Covid-19 is on the rise in our communities – the stats tell us.
As a result, Caerphilly County Borough has been put into ‘lockdown’ by the Welsh Government and has the unenviable position as the first area in Wales to have local restrictions imposed.
Just as we were beginning to feel a sense of normality, controls on our behaviour have returned.
This time however, it does feel different with shops, restaurants, bars and schools all staying open and it isn’t as draconian as the first lockdown.
The rules are pretty straightforward – but like most rules handed down from upon high – there is always some ambiguity.
Caerphilly’s Senedd Member Hefin David spoke with clarity when he said people needed to use their best judgement when interpreting the local restrictions.
He said: “The key issue is for people to adhere to the main points of the new regulations.
“In principle, if you are a business or self-employed, unless you have been told categorically you cannot do something specific then carry on doing it.
“People need to use their best judgement.”
We have covered the new regulations and what they mean on our website, but they essentially boil down to:
• People are not allowed to enter or leave the county borough without a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as work or care commitments.
• Everyone over 11 is required to wear face coverings in shops and other indoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
• People are able to meet outdoors, but meetings with other people indoors and extended households are not allowed.
If we all stick to the rules and maintain social distancing as best we can, then the sooner we can get out of this.
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Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has admitted the restrictions will last for several weeks and into next month.
He has also threatened to shut the pubs if people don’t maintain the distancing.
We live in a relatively free country and nobody likes this level of control, but the reasons for doing this are sound.
That said, a debate is needed on how to deal with coronavirus in the long-term. Will it be something that we have to live with and mitigate against for years to come?
A vaccine, if one is possible, is still a long way off and people need to know where they stand.
At the start of the national lockdown back in March, I wrote that we can get through it together and everything will be alright in the end. I still firmly believe that, but we must all play our part in lifting the gloom.
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