CEREDIGION residents are encouraged to be cautious, even with the relaxation of the restrictions to move fully into alert level one.
The Welsh Government and Ceredigion County Council continue to take a cautious, gradual approach to easing of the restrictions. Collective efforts so far have led to Wales having the lowest case rates in the UK and we want to keep it that way. However, the rate is increasing. The way we carry on with our lives, will affect others.
Wales’ easing of restrictions
Wales will move fully into alert level one from Saturday, 17 July, including:
Up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
Organised indoor events for up to 1,000 seated or 200 standing can take place following a risk assessment.
Wales will also take the first step into alert level zero as the limits on the numbers of people who can meet in public places or at events will be removed. Outdoor premises and events will also have more flexibility around physical distancing.
Other changes from 17 July include:
Allowing up to 30 children from organisations to attend residential centres over the summer holidays.
Requiring the risks and mitigations identified in the COVID risk assessment to be shared with employees.
Remove the restrictions requiring food and drink to be consumed while seated for events only.
Welsh Government will consider whether Wales can move to the new alert level zero on 07 August following the next review of the restrictions. However, a zero alert level does not mean that the pandemic is over and action still needs to be taken to protect ourselves and others.
Details of the restrictions at the alert levels set out in the Coronavirus Control Plan can be found on the Welsh Government website: https://gov.wales/covid-19-alert-levels
The picture in Ceredigion
There are continued concerns about the levels of Coronavirus cases in Ceredigion. We are especially concerned about the level of increase in the North of the County. Borth and Bontgoch area is 188.2* per 100,000 population; Aberystwyth North area is now at 192.4* per 100,000 and the Aberystwyth South area is at 179.3* per 100,000. 6 of the 9* areas in Ceredigion are over 50 cases per 100,000 and this is the point where the World Health Organisation become concerned with the rate of transmission.
Most cases are now in people under 30 years old. These young adults are vulnerable to infection, serious illness and life-changing long-Covid, as well as loss of earnings if they have to self-isolate as cases of the Delta variant are increasing in this age group. We encourage young people to follow the rules, limit their social contact and most importantly to get the vaccine to keep themselves and their family safe.
The more people who are vaccinated, the better protected everyone in Wales will be against the worst effects of the rapidly increasing delta variant. Vaccines have weakened the link between infections, serious illness and hospitalisations and deaths. But they haven’t broken the link completely and there is still a risk that this third wave of the pandemic could cause real harm.
The take up of the vaccine in Aberystwyth North is with the lowest in Hywel Dda – 51.4% have received the first dose and 29.8% the second dose. 61.4% of 20-24 year olds have received the first dose and 7.2% have received the second dose, according to Hywel Dda figures. This is a major concern.
Getting the vaccine is the most effective way of protecting yourself and others and we still need as many people as possible to get both doses of the vaccine. Take the opportunity for a vaccination by going to your appointment or going along to a walk-in centre. Hywel Dda University Health Board have Walk In vaccine clinics to enable Ceredigion residents to have their first or second vaccine without an appointment. Residents who have already had their first vaccine must wait 8 weeks before they have their second vaccine.
So please, if you are a partner, a parent, colleague, a friend, a team mate, and you know that they haven’t had the vaccine yet, please encourage them because that will keep them safe from the risks of becoming unwell and long COVID. It’ll keep them safe from hospitalisation, and it will also keep their loved ones that are older and more vulnerable safe.
The pandemic is not over and the virus continues to spread across our county and our country. Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.
Photo, Elkanah Evans – Aberystwyth Promenade