Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Published: 27 November 2020

Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This statement will be updated daily at 2pm

Statement: Thursday 26 November 2020

Dr Robin Howe, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said:

“Public Health Wales notes the decision of the four nations of the UK regarding the relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period, enabling up to three households to meet.

“The festive period is important for people across Wales who want to be with loved ones during the holidays, particularly after a very difficult year, but we would remind everyone that we must each continue to take personal responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones, particularly if they are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable. For many, this will mean that it isn’t possible to celebrate Christmas in the way you normally would.

“Public Health Wales is encouraging everyone who lives, works or studies in Merthyr Tydfil to attend the mass testing service at the Leisure Centre as soon as they can – even if they do not have symptoms.

“Thank you to those who have already attended and undertaken a test, as this will help us to break the chains of transmission in the area. However, in order for the exercise to be as successful as possible then we need as many people in the area as possible to be tested.

“For more information about the testing exercise, visit the MTCBC website.

“Anyone aged 11+ without any symptoms can have a test, but children under 18 will need parental consent. The more people who get tested, the more chances we have to reduce the spread of the virus.

“People with symptoms should also get tested but need to book a test either by calling 119 or by clicking here.

“Public Health Wales strongly advises the public to take personal responsibility for their actions and to ensure that we are all doing as much as possible to limit the transmission of Coronavirus.

“We would remind everyone that Coronavirus is still active in our communities, and therefore this does not mean a return to normality.

“We ask the public to observe the new regulations and to limit their contact with other people as much as possible so that we all work together to bring the numbers of positive cases down.

“This means staying out of other people’s homes, limiting the times and the numbers of people that you meet, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene, working from home if you can, and self-isolating if you show symptoms of coronavirus or are asked to do so by contact tracers.

“All of these actions will help to break the chains of transmission, reduce the spread of the virus, and keep people safe.

“We understand that people will want to carry on with their Christmas shopping now the fire-break has ended. We would suggest to try to visit shops during off-peak times, to always maintain social distancing and to wear a face covering if you can. Options such as ‘click and collect’ or online purchasing may also be something to consider.

“Action has been taken following reports from health authorities in Denmark that widespread outbreaks of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been found in mink farms, with subsequent spread of a mink-variant virus to the local community.

“As a precautionary measure, Denmark was removed from the UK Coronavirus travel corridor list on Friday 6 November. Any travellers returning to the UK will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days according to the national guidance and legislation https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control/self-isolating-when-you-arrive.

“We would also advise all members of the public with pet mink or ferrets to avoid contact with them while symptomatic with any COVID symptoms.

“We recognise that many people may be finding life more challenging, resulting in difficulties with mental health. There are many agencies which provide help and support, including the C.A.L.L. helpline on 0800 132 737, which will refer callers to the most appropriate organisation according to their needs.

“If you are in severe mental distress or are having suicidal thoughts, please contact Samaritans Cymru free on 116 123. You can also find sources of advice and guidance on our website if you need some help or are worried about a loved one.

“NHS Wales is still here to help you if you need care, and it’s important you continue to attend appointments and seek help for urgent medical issues. You should phone beforehand and follow any guidance your local surgery, dentist, optometrist or health service has put in place to protect you and staff, including the need to keep 2m away from other patients.

“If you or a member of your household develop symptoms of the Coronavirus, such as a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, you must self-isolate immediately and book a free Coronavirus test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

“Helpful advice and support is available via the NHS COVID-19 app. As well as providing alerts if you have been in contact with someone with Coronavirus, the app will also tell you the current risk level in your area.

“Information about the symptoms of Coronavirus is available on the Public Health Wales website, or via the NHS 111 Wales symptom checker.