Plaid Cymru’s candidate in Caerphilly’s Senedd election has said that masks should be made compulsory in shops across Wales after the Welsh Government mandated their use in the borough.
It was announced yesterday that everyone in Caerphilly over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in shops, as one part of the first local lockdown announced in Wales.
Plaid Cymru’s South Wales East MS Delyth Jewell, the candidate in Caerphilly next year, said that it showed that face coverings in shops should be brought in across the rest of Wales as well.
Masks must be won in shops in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but the Welsh Government has so far resisted saying that they must be worn in Wales, apart from on public transport.
“As cases rise across Wales the Welsh Government must now make face coverings mandatory in shops across the country,” Delyth Jewell said.
“All efforts must go into protecting our communities and preventing a second wave – and a second lockdown.
“During the lockdown months we saw our communities in Caerphilly at their very best. We saw people supporting each other and looking out for their neighbours.
“We need to show that same community spirit now as we face this local lockdown and come together to keep our communities safe.
“The best way we have now of looking out for our most vulnerable friends and neighbours is by following government guidelines and maintaining social distancing.
“Anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms should seek a test immediately and self-isolate for fourteen days.”
A range of new measures will come into force tomorrow in Caerphilly today at 6pm in a bid to reduce the number of new coronavirus infections.
As well as saying that everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in shops, the Welsh Government have said that people will not be allowed to enter or leave the Caerphilly County Borough Council area without a reasonable excuse.
Also, people will only be able to meet outdoors – meetings with other people indoors and extended households will not be allowed. No overnight stays will be allowed, either.
They are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to clusters of people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines in the borough and summer holidays overseas.
The Welsh Government said that at 55.4 cases per 100,000 population, Caerphilly county had the highest rate in Wales and one of the highest in the UK.
It is the first local restriction announced in Wales since the start of the pandemic.
Schools, bars and restaurants are not being closed under the restrictions. Care visits will be able to go ahead.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething told BBC Wales: “Social distancing had broken down in large parts.
“There’s been a sustained rise in cases and we’ve been able to trace that back to activity that has largely taken place in people’s homes.”