Non-essential retail to shut in Welsh short-term lockdown
Wales has announced a 17-day “firebreak” lockdown, which means most businesses must close. Non-essential retail is now back to where it was in the wider UK lockdown that ended in June.
Service businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons must also shut.
Residents of Wales are being told to work from home where possible and household mixing both indoors and outdoors has been banned for the duration.
Unlike the earlier lockdown, primary schools will reopen after half-term week but secondary schools will opened for Year 7 and 8 pupils only.
The Welsh government said the shutdown would last until November 9 and was intended to deliver a “short, sharp shock” to reverse the trend of rising coronavirus cases.
The measures come with a £300 million economic resilience fund to help businesses. All firms currently qualifying for small business rates relief will get £1,000. And small and medium-sized retailers that are forced to close will get a one-off payment of up to £5,000.
The UK government has continued to resist calls for a similar lockdown in England. But if Covid cases continue to rise, its resistance could be harder to justify, especially with issues around the three-tier restrictions system that England currently operates.
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