Will builders merchants have to close?
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Wales has decided to impose a “firebreak” lockdown for 17 days, starting from 6pm on Friday, October 23. First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said the introduction of new lockdown rules would deliver a “short, sharp shock”. Mr Drakeford added: “It will have to be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need. Everyone in Wales will be required to stay at home. All non-essential businesses will have to close.”
Will builders merchants have to close?
The new coronavirus lockdown restrictions brought into Wales will take the country back to the earlier rules in March.
Most businesses will have to close for the duration, and people will be told to stay home and work from home wherever possible.
Households mixing both indoors and outdoors has been banned for now, although those in social bubbles can still meet up.
Primary schools will open after the half-term week, while secondary schools will only see years 7 and 8 returning to the classroom.
Places of worship will be closed except for weddings and funerals, and the restrictions are expected to come to an end on Monday, November 9.
The Welsh Government has confirmed to Express.co.uk that building merchants will be allowed to stay open for the duration of the firebreak lockdown.
The official list of businesses that will be able to remain open is due to be published on Wednesday, October 21.
The Government of Wales said essential and emergency repairs can still go on inside other people’s homes.
The official guidance states: “Work carried out inside other people’s homes can only take place if it is urgent or to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing or carry out an adaptation to allow that household to remain in their property, or the property is vacant.
“Work should not be carried out at someone else’s house if the worker or any member of the household is self-isolating or showing symptoms of COVID-19, however mild.
“Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households.
“If attendance is unavoidable, additional precautions should be taken to keep workers and householders completely separate from each other.”
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Mr Drakeford said bringing in new restrictions was necessary to not only reduce the spread of the virus but to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed in the coming months.
As it stands, an estimated 2.3million people in Wales are living under local lockdown rules.
Northern Ireland has also undertaken a lockdown, lasting four weeks, and with pubs and restaurants closed to the public.
Schools will also close for a two-week period, which will coincide with the half-term break at the end of October.
UK officials have criticised the Government in recent weeks for failing to provide adequate financial support to workers forced to stay home due to lockdown restrictions.
Although Government officials said a deal was in reach which would offer money to compensate businesses and workers, mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham said an agreement was “not about the size of the cheque”.
Mr Burnham told Sky News: “It’s about protecting low-paid workers, people who are self-employed, supporting businesses and preventing them from collapsing. That’s what this is about.
“We’ve always said we would put people’s health first, and we will do that.
“But health is about more than controlling the virus – people’s mental health, I think, is now pretty low given that we’ve been under restrictions here for three months already.”
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