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Statement from Council Leader, Cllr Kevin O'Neill

  • Categories : Press Release , Corporate
  • 18 Sep 2020
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The Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council again reminds residents and businesses of the importance of adhering to Welsh Government Guidance to avoid a local lockdown.

“With the increase in cases in our County Borough and seeing RCT lockdown yesterday, I urge you all to keep our communities safe and stop the spread of this virus.

“Locking down RCT could not have been an easy decision for Leader Cllr Andrew Morgan. As Leaders of neighbouring authorities, we both agreed that a local lockdown would always be a last resort. The impact on our businesses and the wellbeing of our residents during the last lockdown was significant and neither of us wanted to be in that position again. 

“With the huge rise in cases in RCT there was no option but take drastic action to lockdown their County Borough.  I fully support Councillor Morgan’s decision.  He had no alternative but to put the safety of his community first.

“Our Track, Trace and Protect Team are trying to get on top of the situation, but the numbers are growing daily”

Councillor O’Neill added “Should we find ourselves in a similar situation as RCT, we would have no option but to take the necessary steps, working with Public Health Wales and Welsh Government to consider a possibility of a local lockdown.

“To avoid this happening in our County Borough, I strongly urge you to continue to comply the new restrictions, implemented last week:

  • Only using public transport for essential purposes, which includes travel to education, work, essential medical appointments, shopping and visiting supermarkets;
  • Working from home for the next few weeks if you are able to do so. Actively seek the support of all employers to ensure that those that can work from home do so;
  • Wearing three- layer face coverings or masks, where it is safe to do so, whilst in work, in supermarkets and other indoor or crowded public spaces (recommended for age 12 and over);
  • Do Not visit care homes, unless it is an end of life visit where full PPE will be required.

“Should you have any symptoms, please do not hesitate to go for a test.

“We are very fortunate to have our own testing centre at the Castle Car Park Merthyr Tydfil.  This is a walk-in facility open from 9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p. and will be on-site until Tuesday 22nd September.

“Remember, if you are feeling unwell with Covid symptoms you must – stay at home, get yourself tested as soon as possible and self-isolate. A contract tracer will get in touch with you. It is essential that you follow their instructions to protect others. This means you must not leave your home for any reason. 

“As a local authority, together with our partners, we must continue to remind residents and businesses of how they can mitigate the risk of increased infection rates.

“Sadly, there is evidence that some people are ignoring or disregarding these guidelines, which is why transmission has increased, and we are now having to take enhanced public health action to limit the spread.

“Our message for the public is that Coronavirus has not gone away, and it can be a very serious illness - especially for older and vulnerable people.

“We need to do more to get these numbers back under control.

“Please help us to keep our communities safe.

“Thank you." 

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