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Second fire-break lockdown is likely early next year says Deputy Economy Minister

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A SECOND fire-break lockdown is likely in Wales in early January or February, a Welsh Government minister has warned.

Deputy Economy and Transport Minister, Lee Waters, said the current firebreak was unlikely to be the last in Wales – with England “expected” to follow.

Wales is currently in the middle of a two-week national lockdown to try and control the spread of coronavirus, he said.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement programme he said people should be prepared to come in and out of lockdowns until a Covid-19 vaccine is found.

He said: “This is not the last lockdown we are going to see the projections we published in a worst case scenario show it’s likely we are going to need another firebreak in January or
February.”

He added that Wales is now witnessing a second peak, with critical care admissions increasing by 57% this week alone, and that was why the Welsh Government has introduced this “short, sharp” intervention.”

Lee Waters thinks that one lockdown will not be enough

Plaid Cymru said it was vital the test and trace system was improved during this firebreak to break the cycle of “devastating” national lockdowns.
“It is concerning to hear talk of plans for future firebreaks at the start of this reset,” said shadow health minister Rhun ap Iorwerth.
“If the Welsh Government puts effective measures in place over the next fortnight, a new strategy for the months ahead, it should be aiming to avoid having to return to these tight nationwide restrictions.
“Ministers must resolve the issues within the test, trace, support and isolate system to enable the newly adopted zero-Covid strategy to be successfully implemented.”

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage and contravention of coronavirus regulations after allegedly being filmed removing plastic from items in a Tesco store.

Gwilym Owen, 28, will appear before magistrates on November 24 following the incident in the Bangor Tesco Extra store on Friday.

North Wales Police said Owen, from Anglesey, has been further charged with several public order offences.

Owen allegedly posted the video of himself on his Facebook account. A man is heard saying “since when has clothes been exempt?”, “rip the f***ers off!” and “kids’ f***ing clothes, it is a disgrace.”

As staff attempt to challenge the man and to stop him, he swore at them. He can be heard saying: “Since when have clothes been non-essential?”

A spokesperson for Tesco said: “Under new restrictions set out by the Welsh Government, we are currently unable to sell ‘non-essential’ items in our stores.
“Our colleagues have worked hard to put these measures in place and we ask that customers please respect these restrictions.”

Despite a petition which has now more than 50,000 signatures, The Welsh Government said: “We are not reviewing the requirements for supermarkets not to sell non-essentials we are going to review how it’s working in practice. Clearly there are some bumps.”

On the Andrew Marr Show, Labour’s health minister, Vaughan Gething also confirmed that the Welsh Government’s ban on the sale of non-essential items in supermarkets will also remain in place.

Health

Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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