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Latest pandemic arrangements for Bridgend County Borough

Welsh Government has confirmed that new pandemic arrangements will be in place from 6pm on Friday 4 December 2020 across Wales along with a £340m package of business support.

Designed to stop the spread of coronavirus following a recent increase in positive cases, the new measures will require pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes to stop serving alcohol entirely. They must also close by 6pm, although they can still provide takeaway services.

With indoor entertainment and visitor attractions such as cinemas, bingo halls, soft play centres and amusement arcades also set to close until further notice, £340m is being made available to support businesses affected by the new changes.

This will be divided between two funds - a £160m Restrictions Business Fund, and a £180m sector-specific Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme.

The Restrictions Business Fund will enable eligible businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors which pay non-domestic rates (NDR) to access grants of up to £5,000.

Businesses not on the NDR system will be able to continue to apply to local authorities for the Lockdown Discretionary Grant of up to £2,000.

The sector-specific Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme will support hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses that meet the criteria could receive varying packages of support, with the maximum level being set as up to £100,000. Similarly, larger Welsh-based businesses could receive funding support up to a maximum limit of £150,000.

Commenting on the new arrangements, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Unfortunately, the virus is moving incredibly quickly across Wales, eroding the gains we made during the firebreak period.

“We now need to take further steps together as a nation to protect people’s health and slow the spread of coronavirus.”

Council Leader Huw David said: “Across Wales, it is estimated that around 60,000 businesses with a rateable value of under £150,000 will benefit from the restrictions fund, and that the resilience fund will support up to 8,000 businesses and a further 2,000 within related supply chains.

“More information about the funding and how it can be accessed will be published on the Business Wales and council websites in coming days.

“The council is currently awaiting instructions on how the grants should be processed. Once this is known, we will implement them and ensure that businesses can receive this support as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

“It is also essential for us to help fight the spread of the virus by thinking twice about our own actions, and to take basic precautions to help limit the chance of exposure.

“Maintain social distancing and hand hygiene procedures, and wear a mask where required. If you develop a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell, arrange to have a test and start self-isolating.

“A drive-through mobile testing facility remains available seven days a week between 9am-5pm in the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre until further notice.

“To use this facility, you will need to book an appointment in advance by visiting the Welsh Government website, and you can also find out more about the alternative ways in which you can obtain a Covid-19 test at the coronavirus page of the Welsh Government website or by calling 119.

“We are at a crucial stage of the pandemic, and how we behave now will determine whether further restrictions are required, so please, do all that you can to keep yourself, your friends and your family safe.”

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