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Lockdown extended for three weeks in Wales, with modest adjustments

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THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has announced a three-week extension to its coronavirus lockdown and making modest adjustments, including allowing outdoor exercise more than once a day and plans to reopen libraries.

The first minister, Mark Drakeford, insisted the lockdown needed to stay but said “very cautious” changes would come into force.

He emphasised that he remained keen on the four nations of the UK working as one over the lifting of restrictions and said the new rules would come into force on Monday so Wales moved in step with the rest of the UK.

Asked if he was happy with how the UK government was working with his administration, he said: “It has been a bit of a fits-and-starts experience.”

Mark Drakeford said the ‘R’ number was believed to be 0.8 in Wales. He said if this figure remained constant, it was estimated there would be about 800 more deaths between now and August. If it went up to 1.1, there could be 7,200 deaths.

Speaking at the Welsh government’s press conference in Cardiff on Friday, he said: “We must not lose the progress we have made. All of us must continue to work from home whenever we can. All of us must only travel when absolutely necessary. All of us must continue to observe the 2-metre social distancing, and wash our hands and take those basic hygiene precautions. The margins are so small.”

But he said that from Monday, people will be allowed to exercise more than once a day, while not travelling “a significant distance” from home.

Garden centres will be allowed to reopen, provided they can ensure the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed. And councils will begin to work on plans to safely reopen libraries and municipal recycling centres.

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Drug drive arrest following routine check

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A MALE has been arrested following a positive roadside test.

The vehicle, which was stopped this morning, June 6, by the Pembrokeshire Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) was part of a routine check.

Traffic officers suspected the driver may be under the influence after smelling cannabis coming from the vehicle.

A roadside drug test was performed with a positive result with the drugswab provided. A small quantity of cannabis was also found inside the vehicle.

The cannabis was seized and the driver was arrested, later released under investigation, pending the male’s blood test result for the drug drive offence, out of court disposal for the possession.

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing

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PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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