Wales announces ‘fire break’ lockdown with all pubs and shops shut from Friday

19 October 2020, 12:38 | Updated: 19 October 2020, 13:52

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Wales will be going into a strict national 'fire break' lockdown in a bid to reduce the strain on the NHS.

The Welsh government has confirmed a two-week ‘fire break’ lockdown later this week, with all pubs and shops forced to close.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the measures today as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the UK.

The rules will be in place from 6pm this Friday, until November 9.

He explained this 'time limited fire break' as a 'short sharp shock to turn back the clock and slow down the virus.'

Mr Drakeford said: "Everyone in wales will be required to stay at home, which means working from home with the only exceptions for critical workers and for those where working from home is not possible.

Wales will go into a circuit breaker lockdown over the half term holidays
Wales will go into a circuit breaker lockdown over the half term holidays. Picture: BBC

All non essential retail, leisure centres and hospitality will also close, just as they had to in March.

Read More: Pub curfew should be moved forward to 6pm 'or even earlier', claims government health chief

Community centres and libraries will also shut their doors, while places of workshop will only open for funerals and weddings.

Primary schools and special schools will open again after the one week half term on November 2.

As for secondary schools, only children in years 7 and 8 will return after one week, as well as those student who have exams.

However, all other years will learn from home for an extra week until November, 9, while university students will also continue home learning.

There will be no gatherings with people in different households indoors or outdoors, excluding single people households who have formed 'social bubbles'.

This comes after there were almost 1,000 new coronavirus cases in Wales last week, with hospital admissions up 40%.

In England, the UK government has chosen to bring in a ‘three tier’ system, with areas such as Liverpool and Lancashire going into full lockdown where the highest rates of infections are being seen.

Northern Ireland was the first UK country to impose a time-limited set of restrictions to try and get on top of the coronavirus, with closures of schools, pubs and restaurants for two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has also imposed blanket lockdown rules, with all pubs and restaurants across central Scotland closed.

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