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Welsh countrysides and beaches to reopen as five mile restriction is lifted

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Barafundle beach

FIRST MINISTER Mark Drakeford has lifted the five mile travel restriction in Wales as of today (Mon Jul 6).

Prior to the easing, residents in Wales were unable to travel more than five miles from their homes with the ‘stay local’ restriction still in force.

The easing of the restriction will see Wales welcome back visitors to its beaches and countryside for the first time in over three months.

The new measures are said to “pave the way” for the tourism sector, which will begin to re-open from July 11, but Mr Drakeford has made it clear this will only happen “if conditions allow”.

The First Minister has urged those intending to visit beaches, countrysides and beauty hotspots to do so safely – by protecting others, protecting the environment, and following the social distancing rules.

Saturday (July 4) saw the re-opening of pubs, restaurants and cafes open in outdoor spaces in England.

The Welsh Government has set a date of July 13 for the re-opening of pubs, restaurants and cafes outdoors in Wales, this will only go ahead providing there is no spike in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

As the five-mile travel restriction is lifted in Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council has moved to reassure the local community and visitors that it will continue to work hard to inform and support them.

“Our communities will start to welcome visitors this week,” said Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council. “Although the public have a huge responsibility to act responsibly – as consistently stressed by senior politicians both in Westminster and the Senedd – we as a local authority also have an important role to play.

“We are working closely with partners behind the scenes to make sure that we have procedures and measures in place to ensure the unlocking process is as safe as possible.”

Among the measures are a specific team being brought together by the Council and key partners to coordinate intelligence and information to monitor and manage any day to day issues, using data from the tourism sector, traffic measurements, and various teams on the ground.

Other measures include the production of a promotional film by Visit Pembrokeshire to welcome back tourists – with useful information on the concerns faced by local residents and constructive suggestions of what visitors can do to help.

“The Welsh Government’s Stay Local rule was kept in place to help every part of Wales manage the spread of the virus and properly welcome back visitors safely,” said Cllr Simpson.

“Visitors are an important part of our economy and so it’s important that local communities are welcoming towards them as we safely open up more of the visitor and tourism economy.”

Other measures include the use of electronic road signs (including the ones approaching Pembrokeshire and those in the County) to provide useful and relevant information to anyone travelling. Electronic signage in bus stops will also be used and extra signs are being considered.

A street trading arrangement has already been put in place to support café culture once restrictions ease, and an operational document has been produced to inform the local authority’s work for reopening the public realm – including facilities like car parks and public toilets.

Highways improvements are being considered including the potential re-allocation of road spaces, thanks to grant funding from the Welsh Government for sustainable transport solutions in response to Covid-19. The Council has worked up proposals for reallocation of road space in a few key towns which it will be sharing with communities as soon as possible.

The NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service is also well underway across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to track the virus and give extra protection to communities.

Cllr Simpson said it was vital to remember that coronavirus has not gone away, despite some restrictions being eased by Welsh Government. “It continues to be as important as ever to maintain social distancing, keep washing your hands regularly, and to self-isolate if you or someone in your household has symptoms,” he said.

“Pembrokeshire and the rest of Wales is safely and gradually reopening. Together, we’ve made some great progress. But we’re still not back to normal and there are still risks. It’s important that we respect each other, our communities, and the local environment.”

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Rider of a motorbike taken to hospital following collision with a car

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A COLLISION which involved a car and a motorbike on Friday afternoon (Jun 18) saw one person being transferred to hospital.

Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed that the collision, which happened at approximately 1.17pm at Dwrbach, Scleddau, involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike.

The Herald understands that the accident happened at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

The incident caused the road to be closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

The rider of the motorbike was transferred to Glangwili Hospital for treatment.

A Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Scleddau, Fishguard early Friday afternoon, June18th 2021.

“The collision involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike. The rider of the motorbike was taken to hospital.

“The road was closed for emergency services to deal with the collision.”

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called to attend a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle at Dwrbach, Fishguard at 1.17pm on Friday 18 June. We sent one rapid response vehicle and one emergency ambulance. One patient was taken to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

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Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

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PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be alert to COVID-19 symptoms following the identification of a cluster of cases in the Tenby area.

The 22 confirmed cases are linked to social and sporting events and local schools and have generated a large number of contactssince the first cases were confirmed on Saturday, 12 June. 

A number of individuals, including pupils, are currently isolating and close contacts of the positive cases continue to be traced.

From Monday 21 June to Sunday 4 July, a mobile testing unit will be available for local residents in and around Tenby to access if they have symptoms.

This is based at Salterns Car Park, Marsh Road, Tenby, SA70 8DU.  To book a test visit the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

Residents can protect themselves and others from Coronavirus by remaining at least two metres away from everyone else, washing their hands regularly, and by wearing a face covering where required. 

The virus disperses in a well ventilated environment, so opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate is another way to keep ourselves safe.

Residents should take up the vaccine when offered, and self-isolate and get a test if they or anyone in their household develop symptoms.

As well as the three most common symptoms of Coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell – people with any of the following, wider symptoms that are persistent and/or unusual for them are also strongly encouraged to get a PCR test:

  • Mild summer cold symptoms – including sore throat, runny nose, headache
  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

If you have any of the above symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, please stay home and book a PCR test through the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have wider summer cold or flu-like symptoms as described above, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:

• My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or

• A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.

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Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

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Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

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