Welsh Government guidance on lockdown arrangements during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been updated.

Following the recent announcement from the First Minister, Professor Mark Drakeford, several changes have been made to the lockdown in Bridgend County Borough.

From Monday 22 June, non-essential shops and businesses will be able to re-open as long as they can implement all reasonable measures to comply with social distancing and continue to protect staff and customers from potential exposure to the coronavirus.

To support this, the council has been providing local traders with free online training as well as equipment such as sneeze-guards, and has published frequently asked questions at the council website. These will be developed further to provide businesses and the public with an up-to-date resource of information.

Childcare facilities will also be able to gradually reopen, with children attending just one provider where possible, and outdoor sports courts will also start to become available as long as they are not used for contact or team activities. Non-professional elite athletes, such as Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, will be able to return to training.

House viewings will be able to take place in vacant properties, as will house moves where a sale has been agreed but not yet completed, and private prayer in places of worship can resume as long as gatherings do not take place and social distancing is maintained at all times.

With a further review of the requirement to stay local due to take place in two weeks’ time, outdoor visitor attractions and tourism-based businesses are being advised to start making preparations for reopening. Final decisions will be based on the latest scientific and medical advice available at that time.

Travel outside the local area will be permitted on compassionate grounds, e.g. to support a family member, but general advice – to try and stay at home, avoid all unnecessary contact, exercise locally, minimise the risk of exposure to the virus, maintain social distancing and observe strict hand-hygiene procedures – remains in place.

Announcing the latest changes, the First Minister said: “We are now making concerted steps to resume something approaching a new normal while living alongside coronavirus.

“Let me end by saying again that this public health crisis is not over. Through all our efforts we have succeeded in bringing the fire of coronavirus under control, but that fire is not out.

“We all need to continue to play our part and to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. Please continue to stay local to keep Wales safe.”

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “As always, the ongoing safety and well-being of our residents remains our top priority throughout the pandemic.

“The new advice from Welsh Government represents the latest stage in a sensible, phased approach to the lifting of lockdown procedures, and I hope that local businesses will take advantage of the free support that the council is providing so that they are ready and prepared for reopening.

“We will be issuing further updates as the situation develops, and will be seeking to work alongside local businesses and residents alike to ensure that these measures can continue to support social distancing, and are capable of adapting and remaining fit for purpose as the pandemic continues. In the meantime, I’d like to thank all residents for their continuing patience and co-operation.”

For more details on services during the pandemic, please visit the Covid-19 coronavirus webpage at the council’s website, www.bridgend.gov.uk

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