Call for Welsh communities to help support the vulnerable during ‘fire break’ lockdown

Food bank. Picture by the Welsh Government

The people of Wales have been called upon to volunteer in their communities to help those who are most vulnerable during the ‘fire break’ lockdown.

The lockdown began at 6pm yesterday and will continue for 17 days until midnight on November 9th.

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, said that volunteering was invaluable during the first lockdown in March in supporting those most vulnerable and taking pressure off the NHS.

“As we now move into a short national lockdown, there will many people and groups needing support, and thankfully people and groups willing to help – whether that’s collecting shopping, dropping off prescriptions, or making a friendly phone call,” she said.

Guidance on how to volunteer safely and effectively is available here and here.

Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, called on communities to come together in a safe way to support those who are most vulnerable.

“Through the strict UK-wide lockdown earlier this year, volunteers, third sector organisations and community groups came together with spirit and conviction to support local communities,” she said.

“We could not have continued to function so well without your help, support and hard work.

“You have already made a huge difference across Welsh communities. Community groups have shown how well volunteers work together, and I wish to applaud and celebrate the efforts made, and encourage you to continue supporting your local communities from home, if reasonably practicable, or by staying as close to home as possible.

“The firebreak rules allow us to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them. But it is important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk.”

 

What are the new lockdown rules?

From 6pm on Friday all of Wales will have to adhere to the following lockdown rules:

  • People must stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
  • People must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with.
  • Certain businesses and venues, including bars, restaurants and most shops must close
  • Secondary schools will provide learning online only for the week after half-term, other than for children in years seven and eight. Primary schools and childcare settings will remain open.
  • Face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions), including on public transport and in taxis

If you break these new laws:

  • You may be told to go home or be removed from where you are and sent home.
  • You could have to pay a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will rise to £120 for the second breach.
  • Or you could have criminal proceedings brought against you, and if found guilty, you may have to pay a fine.

A full breakdown of the rules around the Covid-19 ‘fire break’ lockdown can be found on the Welsh Government website.

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