Bridgend Council announce Vaccine roll-out underway as tougher rules announced for shops

Surgeries across Bridgend County Borough are helping to ensure that thousands of vulnerable people in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board area are being vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus.

All GP surgeries are signed up to take part in the vaccination programme, and Cwm Taf has confirmed that among the first to do so are Ashfield Surgery, Newcastle Surgery, Riversdale House and Oak Tree Surgery in Bridgend, Bron Y Garn Surgery and Woodlands Surgery in Maesteg, Pencoed Medical Centre and The New Surgery, and Nantymoel Surgery in the Ogmore Valley.

With further surgeries set to be announced, priority groups are being targeted first and residents are being contacted when it is their turn to attend.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “The vaccination programme has been organised so that our most vulnerable residents can be inoculated first.

“While this is taking place, we can all support the roll-out and make sure we do not tie up resources by enquiring about it at pharmacies and GP surgeries. When it is our turn, we will be contacted with full details on when and where to go.

“The system has been designed to prevent ‘queue jumping’, and nobody should attempt to attend a vaccination centre without having an appointment in place to do so.

“As the effects of the vaccine may not be seen nationally for many months, the advice on keeping Wales safe remains the same  – remember to keep a two-metre distance from others, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face covering where required.”

Welsh Government has also confirmed that tighter regulations are being launched to help keep people safe when visiting local shops and businesses.

Under new rules, premises will be required to carry out a new risk assessment covering issues such as hygiene, the use of PPE and face coverings, whether adequate ventilation and physical distancing are in place, how employers can maximise the number of staff who can work from home, and more.

Speaking about the new requirements, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are working closely with employers, trade unions, local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive to consider the detail on how to keep work settings safe.

“Ministers have also met this week with key retailers to discuss their vital role during the pandemic. They set out the actions they are taking from providing sanitisers for hands and trolleys on entry, limiting the numbers in store at any one time, and making regular announcements reminding people to keep their distance from others.

“We will strengthen regulations to ensure retailers take these steps so that their premises are as safe as possible for shoppers and their employees alike. Many are already operating high standards, and we need to raise the bar for those who could and should improve.

“However, we all have a personal responsibility to help make shops as safe as possible.

“We all need to shop alone if we can, observe the two-metre rule, practise good hand hygiene and wear a face covering unless exempt. Any abuse directed at store employees who remind people of their responsibilities will not be tolerated.”

Mobile testing facilities remain available in Bridgend County Borough for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.

These include a drive-through testing facility at Ynysawdre Swimming Pool (CF32 9ET) which is open 9am-4pm every day until 21 January, and a walk-through testing facility at the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre (CF31 4AH) which is available 8am-8pm, seven days a week.

Booking for both of these facilities is essential and can be arranged by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. People with hearing or speech difficulties can book an appointment by calling 18001119.

A walk-in testing facility is also available at the Awel y Mor community centre in Porthcawl (CF36 5TN) until 21 January between 9am-4pm, seven days a week. No appointments are required to use this, and booking is not necessary.

You can check for symptoms of coronavirus by visiting the NHS 111 Wales website.