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Public urged to follow new rules on face coverings and indoor gatherings



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has welcomed changes to rules on meeting people indoors and the wearing of face coverings in shops and other public enclosed spaces in Wales.

The changes came into force today (Monday).

The changes follow an increase in cases of coronavirus linked to people meeting and socialising with others indoors but without social distancing.

The Welsh Government measures mean that from today a new limit of six people will be introduced on the number of people from an extended household who can meet indoors at any one time.

The rule does not apply to children under 11.

Up to 30 people from different homes can also still meet outside.

The public is recommended to read the full guidance, here:

In a further change, face coverings are now mandatory in shops and enclosed public spaces.

Again the rule will not apply to children or those who are medically exempt.

Please read the full face coverings guidance at:

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said the limit on the number of people meeting indoors was based on how the virus is spreading.

“We know that transmission is coming from people meeting people they know – it’s not coming from passing strangers – it’s not in the outdoors.

“It’s when people get into one another’s households.”

Face coverings had been introduced, the First Minister said, because the rate of infection had reached 20 people in 100,000 in Wales – the threshold at which people returning to the UK would have to quarantine.

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader, Cllr David Simpson said: “While the level of infection remains low in Pembrokeshire, the rise in coronavirus cases across Wales is a concern and it is right that action is taken to prevent further spread.

“While the vast majority of people are following the rules it is clear there has been increased spread of Covid-19 when people are meeting up indoors and not socially distancing.

“The speed with which these measures and the local lockdown in Caerphilly had to be introduced shows just how quickly things can change if we let our guard down and wrongly believe the virus has gone away.

“We all have a personal responsibility to do what we can to prevent the spread of the virus and I appeal to all Pembrokeshire people and any anyone visiting to follow these new rules and to keep up good hand hygiene and remember social distancing.

“If we do not, and the virus continues to spread, we face further more significant restrictions and throwing away all the hard work and sacrifice of the last six months.

“We have worked so hard to reduce the risk – let’s keep going and work together. Don’t risk catching the virus or passing it on to others.”


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Masks now advised in all secondary schools



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



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



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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