Lee Waters on Wales’ firebreak lockdown

LAST Friday Wales entered a firebreak lockdown which will last until Monday 9th November.

Nobody wants these measures in their lives. I’m just as fed up as everyone else is.

To make this short sharp firebreak effective, we had to introduce the toughest restrictions on our lives since March.

To recap, you must stay home and you must not meet anyone outside your household in an indoor or outdoor setting.

There are limited exceptions like visiting someone on compassionate grounds, going to work if you can’t from home, accessing medical care, and essential shopping. Full guidance can be found on gov.wales, or by ringing the Hwb on 01267 234567.

The purpose of this time-limited lockdown is to reset the clock on coronavirus. This is needed not only to save lives now, but to prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed, which would inadvertently put more lives at risk down the line.

What worries me about the modelling we get from the scientists is that we are already tracking the reasonable worst case scenario for the winter – which could mean more than 10,000 hospitalisations in Wales. Nobody wants that to happen, which is why we’ve decided to act now.

There are no easy routes we can take this winter. The Welsh Government has put £300 million aside to support businesses and people affected by restrictions, but there is no single or perfect measure that will prevent harm. The question is do we slow the virus now, or do we intervene when it has overrun us again?

These are not unthinking or uncaring choices, but they are necessary choices all the same. That’s the painful reality we face, and it’s why we’ve got to come together.

Following the end of the firebreak, a new set of simple national rules will be introduced that will help keep the virus in check across all parts of Wales.

I know morale is low at the moment, but we can be genuinely hopeful that several vaccines are in late development. A vaccine wouldn’t be a silver bullet – it would in all likelihood be like an annual flu jab – but it does offer a route out of this nightmare.

If I can be of any help to you in this difficult period, please get in touch.

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