WG announces national coronavirus fire-break

Posted on Monday 19th October 2020

Welsh Government has today announced that a short, sharp “fire-break” will be introduced across Wales at the end of this week to help regain control of coronavirus.

The fire-break will start at 6pm on Friday 23 October and end on Monday 9 November. It will apply to everyone living in Wales and will replace the local restrictions which are currently in force in Newport.

In his press conference, the First Minister detailed the return to a ‘stay at home’ approach and said the fortnight-long action is needed to save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

The main features of the firebreak include:

  • People must stay at home, except for very limited purposes, such as for exercise.
  • People must work from home wherever possible;
  • People must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with either indoors and outdoors
  • No gatherings will be allowed outdoors, such as Halloween or fireworks/Bonfire night or other organised activities
  • All non-food retail, hospitality businesses, including cafes, restaurants and pubs (unless they provide take-away or delivery services), close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, and events and tourism businesses, such as hotels must close
  • Community centres, libraries and recycling centres will be required to close
  • Face coverings must be worn in indoor public spaces, which remain open, including on public transport and in taxis.

During this time:

  • Adults living alone or single parents will be able to join with one other household for support
  • Primary and special schools will re-open as normal after half-term
  • Secondary schools will re-open after the half-term for children in years seven and eight and most vulnerable children. Pupils will be able to come in to take exams but other pupils will continue their learning from home for an extra week.
  • Universities will provide a blend of in-person and online learning
  • NHS and health services will continue to operate
  • Local parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will remain open.
  • Following the end of the fire-break, a new set of national rules will be introduced, covering how people can meet and how the public sector and businesses operate.

The full announcement and frequently asked questions are available on the Welsh Government website.

The Welsh Government also referenced a package of almost £300 million to support businesses, which will complement wage-support schemes available from the UK government.

Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “We have been in close discussion with Welsh Government over the last few days as they have considered options for Wales as a whole.

“Local measures have has a positive impact in Newport and I again thank everyone for the considerable effort they have gone to to adhere to the rules and help stem the spread locally.

“We now need to pull together to that next level to regain control of the virus, protect our NHS and avoid a much-longer national lockdown.”

The latest information on services affected in Newport will be available at

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