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The cans and cants of Cardiff’s local lockdown

With Cardiff entering local lockdown from 6pm on Sunday 27th September, many people may be confused about what that means for them.

Huw Thomas, Leader of the Council, issued a statement yesterday to clarify what is allowed and what isn’t. Here’s a summary:

The cants

  • You will not be allowed to enter or leave the Cardiff Council boundary area without a reasonable excuse;
  • You will no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household. This means you are not allowed to meet indoors or stay overnight with anyone who is not part of your household, unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person;
  • You must not go into work if you can work from home;
  • You must not use public transport unless it is an essential journey;
  • You must not enter a shop or place of work without a mask unless you have a medical condition which exempts you;
  • You must not visit a care home unless it is for an end of life visit, in which case full PPE must be worn.

The cans

  • Groups of 30 people can still meet outdoors but individuals must stay 2m apart;
  • Children, teens and adults can still go to schools and places of higher education;
  • You can go to the pub or to a restaurant or bar but only with the people in your household and you should keep a 2m distance between you and anyone outside of your household;
  • You can still see family members outside your household but only in outdoor settings and keeping a 2m distance (a cuppa in your parents’ garden is fine);
  • You can still go to the gym or the pool, following the guidelines for safe attendance and maintaining physical distancing;
  • You can still to a place of worship with people from your household, following the guidelines for safe attendance and maintaining physical distancing;
  • If you provide childcare for a member of your extended family, you will still be able to do so following the Welsh Government guidelines detailed below:

Childcare

“I rely on my wider family and friends to provide childcare while I am in work. They are members of my extended household. Can they still do this for me if extended households are not allowed to meet indoors?”

Yes, but this form of childcare should only be used when no other methods are available. Adults should not go inside any households other than their own. Where children are being cared for in households other than their own it will be important to ensure they are regularly washing their hands and that wider guidance on managing the virus is followed. Children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill.

Statement in Full

Here is the statement in full from the Leader of the Council in Cardiff:

Dear Councillors,

I spoke last night of the serious situation Cardiff was facing. At 12.30pm the Minister for Health and Social Care, Vaughan Gethin, announced that, from 6pm Sunday, residents and visitors in Cardiff must adhere to the following additional restrictions:

· People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Cardiff Council boundary area without a reasonable excuse;

· People will no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household. This means you are not allowed to meet indoors or stay overnight with anyone who is not part of your household, unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person;

· People must work from home wherever possible.

We are introducing these measures in response to a rapid acceleration in the number of cases over the past week, as I highlighted to Council last night. The analysis provided by colleagues in public health shows that the spread in Cardiff is primarily within households and extended households.

Also, it’s become clear to us over the past few days that we are seeing clusters springing up in the city which are related to travel between Cardiff and neighbouring authorities. And as a result, we are seeing a rapid acceleration in the spread of the virus, and so must act now to slow its spread.

These new measures follow local and national measures introduced earlier this week. To summarise the position as it stands, the following restrictions will be in place from 6pm on Sunday night:

· People will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household for the time being;

· People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Cardiff Council boundary area without a reasonable excuse;

· People who live in the Cardiff must work from home unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so;

· People should not visit care homes, unless it is an end of life visit where full PPE will be required;

· Masks must be appropriately worn in all indoor spaces and where social distancing can’t be maintained, in shops, in work and on public transport, unless you have a valid or medical exemption for not doing so;

· We should all avoid using public transport unless it is for an essential journey.

I want to emphasise that this is far from a lockdown that we experience in the spring:

· Schools, child care settings and colleges will remain open and home to school transport will continue to operate

· People will be able to meet outdoors for the time being, in groups of up to 30.

· Indoor public venues, such as pubs, bars, restaurants will remain open for Cardiff residents, though they must shut at 10pm and people must not attend with anybody outside their own household.

· Play centres, community centres, places of worship, leisure facilities and local attractions will remain open for Cardiff residents.

We do not take these steps lightly. However, in consultation with Welsh Government, we feel it is now prudent to bring in stronger restrictions. Even so, I must emphasise that these are precautionary measures through which we aim to get ahead, and stay ahead of the virus. By acting early, we will intend to minimise the duration of the lockdown, keep the virus suppressed and ultimately, save lives.

We’ve seen in the past what can happen if there is a delay in bringing measures in. Delaying by a matter of days mean many more lives could be lost.

The Chief Executive and I are in constant dialogue with our counterparts in Welsh Government and I will have further meetings with the Minister for Health and Social Care and other local leaders over the days ahead.

I will endeavour to keep members up to date as the situation develops, and will provide members with a more comprehensive update on the Council’s response arrangements later today.

Yours,

Huw.

Inksplott