what are the new rules as 'fire break' ends?


what are the new rules as ‘fire break’ ends?

“Early signs” of a drop in Welsh infection rates were reported by Health Minister Vaughan Gething on Friday, Nov 13.

The 17-day “fire break” lockdown designed to contain the latest spike in coronavirus cases ended on Monday and Welsh residents are now able to travel anywhere within Wales under new regulations.

The latest rules allow up to two households to form a support bubble and meet indoors or in gardens.

Minister Mark Drakeford urged people to be “careful and cautious,” but that didn’t stop people flocking to high street shops and enjoying a night out on the town.

A lack of social distancing was reported in Cardiff on Monday as the streets were too crowded. The local Ikea struggled to control huge crowds of people pushing and queuing to get new furniture, resulting in chaos.

At a briefing on Friday, Nov 13, the Welsh Government asked people to maintain social distancing and to stop booking multiple tables in pubs and then pushing the chairs together.

Mr Drakeford had agreed the lockdown as a “short, sharp, shock to turn back to clock, slow down the virus, and give us more time.”

But Dr Frank Atherton, Wales’ chief medical officer, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “As we come out of this firebreak we can’t simply go back to the behaviour we had before.”

Wales’ GCSE, AS and A-level exams due to take place in summer 2021 have been cancelled, Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced on 10 November.

Mrs Williams said it was impossible to guarantee a level playing field because of the impact of coronavirus, so grades will be based on externally set classroom assessments under teacher supervision.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has said non-essential travel between Wales and England will be “prohibited” while the English lockdown is in place.

“While the English lockdown is in place, travel to and from England will be prohibited by the English regulations, unless that is for an essential reason such as work or education,” Mr Drakeford said.

“And recognising that Wales will come out of the firebreak as a high prevalence area of the UK, we will also place travel restrictions on people leaving or entering Wales, until those rates come down.”

A second national lockdown is in force for England from November 5 to December 2, so with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales also under similar restrictions, the whole of the UK is now pretty much aligned in its message: non-essential travel is off the cards.

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