Wales To Enter A Two-Week 'Fire Break' Lockdown On Friday

Wales To Enter A Two-Week 'Fire Break' Lockdown On Friday”

Wales will enter a two-week "firebreak" lockdown on Friday evening, First Minister Mark Drakeford said Monday. Exercise will also be permitted.

All non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses will close "just as they had to during the March lockdown".

Mr Drakeford said the lockdown would be a "short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and give us more time".

That means vehicle dealers will have to close their doors having reopened them on June 22.

Households can not mix and places of worship will shut except for funerals or weddings.

Despite the lockdown, vehicle drivers still need valid MOTs on their cars and if a car's MOT is due during the two-week period it can be tested.

At this stage, it is unclear at what level of business vehicle dealers will be able to operate, for example click and collect services.

Mark Drakeford made the announcement on Monday.

Primary schools will reopen after the half term break - which ends part way through the local down - but only years seven and eight in Welsh secondary schools will return at that time.

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"Testing for health and social care staff has to be accessible and results need to be immediate to ensure nursing staff are able to help and care for the people of Wales".

Libraries and community centres will be closed, while places of worship will be open for funeral and wedding ceremonies only.

Mr Johnson has threatened to put the area into tier three - the highest level of restrictions forcing pubs and bars to close and banning different households from mixing indoors - against the will of local leaders if agreement is not possible.

Announcing the new measures, Drakeford revealed that there will be a £300 million economic resilience fund to support businesses during the lockdown period.

Every business covered by the small business rate relief will receive a £1,000 payment.

In addition, businesses forced to shut will be able to access the support available through the existing United Kingdom government Job Retention Scheme or the new expanded Job Support Scheme.

Discussions between Greater Manchester and the government appear to have reached a stalemate after councillors and MPs from across the county urged the government to provide additional financial support for those businesses forced to close and the workers on furlough.

Meanwhile, police in Gwent, south-east Wales, said they stopped people hundreds of people suspected of breaking the Welsh government's travel ban over the weekend.

The First Minister met with the Welsh Cabinet this morning to come to a "final decision" on the country's coronavirus measures, after considering advice from experts.

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