Senedd shut down to the public over coronavirus fears
The Senedd will be closed down to the public from tomorrow onwards to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Assembly Commission said that they met today in order to agree a series of actions in response to the pandemic, including a bar on public access between 17 March and 26 April.
The Commission also decided to postpone the Senedd’s week of business in the northeast later this Summer.
One Assembly Member, the Brexit Party’s Mark Reckless, has already said that he is self-isolating in case he has the virus.
The move comes as the UK Government urged the public to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.
The first death in Wales from coronavirus was confirmed in Wrexham today.
“This includes guided tours, educational visits and any public events at the Senedd and Pierhead buildings on the Assembly estate in Cardiff Bay,” they said.
“Both buildings will close to the public except for those attending or observing formal meetings of the Assembly and Assembly Committees. The Assembly’s regular programme of external activity including staff visits to schools across Wales and community engagement by the Assembly’s Committees will also be suspended.
“The Assembly’s Business Committee will meet on Tuesday morning to confirm Assembly business for the next two weeks before the Easter recess. Committee business this week includes a special session of the Health Committee with the Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer. Emergency legislation relating to COVID-19 is expected to require full Assembly scrutiny the following week.
“Commissioners also discussed the need to support staff directly and indirectly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the need to continue to provide relevant guidance to Assembly Members relating to their own staff and offices.
“All Assembly decisions and operations will be reviewed in line with any updated guidance from the Welsh Government.“
Today the UK Government announced the following new measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
- Anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days
- People should start working from home where they possibly can
- Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
- Only use the NHS when we really need to
- From tomorrow the UK Government will no longer be “supporting” mass gatherings using emergency workers
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is approaching the “fast growth part of the upward curve” in the coronavirus outbreak.
He added that without “drastic action”, cases could double every five to six days.
As a result, the government is asking for people to begin avoiding all unnecessary social contact, he said.