SWANSEA is to go into a local lockdown from 6pm on Sunday to protect our communities’ health and control the spread of the virus.
It means new measures are being introduced to control the spread of the virus. They will stay in place for at least a fortnight.
Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: “We have seen a rapid and sharp increase in the number of Covid cases in Swansea during the past few weeks.
“So like much of the population of Wales we are now in a lockdown. This will mean changes to people’s everyday lives but they will help to protect people and our communities.”
He added: “Everyone must follow the new rules which will be in place from 6pm Sunday. They will be backed up by enforcement measures by the council and the police.
“I’m urging everyone not to use this weekend to have one last blow out before Sunday. We should act now and be sensible, not be irresponsible and selfish.
“Supermarkets and other food suppliers are not affected by the local lockdown so there is no need to be concerned about stocks running low or panic-buy.”
There are already a number of Wales-wide measures in place, but the new measures relating to Swansea are:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave Swansea 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 known as ‘bubbles’). This means meeting indoors (in people’s houses, in a pub or elsewhere) with anyone you don’t live with is not allowed at the moment unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person.
All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.
Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor places, which are open to the public, such as shops, as well as on public transport – as is the case in the rest of Wales. (There are some limited exemptions for people with disabilities and medical conditions – these are the same as for public transport).
The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Swansea and further localised measures may be introduced over the weekend.
The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to people meeting indoors and not following social distancing guidelines.
They will be kept under regular review over time but if cases do not fall, the Welsh Government, working with the council and Public Health Wales, will consider further measures.
Dr Keith Reid, Executive Director for Public Health for the Swansea Bay area, said: “How long Swansea stays in local lockdown is entirely up to the people of Swansea. You have it in your gift to end this lockdown as early as possible and save lives.
“Stick closely to the rules and stop this virus from spreading further. If people ignore the rules, then the consequences are clear. Cases will continue to rise and we will see more and more people in our hospitals who are sick and dying.
“Keep a safe distance from others, wash your hands and use alcohol rub, wear face-coverings when required. Remember that if you go to a pub or restaurant you can only be with the people you live with. You must not meet or mingle with anyone else – remember there is no longer an extended household, so not even these people.
“If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change of smell or tastes, you must stay home. Then call 01639 862757 to arrange a local test. Only leave your home for the test and go straight back and wait for your test result.
“Please do all you can to stop this virus. If we all pull together we can slow the rate of infection back down sooner rather than later.”
Cllr Stewart added: “There are still too many incidents with people not abiding by the rules on social distancing, mask wearing and large gatherings.
“We need the help of everyone across Swansea to prevent the increasing and onward spread of coronavirus. We need to bring the infection rates back down so that we can remove some of the restriction being put in place. It’s in all our interests to do that.
“If we can bring coronavirus under control then there is more chance of us returning to a more normal way of life sooner rather than later’
“Coronavirus has not gone away. It is still circulating in communities across Wales. Its vital people stick to the rules, They are there to protect you, your family and loved ones, and everyone in our community.”
Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Rob Jones said: “While infection rates in Neath Port Talbot aren’t yet at the same level as in Swansea they are increasing and if this continues, then it is inevitable that local restrictions for our county borough will follow.
“This situation requires immediate action from each and every one of us in Neath Port Talbot. I cannot stress enough how important it is that we all follow the guidance to keep our families, friends, colleagues and communities safe.”
To Keep Wales safe:
Always observe social distancing
Wash your hands regularly
If you meet another household, outside your extended household, stay outdoors
Work from home if you can
Stay at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms