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How the latest Covid-19 rule changes will affect Bridgend County Borough

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that major changes to coronavirus restrictions are about to be made across Wales.

The changes are being introduced as a result of high vaccination rates and low infection levels. They will mean that from 28 March, residents of Bridgend County Borough will no longer need to wear face coverings or practice self-isolation.

While businesses and employers will remain subject to health and safety law, they will no longer be legally required to carry out specific covid risk assessments or to take reasonable prevention measures.

Schools will continue to operate using the national framework and will be able to determine their own procedures for the use of face coverings in indoor communal areas.

From 28 March, the routine use of PCR tests for the general public will also end, and mobile testing sites will be gradually shut down in the run-up to this. It will remain in place for people admitted to hospital, care home residents, prisoners with symptoms and health and social care staff.

Lateral flow tests will continue to be available for anyone with symptoms, and will be free to obtain.

Announcing the changes, Mark Drakeford said: “The combination of high vaccination rates and improving infection levels means we are able to think about moving beyond the emergency response to the pandemic.

“This does not mean the pandemic is over, but we need to be able to live safely with this virus just as we live with other infectious illnesses."

“We are today publishing a plan which sets out how we can do this, while ensuring we can respond quickly if a new variant emerges or if we have another pandemic wave, which puts unsustainable pressure on the NHS."

“If the public health situation remains favourable, we will start this transition by removing the legal underpinning of the measures we have lived with for the last two years at the end of March.”

These changes represent the efforts that we have all made in coming together as a single community, and doing all that we can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

We need to be very clear that this does not mean that the pandemic is over, and that we will all still need to remain vigilant against any possible rise in cases.

Nevertheless, this does indicate how, as we approach the second anniversary of the pandemic, we are moving closer towards finding ways in which some normality can return.

Council Leader Huw David

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