Following the four UK Nations meeting earlier today the Welsh Government announced that the higher level restrictions, alert level 4 would come into force from midnight tonight on Saturday 19 December 2020 for the whole of Wales.

Originally, it was noted that restrictions would be introduced after a five-day relaxation period over Christmas, but because the number of cases is currently increasing very rapidly, and concern that a much more infectious variant of the virus is spreading more quickly the Welsh Government decided to introduce the restrictions immediately.

From midnight tonight changes will be introduced that will affect businesses and residents of Ceredigion as follows:

  • All non-essential retail businesses, including close contact services, all leisure and fitness centres and all hospitality sites will close at the end of the day.
  • Tighter restrictions on mixing between households will change from tonight.  Two families can create a bubble on Christmas day only. It will not be possible to do so over the 5 days as originally stated.  However, a single person household will be able to join with one other household throughout the level 4 period.

Mark Drakeford said that today was one of the days where new information required an immediate response.

The level of cases in Ceredigion are among the highest since the beginning of the pandemic, and despite the efforts of residents, businesses, voluntary groups, Hywel Dda Health Board, Ceredigion County Council and others to try to control the outbreak, the level of cases remains at 207.7 per 100,000 population.

Changing our plans at short notice is going to be very difficult for us all, but we can only overcome this by working together.  It is essential that we respond immediately to this danger.

To play our part and to keep each other safe, it is important that we abide by the rules and remember to:

  • Adhere to the rules of keeping a social distance with people who do not live with us or who are not in our support bubble
  • Wear face covering (if we can) in all indoor public places
  • Stay at home
  • Not forming an extended household (adults living alone or single parents are allowed to join one other household to create a support bubble)
  • Don't meet anyone indoors except for the people we live with or who are in our support bubble
  • Don't meet anyone but our household or support bubble in a private garden
  • Don't meet anyone but our household or outdoor support bubble
  • Work from home if we can
  • Not travelling without reasonable excuse
  • Not travelling abroad without reasonable excuse.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you must self-isolate at home and arrange an immediate test, leaving your home for a test only. You can order a test online or by calling 119.

Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms of COVID-19 include high temperatures, a new continuous cough and experiencing loss or change in sense of smell or sense of taste. But also, the early symptoms can usually include headaches, fatigue and general flu-related pains. So we encourage people who feel unwell to be very careful, especially to wash hands and keep a distance, and if in doubt, order a test.

Together we can keep Ceredigion safe.