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Wales to go into circuit-breaker lockdown to fight coronavirus pandemic

Oct 19, 2020

London (United Kingdom), Oct 19: The Welsh government announced Monday that the region will enter a circuit-breaker lockdown for 17 days from Friday to tackle a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
The new coronavirus lockdown, which will come into effect from 6:00 p.m. BST (1700 GMT) on Friday, will see the closure of non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.
Under the new restrictions, people are urged to stay at home and work from home where possible. Household mixing will be banned both indoors and outdoors.
Meanwhile, primary schools in the region will open after the half-term week and secondary schools will open only to Year Seven and Year Eight pupils.
"There are no easy choices in front of us as the virus spreads rapidly in every part of Wales," said Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford while announcing the decision.
Drakeford said that a new lockdown would deliver "a short, sharp, shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and buy us more time". He also unveiled a 300 million pounds (about 390 million U.S. dollars) economic resilience fund to help businesses affected by the shutdown.
Another 16,982 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 722,409, according to official figures released Sunday.
The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 67 to 43,646, the data showed.
The British government is only responsible for lockdown restrictions in England. The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies in relation to public health matters.
Northern Ireland announced last week its own lockdown measures, ordering schools to close for two weeks. Most mass events are also banned and many businesses in the hospitality sector are shut for a month.
To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
Source: Xinhua