Further pandemic changes will come into effect across Wales on 26 December as Welsh Government continues to announce new measures intended to fight the spread of Covid-19.
In Bridgend County Borough, this means that two-metre social distancing will be necessary in all premises that are open to the public, including workplaces, and that a maximum of six people can gather together in regulated premises such as cinemas, theatres, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues.
Table service and the collection of contact details will be necessary at all licensed premises, and face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when you are seated.
A maximum of 30 people can gather for an indoor event, while outdoor events can be attended by up to 50 people. Up to 50 people can also gather to watch team sports, and there is an exception for children’s events.
While there will be no restrictions on how many can mix at home, in gardens, outdoors or within holiday accommodation, people are being advised to exercise common sense and caution, and to follow some simple rules:
- Limit the number of visitors you invite to your home.
- Ask them to take a lateral flow test the morning before they visit.
- Try to meet outdoors or in a well-ventilated indoor space.
- Stagger expected visits to help control numbers.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
Announcing the new measures, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are facing a very serious situation in Wales. A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way.
“We are changing the rules for businesses and some public spaces, where lots of different people mix daily, and are issuing strong and clear advice to help people stay safe in their own private homes and when meeting others.”
Council Leader Huw David said: “The measures are a revised version of alert level two to respond to the new omicron variant, and are designed to help keep businesses open and trading and protect customers and staff.
“As part of the new measures, Welsh Government has also confirmed that it is doubling the recently announced financial support package for nightclubs, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses to £120m.
“The best way in which we can all fight the spread of coronavirus is by ensuring we receive our vaccination booster shots. Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed that more than 60 per cent of the eligible population across the region have now received the booster vaccine, and that almost 60,000 booster jabs have been carried out in Bridgend County Borough.
“With cases of the Omicron variant rising quickly across all parts of Wales, it remains absolutely vital to ensure that we are all fully vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has also confirmed that changes are being introduced at the Ravens Court vaccination centre where both vaccinations and booster jabs are being carried out.
Due to ongoing staff shortages, booster appointments between 8pm and 10pm have been cancelled. Instead, anyone who has been offered a booster appointment after 8pm is being contacted and asked to attend the centre at any time between 8am – 7.30pm on the same day of their appointment – you will need to bring along your letter or text message detailing your cancelled appointment slot.
In order to avoid long queues, people who have received appointments between 8am and 8pm are being reminded to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their appointment is due.
While the community vaccination centres are not offering booster walk-ins, they are continuing to offer walk-in slots for people who have yet to receive their first dose or are overdue their second dose.
First dose walk-ins are for people aged 16 and over, while second dose walk-ins are available to people aged 18 and over. This includes the Ravens Court vaccination centre in Bridgend (CF31 4AP) which is currently available for walk-ins from 11am-4.30pm Monday to Thursday, and on Friday 24 December between 11am-12pm.
Mobile testing remains available for anyone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. A drive-through testing facility is available at the former Revlon site in Maesteg (CF34 9TS) between 9am to 5pm. Drive-through testing is also available at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm.
Finally, a walk-through testing centre is available at the Bowls Hall car park in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) between 8am-8pm – please note that booking remains essential across all three sites.