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Message from the First Minister

Created on 20/10/2020 @ 10:15

Message from the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford 

"Coronavirus has well and truly woken up for the winter.

We face a very serious situation in Wales – if we do not take any action, more people will become seriously ill and there is a very real risk our NHS could be overwhelmed.

If that happens more people will die this winter.

The very clear medical and scientific advice we have had is that we need to act now and we need to act differently.

We will be introducing a “fire-break” – also known as a circuit-breaker – which will start at 6pm on Friday and end on Monday, November 9.

Once again I am asking for everyone’s help. The actions we need to take to bring coronavirus under control will affect everyone in Wales. They need to be sharp to have a maximum impact on the virus.

Everyone must stay at home. People will also need to work from home wherever possible. All non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will have to close and people will not be able to visit other people’s homes or meet each other outdoors. This year, there will be no organised fireworks displays, Halloween or bonfire parties.

There are no easy options to tackle coronavirus – this was a difficult decision to make. If we don’t act now, we will see further increases in cases and it will be harder to make a difference. It could mean more extreme restrictions are needed.

The “fire-break” is intended to be a short, sharp shock to the virus. It will last for the shortest time we can make it, but it also means it has to be sharp and deep to have an impact.

I know this fortnight will be a challenge for many at an already difficult time. We are all tired of coronavirus and the impact it has on our daily lives.

There will be a £300m package of support available for those businesses affected by the fire-break and I would urge anyone struggling over the coming weeks to reach out for support – from family, friends or from mental health support services. You can get help from NHS 111 online or contact our CALL mental health support line on 0800 132 737.

I’ve been so inspired by the efforts communities across Wales have made during this difficult time.

This is the moment to come together; to play our part in a common endeavour to once again protect the NHS and save lives.

For more information about the fire-break visit: "

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