ACTION is being taken against a small number of licensed premises in Llanelli which council leader Emlyn Dole said were the principal cause of a spike of coronavirus infections in the town.
Stricter measures come into force in Llanelli from 6pm on Saturday September 26.
Cllr Dole said this was not a lockdown as such, and that the measures for the new “health protection zone” would be reviewed in a fortnight.
He praised the majority of people in the town, and across Carmarthenshire, for adhering to Wales’s coronavirus guidelines for the last six months.
“The first message is a huge thank you to the majority who have done what they should have done and abided by the restrictions,” said Cllr Dole.
But he criticised the clientele of two or three pubs in Llanelli who “could not give a hoot about everyone else and have decided for themselves the danger is over”.
He said: “That seems to be where it mostly started – then it spreads.”
In the last seven days, Llanelli has had 85 positive cases compared to 24 in the rest of the county.
As of 6pm on September 26, residents living in defined parts of Llanelli:
– will not be able to visit anyone else’s home, or accept visitors into their home, unless they have a reasonable excuse such as providing care for a vulnerable person
– should not arrange to meet indoors with anyone who they don’t live with, and travel in and out of the health protection zone will also be limited – people should not leave the area or travel into the area unless it is essential. Travelling in and out for a holiday is not considered a reasonable excuse
– should work from home, and employers must take all reasonable steps to support staff to do so
– must wear face coverings anywhere where they cannot maintain a two-metre distance from other people, including collecting children from school, in addition to the rules which already require them to wear a face covering in indoor spaces like shops and on public transport.
All indoor and outdoor visits to residential care homes have also been suspended.
Students may still travel into and out of the health protection zone to go to school or college.
Shops will remain open, but people living outside the defined area should avoid travelling to visit them and shop locally wherever possible.
The health protection zone covers the following wards: Bigyn, Bynea, Dafen, Elli, Felinfoel, Glanymor, Hendy, Hengoed, Llangennech, Lliedi, Llwynhendy, Tyisha, and Swiss Valley.
Cllr Dole said he discussed the rising cases at length with fellow executive board members earlier this week, and recommended to Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government that Llanelli-only measures – rather than county-wide ones – would suffice.
The Plaid Cymru leader said the good news was that cases in Caerphilly were falling after strict measures were introduced there on September 8.
He said positive cases in Carmarthenshire outside of Llanelli appeared to be stable – and that in general there was a lot of goodwill among the public about doing the right thing.
Cllr Dole said the “stupidity” of a minority was a source of frustration and anger to him, given the efforts of most residents.
He said the message to those breaking the rules was that “we are taking them seriously and will do all we can to ensure they adhere”.