National firebreak for Wales – A statement from Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael
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A “short, sharp firebreak” will be introduced in Wales to help regain control of Coronavirus, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
The national restrictions will apply to everyone in Wales and will start at 6pm on Friday, October 23 and will end on Monday. November 9.
The measures will replace the existing local lockdown restrictions that are in force in large parts of the country.
Encouraging the public to continue supporting the collective effort, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: “The very worrying rise in Coronavirus across Wales has resulted in Welsh Government imposing a short, sharp firebreak lockdown from 6pm on Friday 23rd October.
“Sadly, this will return us to the situation earlier in the year when we were instructed to stay at home except for a limited number of reasons. I fully support the very responsible steps taken by Ministers in Wales to introduce these measures to regain control of the virus to reduce the pressure on the NHS.
“As has been the case throughout this public health emergency, South Wales Police officers will play their part in encouraging people to play their part by following the rules.
“As the First Minister quite rightly pointed out, simply relying on police enforcement to get people to comply with the restrictions will mean that they will fail.
“This is a public health emergency and preventing the spread of Coronavirus is a responsibility that is shared by everybody and local authority staff and police officers have worked well together across South Wales through very difficult and challenging times. But I want to stress that the responsibility lies with every single one of us – we must take individual and collective responsibility.
“If we don’t all take personal responsibility we will all pay a price – and while it is a minority who flout the rules we all need to play a part in explaining to them that it really does matter.
“Our officers have shown how that can be done with the “4Es” approach – they have engaged people, they’ve explained the rules, they’ve encouraged people to follow them and if necessary they have enforced the law.
“But enforcement shouldn’t be necessary – personal responsibility is absolutely essential and if we don’t get this right and cases continue to rise then we are going to be subject of lockdown restrictions for a much longer period of time.
“It’s time for people to act before the situation gets even worse – and that really applies to all of us, everywhere.
“Covid-19 cases have risen dramatically in many South Wales communities and the risk is that more people will become seriously ill, admitted to hospital or even die. Adhering to the firebreak lockdown really is a matter of life and death.