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Council steps up enforcement of social distancing measures

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is taking a tough stance on social distancing to help protect the county from the threat of Covid-19.

A large team of enforcement officers, working with Dyfed-Powys Police, will be targeting licensed premises, supermarkets and sports clubs across Carmarthenshire over the weekend to check that businesses and customers are following the coronavirus regulations.

Improvement notices and even closure notices will be handed out to organisers and licensees if they are seen breaching the Welsh legislation in place to control the spread of the virus.

It comes after confirmation of a cluster of cases centred on a social club in Carmarthenshire where around 60 people had gathered for a presentation evening with no social distancing, in a clear breach of the regulations.

Over 100 people are already self-isolating after being present at the venue or in close contact with someone who was there during the event at the end of August – to date 14 positive cases have already been already identified.

The council said stronger action has to be taken so that the county can safely continue its recovery from the pandemic and protect the most vulnerable in society.

It has warned that without effective social distancing there is a very real threat of the county going into a local lockdown, as has already happened in another part of the country.

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “We have offered advice to businesses, and we have continued sharing information and offering advice to the general public.

“Sadly, it seems that this is not enough and now we are taking enforcement action to really hammer home our message. The virus has not gone away, it is still spreading in our communities, and unless we heed the measures in place for our safety I’m afraid we have to face the consequences.

“In particular I would ask sports and social clubs not to proceed with planned events, in particular where you cannot limit the numbers to below 30 people and where you are not certain to guarantee compliance with the regulation.

“Please protect yourself, your families, and other people around you. Go out and enjoy, but please respect the safety measures – keep your distance from people who are not in your, or your extended, household. Please practice good hygiene, and please comply with the Test, Trace, Protect procedures by providing your contact details whenever you visit a pub, club or restaurant.”

Further information and advice for businesses and communities can be found on the council’s website, www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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