As a border town, Wrexham is faced with many variations on lockdown restrictions which have an impact on our lives and communities. The different rules and regulations emerging between Wales and England are often confusing. It is important to remember that Wrexham residents need to follow the guidance that is released by Welsh Government.
AVOW have compiled a short list of some of the key areas residents should be aware of.
Note: There is no suggestion here of a right or wrong approach, simply a clarification of our current situation.
Shops and services are beginning to open at different times. From this weekend, some shops will be opening in England. However, residents in Wales are still required to Stay Local and avoid travelling beyond a 5-mile radius.
It is compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport in England. This guidance has not come into effect in Wales. However, if you travel on an Arriva bus in Wales the company have now made it compulsory on their services.
The start dates and return criteria are different for England and Wales. Welsh Government have announced their intention for all schools and all age groups to return to school by the end of June. England have now rescheduled their opening for September. Families with children in schools in both countries will particularly be affected.
These changes may also affect those who volunteer in our communities, if you have been affected please contact the AVOW COVID Team by email COVID19@avow.org.
Anyone Shielding in Wales are now able to go out into their garden but have suggested that restriction applies until 16th August 2020. You can read the Welsh Government announcement on their website.
The restrictions in Wales allow two households to meet outside, maintaining a 2-meter distance, with no maximum number of individuals. In England the restrictions allow up-to six people to meet-up, providing social distancing is observed.
This is a new term, which allows single people living in England to become a ‘bubble buddies’ with another household.
The advice from Welsh Government is to ‘Stay Local’, preferably within 5 miles where possible. Policing of the border has already presented various problems, as residents may be tempted to travel further to cross into England.
Track, Trace and Protect
Similar to the Test and Trace used in England. Both schemes identity individuals who test positive for COVID-19. They then identify individuals and households who have been in contact with the identified and inform them to isolate for 14 days.
The success of this scheme will depend upon the number of contacts that can be identified and the recommended guidelines for isolation.
There are questions arising about this scheme such as:
- What happens for the person who has tested positive?
- What happens to those who are contacted?
The Welsh Government have released ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and this will be regularly updated on their website.
Track, Trace and Protect Scams are a concern and residents should note that ‘Someone calling from the Test, Trace and Protect Service will never ask you for any financial information, bank details or password. For more information please see the Welsh Government website.
If anyone is informed to isolate and needs support they can contact the AVOW Covid Helpdesk that is remaining fully operational on firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 312556.
To avoid confusion, the 5 pm TV briefing, in most instances, is reporting on England only issues. The 12:30 pm TV briefing on BBC Wales usually present current information and updates for Wales.
These are often made at the 5 pm TV Briefing, in most instanced these refer onto to England. The use of allocated funds in Wales is based on a formula for the Welsh Government.
For the time being, Social Distancing remains at 2 meters. These apply to everyone, in England and Wales. Social Distancing requires the discipline of two individuals, and so there is still an element of risk here.
In England, faith buildings are open for private prayer from 14th June. No date has yet been provided for Wales.
However, many faith communities have adapted to online services and will be considering how they retain these going forward.
The demand for facemasks is increasing with travel and workplaces reopening. It is important that everyone who is purchasing a mask uses a reputable source and that these products meet the required quality standards.
Facemasks alone will not be suitable for protection against COVID-19, and so it is important that we don’t become complacent. Hand washing is still one of the most essential parts of personal protection, alongside Social Distancing.
Case Numbers and Medical Treatment
North Wales is currently the highest level of identified and confirmed cases this week across Wales. These numbers are based on a variety of factors, such as the impact of more tests being undertaken.
The three hospitals within the North Wales region have come together to develop capacity and also start returning to usual medical cases and treatments.
For further updates on case numbers please see the DailyPost Heat Map on their website.
There is also a link to the Welsh Government Health Minister on local COVID-19 Lockdowns, including discussion of a second peak, schools and the next steps for Wales, available through the DailyPost website.
Businesses or Community groups who have already registered onto the Furlough scheme should have finalised their arrangements by last week. New businesses who have not registered have until the end of June to apply.
There have been numerous changes to the scheme since it’s implementation, and the next steps can be found on the UK Government website.
Many organisations in the region have had to develop IT-based solutions to the way they work. These have required short-term fixes for long-term problems. However, there are significant discounts available from major suppliers through the Charity Partnership scheme. You can find out more about this scheme through their website.
AVOW Funding Officer, Nigel Davies continues to update the Funding with AVOW Facebook group, funding opportunities, advice, guidance and events are available through the online forum.
Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund (VSEF)
AVOW are distributing funds to organisations working across Wrexham County Borough. The local grant scheme remains open and applications are welcomed by the weekly panel for up-to £1000. Find out more on our website.
One-Stop-Shop for Information in Wales
Senedd Research is separate from Welsh Government and a handy resource for all politicians and civil servants. It can be accessed via their website.
AVOW hopes to keep this as a weekly briefing to share with our community’s support information and guidance- if there are issues you want information on email email@example.com
The content of this briefing is provided for information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the content. We do not accept responsibility for any errors, omissions, misleading statements, or the consequences thereof. https://avow.org/terms-and-conditions/