Wales set to face two-week circuit breaker lockdown ‘from this Friday’

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A letter leaked online suggests plans have already been drawn up to shut all pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops in Wales for two weeks from this Friday.

The rumoured shutdown would start at 6pm on October 23 and end on November 9, according to the letter – written by the Confederation of Passenger Transport’s regional director for Wales John Pockett who has since confirmed it is genuine.

The supposed letter, dated October 16, reads: “The Welsh Government will announce on Monday a ‘circuit break’ lockdown to begin at 1800 on Friday 23 October and continue in force until 0001 on Monday 9 November.

“We have met with officials this morning, but as this is a very fast moving situation with decisions still to be made by ministers, much of the detail has not yet been agreed by the Government.

“Nevertheless I wanted to let you know what we know so far.”

It goes on to claim the lockdown would take Wales "back to where we were in March" by closing pubs, restaurants and hair dressers.

It goes on: "It covers the half-term break (Friday 23 October – Monday 2 November) but some schools will reopen on 2 November.

"Ministers have not yet determined the details on this; it seems that primary schools will reopen, but a decision on secondary schools (or at least some or part of individual schools) will be made over the weekend."

He said public transport would be for "essential journeys only" and the Welsh Government was yet to decide what level of services would run during the lockdown.

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The letter added: "I appreciate that this information is very limited and I am sure that you will have questions, but that, at the moment, this is very much as we know.

"I assure you that we will keep members fully informed as we receive more details from the Government."

Mr Pockett told PA Media the letter was genuine, but said he was "surmising" what would happen.

"The letter is genuine and it contains what I assume or surmised would be the position. It was me advising my bus operator members to be prepared for something and this is what it may well be," he said.

"It could be more; it could be anything. I think other associations have communicated with their members in the same way."

Asked about the specific details of the lockdown, Mr Pockett said: "I've not seen the detail either – that's me surmising – but that's what my common sense tells me.

"I understand what the Government wants to do is cause as little disruption to schools as possible, so you start it as soon as the schools finish for half-term."

On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government was looking "very carefully" at introducing a circuit-breaker lockdown with a decision due to be announced on Monday.

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