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Destination Dubai for Welsh food and drink

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destination dubaiGULFOOD is the key international food and drink trade event in the Middle East, attracting more than 77,000 domestic and international traders in 2013.

Held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gulfood provides an important opportunity for Welsh producers looking to reach and develop new markets in the United Arab Emirates.Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Alun Davies said the trip is a great opportunity to promote high-quality Welsh produce and increase trade opportunities in the Middle East.

He said: “This is a really exciting opportunity. The UAE is by far the UK’s largest growing export market and is the main consumer of Welsh food in the Middle East.”

“I am delighted so many Welsh companies are travelling with me to Dubai for this key trade event. I look forward to showing the Middle East what great produce Wales has to offer.”

While at the exhibition, the Minister will discuss trade opportunities with the Welsh food producers and will set out how the Welsh Government can help support a sustainable trading relationship between Wales and the UAE. Mr Davies will also say a few words at a reception bringing together key players in the Middle East’s food and drink sector and head chefs at the region’s top restaurants.

While in the UAE, the Minister will also meet with the Director General of the Dubai Economic Department to discuss the country’s import market and how Wales can increase its export trade with the region.

This visit follows the launch of the Welsh Government’s draft Action Plan for the Food and Drinks Industry 2014 – 2020 that seeks to deliver growth and jobs in the food and farming sector and increase the profile of Welsh food. An important part of the action plan is creating business opportunities for Welsh food producers by opening up new markets and increasing exports.

Talking about the action plan, the Minister added:

“I have put the commitments I made last month into action straight away by leading trade missions to both Dubai and the US to present the best of Welsh food to new and growing markets across the globe.

“I am committed to strengthening Wales’s food and drinks sector and will do all I can to ensure Wales makes the most of these opportunities so that our food industry can continue to grow and reach its full potential.

“By supporting and encouraging Welsh companies to develop new markets overseas we can promote sustainable economic growth.”

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Masks now advised in all secondary schools

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PUPILS across Wales are now being advised to wear facemasks in all communal areas of secondary schools (including playgrounds), colleges and on transport to and from places of learning by the Welsh Government.

Although not compulsory, the new recommendations have been made by ministers to ensure a consistent approach in tackling COVID-19 across Wales.

People picking up and dropping off children are also advised to wear face coverings too to minimise the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19.

The new guidance, aimed mainly at secondary schools, which the Education Minister has described as ‘easy to follow’ was announced today and now means that the only spaces where staff and pupils can safely remove their facemasks is in the classroom.

The majority of councils already require secondary pupils and staff to wear masks in corridors and on most school transport with those rules extended to primary pupils too in some areas.

Education minister Kirsty Williams said: “It is vital that young people, parents, adults and the workforce feel confident that all measures are being taken to ensure the educational environments are as safe as possible.

“We have been clear that we will keep every policy under review and will continue to follow scientific advice. The policy we are announcing today does just that”.

The new advice has been recommended by the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group (Tag), which has been looking at the “possibility of wearing face coverings for older age groups in more circumstances, including on public and dedicated transport” and could “even include in the classroom on a risk assessed basis…. balancing benefits with harms to overall wellbeing of students.”

Tag is also looking at how feasible a mass asymptomatic testing programme in schools and colleges could be, the Welsh Government has said it is considering that approach.

Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy at the National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru, said: “Face masks and coverings in communal areas could have serious consequences for Wales’ 2,500 deaf children, almost all of whom rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
“Socialising in corridors, break time chats and playground games are all rites of passage, but deaf young people now risk missing out because they can’t understand what others are saying. They’re also more likely to experience loneliness, isolation and bullying.
“Public health is the priority, but schools and colleges must move quickly to introduce reasonable adjustments to help deaf young people during this difficult time.”

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Two day centres to close temporarily as a precaution

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TWO north Pembrokeshire Day facilities for older people and people with learning disabilities are to close temporarily as a precaution following the rise in coronavirus cases in Ceredigion.

Bro Preseli Day Centre in Crymych and Wintern Day Centre, Goodwick, are to close temporarily from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24).

The decision to close each site will be reviewed regularly.

It is emphasised that there have been no positive cases of Covid-19 detected at either site and the temporary closures have been put in place as a precaution.

 

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North Pembrokeshire schools remain closed

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THE SIX North Pembrokeshire schools which were closed today (Monday, November 23) as a precaution following the increased spread of coronavirus in South Ceredigion, will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday, November 23).

The Pembrokeshire schools are:

• Ysgol Preseli
• Ysgol y Frenni
• Ysgol Llandudoch
• Ysgol Eglwyswrw
• Ysgol Cilgerran
• Ysgol Clydau.

The Pembrokeshire schools are closed as a precaution as they share services – such as transport – with the Ceredigion schools.

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