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Covid-19: Pembroke Dock man stranded in Italy ‘indefinitely’

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Left to right) Quinn, Rhys and Will

A PEMBROKESHIRE man who has been quarantined in Italy for more than a month after testing positive for coronavirus, is still no closer to being able to go home.

Rhys James of Pembroke Dock, who had been teaching English in Italy, has been hauled up in a secure isolation facility by Italian officials since he tested positive for the virus on August 17.

Speaking to The Herald, Rhys told us he originally went to Italy alone on July 5, starting in Milan and working across the north of the country.

Along the way, Rhys, 23 met two fellow Brit’s – who were also on placement, Will Castle, 22 and Quinn Pazesny, 20.

On August 16, both Rhys and Quinn began to display symptoms of the virus and as the trio had been staying together, all three were tested for coronavirus.

All three men provided a positive swab test, despite Will still to this day not having any symptoms.

Rhys told us that they were initially all taken into hospital and told they would be able to return to their flats and isolate together.

All men are travelling to isolation centres together, but must isolate seperately on their arrival

He claimed an hour later, guidance was different and another representative said all three would be taken to a hospital facility where they must isolate separately.

Hospital staff travelled to the men’s dwellings and packed up their belongings and sent them to the facility.

Rhys told us how all of their belongings were mixed up, which he says defeats the object of keeping them all separate.

The trio are currently on their third isolation facility, where they travel together, but then must isolate in separate rooms when they arrive.

Medical advice in the UK, currently says those that test positive for the virus have to quarantine for 10 days, then they are no longer considered infectious and they no longer need to isolate.

This science is backed by The World Health Organisation.

Current regulations in Italy stipulate that you must provide two separate negative Covid-19 swab tests at least 24 hours apart, before you can leave quarantine.

Despite none of the trio displaying any coronavirus symptoms since August 21, they continue to provide positive swab test results, a method that can detect dead cells for months after.

Originally they kept their spirits high by facetiming, but at some locations due to lack of WIFI that isn’t always possible.

Typical meal provided by the facility

With no family to rely on or unable to order food from outside, the men are forced to rely on the hospitality of Italian quarantine centres for their daily meals.

With two out of the three men having food intolerance’s, this has caused them a great deal of discomfort.

Rhys told us that they have been in contact with The British Embassy, who have been able to assist them in their dietary needs and obtaining bigger portions.

The Foreign Office have cited to many media sources that they are in contact with the men, a claim Rhys disputes, saying no contact has been made with them from any representatives for the office.

Speaking on the quarantine, Rhys said: “I do understand why they are being so careful after the way they were hit with coronavirus at the beginning.

“But we are approaching nearly six weeks of isolation now and the only answer they keep giving us to keep us upheld here is that ‘it’s the science’.”

“We have had no update whatsoever, if we had an end date or somebody was doing something to help it would be fine. At the moment we are constantly stressed.”

The men are hauled up indefinitely

Rhys told us how the measure inflicted on them seem as though prison would be a better option for them, he added “At least you can go outside into the yard, we can only open our door slightly to pick up our food and that’s it.”

Rhys’ family have been trying to get into contact with Simon Hart MP for South Pembrokeshire, they have been told that they have been discussing the case, Rhys said.

Rhys told us how they are tested each Monday, all three men tested positive when they were tested on September 14.

They were last tested on Monday (Sept 21), they are still awaiting the results of the swabs.

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Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a which hunt by the police, a jury has heard.

But at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Apr 12), the Clare Wilks for the prosecution said that the defendant had “abused the trust of parents and staff” by sexually touching children in his care.

James Oulton, denies 30 charges of sexual assault against the eleven children who were aged eight or nine years old at the time.

The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

The jury heard how the pupils, now aged between 11 and 17, claimed he touched them sexually.

But the court was also told that Mr Oulton claimed he received cards at the end of term, and he believed letters sent by Pembrokeshire council to parents encouraged false complaints and collusion between pupils.

Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, told the court he had behaved appropriately.

The jury heard how the alleged abuse occurred while Mr Oulton was working at a primary school in Haverfordwest.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said some of the children alleged that they had been assaulted on a daily basis, while others had had given statements to say it only happened the one time.

The trial continues.

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Kill the Bill protest to take place in Haverfordwest on Saturday

