‘We face a bleak winter’: Council leader warns of ‘long-term lockdown after Christmas’ in Wales
Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter
The leader of Denbighshire council has warned that a “long-term lockdown after Christmas will be a reality” as we face up to a “very bleak winter”.
Cllr Hugh Evans MBE made the remarks during an urgent item announcement to the authority’s last cabinet meeting of 2020 on Tuesday.
He said it had been a “challenging and testing year” and thanked staff for their work keeping services going since March.
Cllr Evans said many workers had “gone beyond the call of duty keeping services open, protecting residents and supporting local businesses”.
He also thanked public service partners for their help but said his thoughts were with those across Denbighshire and wider region who “had suffered as a consequence of the pandemic”.
He said: “It would be remiss of me not to reflect on what has been a very challenging and testing year for the authority.
“As we reach the end of the year, it is a relief to note that vaccines are becoming available and we will play our part in rolling those vaccines out.
“In the meantime, we do face a very bleak winter. The rolling average of people testing positive is rising and long-term lockdowns after Christmas will be a reality.”
Welsh Government unveiled its four alert levels to deal with the pandemic on Monday this week.
Although there has been talk of a further lockdown post-Christmas because of the situation in Wales, Welsh Government still appears to be pushing on with plans to relax rules for five days over the festive period.
Cases per 100,000 of the population in the county have now topped 125 and rising – the third highest in the north of Wales but around half of that in Wrexham, the hardest hit county.
In the south of Wales, some local authorities are seeing rates of 650-870 cases per 100,000, with rates in its least affected council areas more than two-and-a-half times higher than Denbighshire.