Pubs staying open because majority of new coronavirus transmissions have been “within people’s homes”
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 13:26, Tuesday September 8th, 2020.
Last updated: 13:37, Tuesday September 8th, 2020
Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said the majority of new coronavirus transmissions have taken place “within people’s homes”.
He also said people bringing the virus back from holiday has been one of the “main reasons” for the spike in coronavirus cases in Caerphilly County Borough.
It comes as the borough prepares to enter a local lockdown from 6pm on Tuesday (September 8), with new measures introduced to stop people meeting indoors with others who are part of their extended households.
However, places such as shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes and gyms can still remain open, despite the local lockdown.
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer, the Health Minister said: “We haven’t seen significant transmission that is related to shops or to pubs, so it wouldn’t be proportionate to close those businesses now when the evidence is that transmission isn’t taking place there.
Mr Gething said the information about transmission in these places has come from contact tracing.
He said: “We have looked at where people [who have tested positive for Covid-19] have things in common, so we were concerned that maybe some of those common areas were gyms or pubs, but actually, the significant mixing is taking place outside those venues.
“And it does appear that gyms, restaurants and other places are following the rules.”
Under the new lockdown measures, people can meet others from outside their households in these places, but would have to abide by the two metre social distancing rules.
Mr Gething confirmed that face masks would be compulsory in “indoor retail spaces” in Caerphilly County Borough, such as in banks and shops.
However, he did not go as far as to say face masks would be compulsory in restaurants or pubs, due to the “impracticality” of having to take a mask on and off to eat or drink.
How has travel in and out of Caerphilly County Borough been affected?
All travel into and out of the borough has been banned unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse’.
People who live in the borough, but are currently away on holiday, will be allowed to return home after the local lockdown comes into force, the Health Minister confirmed.
However, he reiterated that people living in the borough will not be able to leave to go on holiday.
He said: “I’m afraid that people who have a weekend booked in Porthcawl or Tenby or Anglesey or Greece, Spain, Portugal or any other part of the world, that is no longer a reasonable excuse to leave Caerphilly County Borough.
“I know that will cause real upset for a number of people, but the much greater upset and frustration would be if action isn’t taken and if the virus spreads within Caerphilly County Borough and further afield and we end up having to take national lockdown measures.”
Mr Gething did confirm that leaving or entering the borough for work, or to volunteer for vulnerable residents, would still be allowed under current restrictions.
Do I have to shield again?
Mr Gething confirmed that people who had been asked to shield prior to August 16 do not need to start shielding again, despite the new lockdown measures.
However, he did advise people who had been shielding to “think very carefully about how they can follow the rules as strictly as possible.”
How long will we be in lockdown?
The local lockdown will be in place for at least two weeks.
After that, Welsh Government will review the impact of the measures before announcing what action it will take next.
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