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INDIVIDUALS and activists from local groups, including Extinction Rebellion Pembrokeshire, Stand Up to Racism West Wales, Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly and Reclaim These Streets Pembrokeshire are campaigning against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and are to hold a demonstration against the Bill at 1pm this Saturday April 17, in Haverfordwest.
One of the organisers told  The Herald: “This is an enormous piece of draconian legislation that includes significant expansion in police powers to curtail the right to protest. The right to peacefully assemble and protest are a fundamental part of any democracy; empowering people to have their voices heard, in addition to holding the Government to account. These rights are universal –they protect peaceful and legitimate protest whatever the cause.
“The events at the Clapham vigil and at demonstrations over the last few weeks are a dangerous indication of what the future of protest will look like if the police powers bill gets through parliament.”
A local campaigner, a mother and grandmother said “We are in the process of losing a fundamental part of our democracy, It is important we protect it for future generations. We have messed up so much of their future already-we need to hold the Government to account”.
Aspects of the Bill include:
  • The power for Police forces to shut down protests that they deem too disruptive at their own discretion.
  • Up to a 10-year sentence for demonstrators considered to be causing a “public nuisance”.
  • The power for police forces to impose start and end times on static protests of any size.
  • The power to expand stop and search powers, which already discriminate against marginalised communities. If you live in the Dyfed Powys police area, you are 5 times more likely to be stopped and searched if you are black than white.
  • Up to 10-year sentences for damage to public monuments’ Police powers will be expanded and custodial sentences increased to “protect” women.
  • These measures are not sufficient to prevent violence and are troubling, considering some police officers’ involvement in cases of violence against women. Significant restrictions on where protests around Parliament may take place.
  • The elevation of trespass from a civil offence to a criminal offence, meaning police and courts can give harsh sentences to Travellers.
  • Increased power of police to seize vehicles and homes from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities and demanding proof of permission to travel.
  • The bill will criminalise a way of life for these communities.
A peaceful, Covid-compliant march and rally will be taking place in Haverfordwest on Saturday April 17 , assembling at Picton Fields at 1pm.
People will be asked to wear masks and keep to social distancing regulations.  It is one of a number of protests being organised nationally on the same day against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill.
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Everything you need to know about the current coronavirus restrictions in Wales

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THE GOVERNMENT guidelines in Wales are changing today (Apr 12).

There are major changes coming into force today across the country as the government coronavirus guidelines are starting to relax.

The changes affect household bubbles, non-essential retail, education and travel.

As of Monday, April 12, the following changes have come into force:

  • Six people from two different households (not counting children under 11) can meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens
  • Households or support bubbles can holiday in self-contained accommodation – including hotels with en-suite facilities
  • All pupils and students can now return to school, college and other education
  • All shops and close-contact services can open
  • The ban on travelling in and out of Wales has ended
  • Driving lessons can resume and some driving tests (Remainder on April 22)

Non-essential retail are able to open up today for the first time since the country was put into a national lockdown with non-essential retail ordered to close in December of last year.

With infection rates falling and the national vaccine rollout success, the Welsh Government have set out a road map of restriction easing.

Unlike England, the hospitality industry in Wales will have to wait until April 26 to open their doors to customers, but only for those who can operate in an outdoor space such as beer gardens.

The current guidelines in force for Wales are as follows:

Meeting friends and family

From May 3:

  • Two families can once again form an “extended household” and meet indoors.

The following rules currently apply:

  • Six people from two different households (not counting children under 11) can meet up outdoors, including gardens.
  • If you are an adult living alone or you’re a single responsible adult in a household (a single parent, for instance), you can form a support bubble with one other household.
  • You can also end it and form another support bubble with a different household, as long as you leave a 10-day gap between.

Going to work

  • You must work from home if you can. The only exceptions will be critical workers and jobs where working from home is not possible.
  • Tradespeople can work in someone else’s private home, as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus.

Schools and nurseries

  • All pupils will return to face-to-face teaching at school from 12 April.
  • From that date all students can return to further education and training centres.
  • University campuses will be able to open for blended (face-to face and online) learning for all students.
  • Internal GCSE, A-level and AS-level assessments have been cancelled.

Leisure time

From April 26:

  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen.
  • Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants, but indoor hospitality will remain restricted.

From May 3:

  • Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people can again take place.
  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes.

The following rules currently apply:

  • Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, can open to people from the same household or support bubble.
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as golf, tennis and basketball are open. A maximum of six people from two households can take part.
  • Organised outdoor sport for under-18s can now take place.
  • All gyms and leisure centres are closed.
  • Professional sports will continue but stadiums are closed to fans.
  • Bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs are closed – except for takeaway and delivery.
  • The outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens can reopen in a limited way.
  • Libraries and archives can reopen

Shopping

From April 12:

  • All shops can reopen.
  • All close contact services such as hairdressers or beauty salons can open, including mobile services.

The following rules currently apply:

  • Hairdressers and barbers are open for business – by appointment only.
  • Non-essential shops remain closed.
  • Garden centres are now open.
  • Alcohol cannot be sold in shops between 22:00 and 06:00 BST.
  • Face coverings must be worn by customers and staff.
  • Indoor shopping should be done alone, or with people in your household.

Other

From April 12:

  • You can travel anywhere in the UK or the Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands)
  • Outdoor canvassing for the Welsh elections can begin.
  • Driving lessons can resume and some driving tests (remainder on 22 April).

From April 26:

  • Weddings receptions can take place outdoors, but will be limited to 30 people.

The following rules currently apply:

  • Weddings and civil partnerships can take place at licensed venues, but receptions are not allowed.
  • Care home residents can receive one designated visitor.
  • You can travel anywhere within Wales.
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