Museums and galleries across Wales have been told to close for two weeks from Friday as part of a two-week "fire-break" announced by first minister Mark Drakeford today.
The “Wales-wide effort” to curb the spread of Covid will start at 6pm on Friday 23 October and will replace existing local lockdown restrictions.
People are being asked to stay at home, except for limited purposes such as exercise, and to work from home wherever possible. All non-food retail, tourism and hospitality businesses are being asked to close, and no gatherings will be allowed outside, including Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations.
The Welsh Government has unveiled a £300m package of support for small businesses, which will be eligible to receive a one-off payment of £5,000. A further £80m fund was announced last week to help businesses in the longer term.
Drakeford said: “It is with a heavy heart that I once again ask everyone to stay at home and businesses to shut.
“We are all tired of coronavirus and the many rules and regulations we all have to live with. We all want to see an end to this pandemic and our lives returned to us. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a vaccine, which will allow us to do that.
“This fire-break is our best chance of regaining control of the virus and avoiding a much longer – and damaging – national lockdown. We have a small window of opportunity to act.”
The announcement follows the introduction of a similar lockdown in Northern Ireland last week. Museums and galleries remain open in England and Scotland for the time being in spite of local lockdown restrictions.