From 9 November the Welsh Government will implement a number of Health Protection Measures that aim to keep Wales safe.

View full details on the latest Welsh Government Health Protection Measures in place for Wales

The main things people are asked to do are:

Stay out of each other’s homes, except in very limited circumstances

Limit the times you leave your home, and the distance you travel                                  

When you do leave home, please try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally

Meet people outdoors rather than indoors where possible, even in circumstances where the law allows you to meet indoors                                                                                    

Work from home if you can

Maintain social distancing, including outdoors

Self-isolate if you show symptoms of coronavirus

Wash your hands regularly and follow other advice on hygiene

There are laws in place to make sure people do not choose to take unnecessary risks. The main requirements are that:

  • other than in very limited circumstances, people must not enter each other’s homes or gardens
  • when you meet people you don’t live with away from your home, in most circumstances, the absolute maximum number of people meeting should be four (not including any children aged under 11)
  • face coverings must be worn in indoor public places, and
  • you must self-isolate when you are told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect

Failure to abide by these rules can result in fines or prosecution in a magistrates’ court. More information on fines and enforcement can be found here.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of the restrictions is to prevent the transmission of the virus, including to those we care about – both within the area and outside it. People will need to make judgements for themselves about what is reasonable, in line with that overarching principle in order to keep themselves and their wider community safe.

The Health Protection Measures for Wales include:

Travel

A reasonable excuse includes travelling for work, education, a medical appointment, legal requirement or compassionate grounds. If travelling into England, you will need to follow the laws in place in England (on GOV.UK), which we cannot advise you on.

However, the basic message remains that people should stay within their local area and within Wales as much as possible.

Meeting with others

  • TWO households CAN join together to form an exclusive extended household/bubble. To help keep everyone as safe as possible at home, only people from your own household or extended household can meet in your private home or garden. An extended household can meet in groups of more than FOUR in outdoor spaces, but not in those joined to pubs, cafes or restaurants etc. e.g. beer gardens. 

  • Groups of FOUR from different households can meet in outdoor public places. They will NOT be able to meet in private gardens, or in each other’s homes. This is a maximum and not a target – the smaller the number of people who gather, the lower the risk.

  • You are allowed to go to pubs, restaurants and cafes with people form outside your household, as long as you maintain physical distancing from them and the size of the group does not exceed 4 people (not including any children aged under 11 or a carer of a member of the group). However, this is a maximum and not a target – the smaller the number of people who gather, the lower the risk.

  • Larger groups of people who all live in the same house will be allowed to eat and drink out together. However, extended households/bubbles of MORE THAN four people will NOT be allowed to sit together in pubs, cafes or restaurants

  • Children under 11 years old do not count towards the number of people allowed to meet indoors or outdoors. 

  • Up to 15 people CAN take part in organised indoors activities and up to 30 in organised outdoors activities, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other COVID-19 safety measures are followed. Activities MUST NOT include the sale or consumption of alcohol.

  • More details meeting with others can be found here

Businesses and work

Council Services

  • Libraries - The Home Library Service and the School Library Service will be operating and all libraries will be providing an Order and Collect service from Monday, November 16.

  • Council-run leisure facilities will re-open across the County Borough, however, restirctions will be in place due to social distacing requirements. More information is available here.
  • Community Centres and Community Hubs are requested to only open for a small number of essential reasons, such as childcare, foodbanks, employment skills support and community welfare groups providing mental health and wellbeing support. Please contact your local centre to see if they are open, as most will remain closed 

  • RCT Council attractions remain CLOSED

  • ALL Community Recycling Centres across Rhondda Cynon Taf will Re-Open for extended hours (8am-7.30pm) until Sunday 15th November. From Monday 16th November Winter opening hours will apply (8am-5.30pm).

  • Recycling and waste collections will continue to run, however if your collection is delayed please leave at the kerbside and it will be collected as soon as possible. Green waste collections will remain weekly until Friday 13th November. They will then change to fortnightly from Monday 16th November for the winter months.

  • Play areas and parks are OPEN and should only be accessed by groups of no more than FOUR people. People should also continue to frequently handwash or sanitise, avoid eating or drinking in parks, wipe down equipment with their own wipes, and maintain low numbers within parks and on equipment by taking turns or using parks at less busy times.

  • A number of public toilets will remain OPEN including town centre locations and those based at; Dare Valley Country Park, Aberdare Park and Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd - More information is available here.

  • All care homes are continuing to provide an essential service, while taking all necessary actions to reduce the risk of infection to the people living there.

  • All social care arrangements currently in place in respect of day services, respite and other direct provision, remain as they were during the two-week firebreak. Further information relating to Adult Social Care during this time is available on these pages. Further information relating to Children Social Care during this time is available on these pages.

  • ALL schools and child care settings WILL re-open on Monday 9th November and home to school transport WILL continue to operate in accordance with the latest Public Health Wales guidance - Read the Return to School FAQ's

  • Further information on Council Services is available on the Service Updates page here.

The message is clear that whilst people now have permission to undertake these activities, they should do so sparingly and consciously. In the weeks ahead we must ask ourselves not “what can I do, but what should I do”to keep myself and others in Wales safe from coronavirus.

  • In addition to the above please continue to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing (2 metres).

  • Masks or three layer face coverings, that cover your mouth and nose, are now mandatory in Wales and MUST be appropriately worn in ALL indoor public spaces and where social distancing can't be maintained, unless you have a valid or medical exemption for not doing so - view Welsh Government guidelines. We are also asking residents to volunteer to wear them in all busy, crowded, outdoor public spaces – including outside school gates at pick-up and drop-off times.  

  • The Council also strongly recommends that residents avoid using public transport unless it is for an essential journey (to access education, employment, medical appointments, or to shop for basic provisions).

View full details on the latest Welsh Government Health Protection Measures in place for Wales

Failure to comply with the measures set out above and in the relevant Welsh Government documents is a criminal offence and could result in enforcement action being taken by Council Enforcement Officers and South Wales Police to protect your fellow residents and help keep RCT and Wales safe. 

Enforcement Action and Fines

Outbreak Control and Prevention 

The Council is continuing to monitor and take action where necessary to ensure that ALL businesses and premises comply with COVID-19 regulations (Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020), which came into force on 10 August 2020, to control, minimise and prevent the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The Council is already taking action to ensure all large supermarkets, retail stores and licensed premises adhere to the Regulations. South Wales Police continue to actively enforce current Wales-wide COVID-19 regulations with residents alongside the Councils’ environmental health teams.

Improvement Notices have already been served on a number of premises across Rhondda Cynon Taf following failures to comply with COVID-19 regulations, these may include, but are not limited to, lack of regulation of social distancing and provision of hand and cleaning sanitiser.

These are posted on the COVID-19 Outbreak Control and Prevention page.

The public are reminded that if they feel a business, area or premises are not complying, they should not enter or participate in the activity – we all have a personal responsibility to control the spread and help Keep Wales and RCT Safe. 

Testing and self-isolation

If you have ANY symptoms of coronavirus:

  • high temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

You MUST self-isolate at home and apply for a test:

ONLY leave your home to attend a testing centre during this time, if necessary, and do not visit ANYWHERE else between attending a test centre. You MUST continue to self-isolate at home until you have recieved your test results.

People who have tested positive or have come in to close contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus are required by law to self-isolate for ten days (if tested postive) or 14 days (if you've been in close contact) when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. This notification will come through a phone call, text message or email. Failure to do so can lead to you being issued a fine or criminal prosecution.

Further information on self-isolation and requrements are available here.

By coming together and carrying out the above measures, we can turn the tide on this virus and help keep RCT and Wales safe.

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