By Tony Winterburn • 10 November 2020 • 8:16
Welsh revellers hit the town as they emerged from a two-week ‘firebreak’ Covid lockdown.
People braved the rain to hit the pubs and bars in Cardiff city centre last night in celebration after they endured a 17-day firebreak Covid lockdown. The restrictions were lifted after they were brought in to curb surging infection rates in Wales.
Now, cases have fallen in almost every part of Wales but in some areas, it remains unclear if the ‘firebreak’ was responsible. People flocked to bars and restaurants to mark their freedom and to meet friends. It comes as England went into its own two-week second lockdown to fight the surge in Covid cases across the country.
As part of their freedom, four people groups from different households are permitted to meet in cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants. Gyms, hairdressers, non-essential shops and places of worship are allowed to reopen again. Supermarkets can also start selling non-essential items after controversy over what is deemed as essential. Although, alcohol sales are still restricted by a 10 pm curfew, that didn’t stop people hitting the town last night.
Welsh Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford welcomed the new phase of freedom but went on to urge people to still be vigilant. Mr Drakeford told Monday’s Welsh Government press briefing the all-Wales level had now dropped from 250 cases per 100,000 people to just under 220 cases – and stressed it was “vital” people continued to work from home.
Mr Drakeford said: “We won’t know the full impact for a couple of weeks yet but there are some tentative early positive signs, and those give us some hope. Mobility data shows large increases in people staying at home during the firebreak – back to the levels last seen in May. It is vital that working from home as much as possible continues beyond today.”
Mr Drakeford added that rates in Merthyr Tydfil – which briefly became the worst-hit area of the UK last week with 741 cases per 100,000 people – had now fallen to around 520.
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