RESIDENTS are being urged to stick by the rules on Covid-19 to avoid a further outbreak in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

The Leaders of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Councils have united with the Swansea Bay University Health Board to urge people to follow the rules as the number of positive tests in the area continue to rise.

The latest Welsh Government information shows that the virus is continuing to spread in communities across the country with a lockdown imposed in Caerphilly that will go on until at least the end of the month.

Today (Friday) the First Minister announced new restrictions across Wales on indoor gatherings and other measures that will be implemented from Monday to help stem the spread of the virus.

In Swansea and Neath Port Talbot evidence from rigorous contact tracing shows people are ignoring social distancing rules as well as meeting people outside their extended household group when they should not.

Dr Keith Reid, Executive Director for Public Health for the Swansea Bay area, said: “The measures taken in other parts of Wales demonstrate that Covid-19 is still very much with us.

“It is essential that everyone sticks to the rules, otherwise we could see a situation where not only will there be more deaths and serious illnSwansea Bay TTP Coronavirus Logoess, but demand on our health services will become very high again. We are just beginning to re-start some of our services, and it is important that we can continue to do so, or non-Covid patients could suffer delays to the care they need.”

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said:

“Our message is simple: abide by the rules. Don’t dodge them, don’t ignore them. Do the right thing and follow the rules or we risk joining Caerphilly in a local lockdown.

“While lockdown measures have been eased and children are going back to school the virus is still with us. The pandemic is not over so the rules must not be ignored.

“If we don’t follow the rules, then we face the very real risk of similar measures being taken in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot that have been imposed in Caerphilly and elsewhere.

“No-one wants that because it’ll put people’s health at risk and damage local businesses.”

Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said it is easy for everyone to make a contribution to keeping our communities safe by washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, maintain the two metre rule and wear a face-covering in shops and other public indoor spaces.

In addition, people should not attend house parties involving people from outside their extended household group. Nor should they go to the pub or other hospitality venues with people from outside their extended household group. Indoor meetings of more than six from an extended household will be illegal from Monday.

Welsh Government has defined an extended household group as up to four households of close friends or family.

Pubs and restaurants in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have been told that they must strictly enforce the rules and risk enforcement action if they don’t.

Mr Jones said:

“Covid-19 is a very serious illness, especially for the elderly and those with existing medical conditions. People should keep two metres away from others outside their household bubble, avoid gatherings of more than 30 people and wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitiser.

“We want to keep Swansea and Neath Port Talbot safe. It’s only with public support that we can avoid a local lockdown in this area.”

To find out more about how to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 go here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

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