key local services and facilities in Flintshire will continue or remain OPEN:

  • Council housing services, including essential repairs and maintenance
  • Recycling and waste collections (including garden waste)
  • Bulky waste collections
  • All open spaces, including parks and children’s play areas
  • Council operated public conveniences
  • Flintshire Connects: Flint and Holywell
  • Grounds maintenance operations
  • Highways maintenance
  • Highway winter maintenance operations
  • Register Office for births, deaths, marriage and civil partnership ceremonies
  • Funerals and weddings (further information: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questions#section-53267))
  • Cemeteries

The following key local facilities in Flintshire will be CLOSED:

  • Household Recycling Centres
  • Flintshire Connects: Buckley, Connah’s Quay, and Mold
  • Community Centres (except where Childcare is provided)
  • Libraries and indoor leisure (further information: https://aura.wales)
  • Flintshire Record Office

Following the end of the fire-break, it is expected new set of national rules will be introduced, covering how people can meet and how the public sector and businesses operate.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has issued the following message to the people of Wales on the matter:

Coronavirus has well and truly woken up for the winter.

We face a very serious situation in Wales – if we do not take any action, more people will become seriously ill and there is a very real risk our NHS could be overwhelmed.

If that happens more people will die this winter.

The very clear medical and scientific advice we have had is that we need to act now and we need to act differently.

We will be introducing a “fire-break” – also known as a circuit-breaker – which will start at 6pm and end on Monday 9 November.

Once again I am asking for everyone’s help. The actions we need to take to bring coronavirus under control will affect everyone in Wales. They need to be sharp to have a maximum impact on the virus.

Everyone must stay at home. People will also need to work from home wherever possible. All non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will have to close and people will not be able to visit other people’s homes or meet each other outdoors. This year, there will be no organised fireworks displays, Halloween or bonfire parties.

There are no easy options to tackle coronavirus – this was a difficult decision to make. If we don’t act now, we will see further increases in cases and it will be harder to make a difference. It could mean more extreme restrictions are needed.

The “fire-break” is intended to be a short, sharp shock to the virus. It will last for the shortest time we can make it, but it also means it has to be sharp and deep to have an impact.

I know this fortnight will be a challenge for many at an already difficult time. We are all tired of coronavirus and the impact it has on our daily lives.

There will be a £300m package of support available for those businesses affected by the fire-break and I would urge anyone struggling over the coming weeks to reach out for support – from family, friends or from mental health support services. You can get help from NHS 111 online or contact our CALL mental health support line on 0800 132 737.

I’ve been so inspired by the efforts communities across Wales have made during this difficult time.

This is the moment to come together; to play our part in a common endeavour to once again protect the NHS and save lives.

You can view the Technical Advisory Cell document that has been referred to as giving the scientific evidence via this article.

Welsh Government have created a big Frequently Asked Question and Answer page on their site – covering a range of common questions (and answers) over the forthcoming ‘firebreak’ lockdown – you can view that here.

Businesses or services whose premises must be closed during the two week fire-break:

Any business selling goods or services for sale or hire in a shop, including—

  • homeware stores;
  • nail and beauty salons;
  • establishments providing tanning services, massage services, body piercings, tattooing, electrolysis or acupuncture;
  • auction houses;
  • car dealerships;
  • markets;
  • betting shops;
  • Hair salons and barbers;
  • garden centres and plant nurseries.
  • Shopping centres and shopping arcades.
  • Cinemas.
  • Theatres.
  • Nightclubs, discotheques, dance halls or other venues where live or recorded music is provided for members of the public or members of the venue to dance.
  • Sexual entertainment venues (within the meaning given by paragraph 2A of Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982(1)).
  • Bingo halls.
  • Concert halls.
  • Casinos.
  • Skating rinks.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Leisure centres and leisure facilities including indoor fitness studios, gyms and spas. (1) 1982 c.
  • Sports courts, skate parks, bowling greens, golf courses and enclosed sports grounds or pitches (whether outdoors or indoors).
  • Bowling alleys, amusement arcades and indoor play areas
  • Museums, galleries and archive services.
  • Funfairs, amusements parks and theme parks.
  • Visitor attractions and holiday, leisure activity or events businesses.
  • Recycling centres.
  • Libraries.
  • Estate or letting agents, developer sales offices and show homes.
  • Venues for events or conferences (including venues for weddings other than places of worship and registry offices).

Business or services whose premises must be closed but to which limited access is allowed 

  • Premises selling food and drink for consumption on the premises
  • Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in members’ clubs and on the premises of businesses listed in Chapter 2 of this Part.[Hotels and holiday accommodation]
  •  Cafés, including workplace canteens and cafés on the premises of businesses listed in Chapter 2 of this Part.
  • Bars, including bars in members’ clubs and on the premises of businesses listed in Chapter 2 of this Part.
  • Public houses.

CHAPTER 2

  • Hotels and holiday accommodation
  • Holiday sites.
  • Camping sites.
  • Hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation.
  • Other holiday accommodation (including holiday apartments, hostels and boarding houses).
  • Places of worship.
  • Community centres.
  • Crematoriums.

Businesses and services whose premises may be open

  • Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corner shops and establishments selling food or drink for consumption off the premises (including premises authorised for the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises).
  • Cafés and canteens at a hospital, care home, school or within accommodation provided for students.
  • Canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence.
  • Hospital libraries and libraries at educational establishments.
  • Newsagents.
  • Building supplies and hardware stores.
  • Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists.
  • Bicycle shops.
  • Petrol stations.
  • Car repair and MOT services.
  • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers.
  • Post offices.
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
  • Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical Certified copy from legislation.gov.uk Publishing 39 or health services, including services relating to mental health.
  • Veterinary surgeons and pet shops.
  • Agricultural or aquacultural supplies shops.
  • Livestock markets or auctions.
  • Funeral directors.

 

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