Tag: South wales news

Some Pictures from an earlier Bike Ride – Love Cardiff Bay / Penarth Marina…

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Cardiff During Lockdown…

Whilst out on my 1 hour exercise in Cardiff on Sunday I stopped to take some pictures of Mill Lane in the City Centre and Mermaid Quay In Cardiff Bay. The sun was shining but both the city centre and the bay were warily quite as people in Cardiff were generally adhering to the Lockdown rules, at least as far as I could see!

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

How the Welsh Regions are shaping up for next seasons Pro14 season…

Some quality signings and the return to fitness of big names could produce scintillating rugby for Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Dragons supporters next season in Europe and the Guinness PRO14

Nick Tompkins was excellent for Wales

Nick Tompkins could soon be bringing his excellent Wales form to Cardiff Blues(Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)

Welsh rugby fans don’t know when their favourite sport will return but there’s plenty to excite them about next season.

Some super signings have been made by the regions and other captures, like new Wales star Nick Tompkins, are being heavily touted.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The Welsh Rugby Teams base is being transformed into a Field Hospital to help deal with Coronavirus #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Pictures show dramatic transformation of Welsh rugby team’s base into field hospital

Work on the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence started just a few days ago

BY BEN JAMES

(Image: Princess of Wales Hospital)

These are the pictures that show how the Welsh rugby team’s base is rapidly being transformed into a field hospital to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Work started on turning the Welsh rugby team’s inside training pitches a few days ago.

The makeshift hospital at the Vale Resort will provide 290 additional beds as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases.

Speaking about the makeshift field hospital, Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis.

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

The huge Principality Stadium event still scheduled to go ahead next month despite the venue being turned into a hospital

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.”

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

Last week, the WRU have also made the Principality Stadium available to be turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – with work currently ongoing to complete that transformation.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The Welsh Rugby Teams base is being transformed into a Field Hospital to help deal with Coronavirus #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Pictures show dramatic transformation of Welsh rugby team’s base into field hospital

Work on the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence started just a few days ago

BY BEN JAMES

(Image: Princess of Wales Hospital)

These are the pictures that show how the Welsh rugby team’s base is rapidly being transformed into a field hospital to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Work started on turning the Welsh rugby team’s inside training pitches a few days ago.

The makeshift hospital at the Vale Resort will provide 290 additional beds as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases.

Speaking about the makeshift field hospital, Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis.

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

The huge Principality Stadium event still scheduled to go ahead next month despite the venue being turned into a hospital

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.”

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

Last week, the WRU have also made the Principality Stadium available to be turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – with work currently ongoing to complete that transformation.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

All the latest UK & Global Coronavirus News from the BBC

 

 
 
It was an emotional moment for those who took part – not least the NHS staff and care workers being saluted by the nation. The Royal Family and prime minister joined well-wishers who flocked to front doorsteps, balconies and windows on Thursday evening night to applaud those dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. It came after figures revealed the UK death toll rose from 475 to 578 in one day, with 11,658 confirmed cases.

There will be additional support for the NHS from firefighters, who have agreed to drive ambulances and deliver essential supplies if required. However, unions point out many are off-work in self-isolation. And, with NHS leaders saying staff feel “at risk” of contracting the virus unless they wear protective equipment while dealing with all patients, the BBC is told guidance is expected to be updated within two days. 

Normal life continues to be seriously affected. As vulnerable people continue to report problems getting groceries while in isolation, supermarkets are to use a government database of the 1.5 million people deemed most at risk to help prioritise delivery slots. Sharon Cranfield, from Surrey, tells us she’s reliant on deliveries because her daughter Jessica, 19, has cystic fibrosis, adding: “I’m terrified of going to the shops.” There are signs, too, the housing market is grinding to a halt, with transactions agreed before the lockdown falling through.

We dig into the detail of the government’s latest financial support package to find out what help is available to self-employed people. Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the government’s response to coronavirus proves he was “absolutely right” during December’s election campaign that public spending could be increased .

 
 
 

 
 
The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 85,500 positive tests – overtaking both China and Italy. However, the US death toll remains much lower, at less than 1,300. Some 8,215 people have died in Italy. President Donald Trump predicts the US will get back to work “pretty quickly”, calling the figures “a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing”. 

Back in China, where the outbreak began, the government is temporarily banning all foreign visitors to prevent a further rise in the number of imported cases. Meanwhile, South Africa has begun a three-week lockdown. And while recent numbers from Italy’s worst-hit northern region suggest the epidemic might be slowing there, fresh fearshave arisen for poorer communities in the south.

Meanwhile, doctors, aid workers and the United Nations say camps for the displaced in north-western Syriacould be devastated by an outbreak. Follow all the latest global developments via our live page.

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
EU leaders meeting on Thursday – by socially-distant video conference – glaringly failed to agree to share the debt they are all racking up fighting Covid-19. From her flat in Berlin, where she is self-isolating after her doctor tested positive for the virus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly admitted to the disharmony over financial instruments.

What leaders did agree on was asking Eurogroup finance ministers to explore the subject further, reporting back in two weeks‘ time. The EU is famous for kicking difficult decisions down the road but in coronavirus terms, with spiralling infection and death rates, two weeks feels like an eternity.

 
 
 
Katya Adler

BBC Europe editor

 
 
 
 

 
 
The Coronavirus Newscast team is joined by Sean Farrington, from Radio 5 live’s Wake Up To Money, to help unpack the government’s new measures to support the self-employed. And musician Charli XCX offers some tips on keeping fit, staying creative and painting rocks in self-isolation. Meanwhile, the World Service’s Science in Actionexamines why China’s strong social distancing policies seem to have been successful in stopping the spread of the virus .

 
 
 

 
 
Some front pages use photographs of staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital taking in the nation’s gratitude for the work of the NHS during the applause that rang around the UK. Others feature the members of the public – and young royals Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – saluting the medical staff and carers. “Checkpoint Britain” is the main headline for both the Daily Express and the Metro, as they report police measures to enforce social distancing. The Daily Star describes those driving without good reason as “Checkpoint Charlies”. The effects of the virus on the property market is the big story for the Daily Mail, under the headline: “Don’t move home.” The housing market was “plunged into chaos” after the government called on people to delay moving home, the Times reports. Meanwhile, the Sun looks at the UK’s latest virus statistics to declare: “One Brit dies every 13 minutes.”

 
 
   
   
 

 

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All new rules and opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and Asda

Supermarkets across the UK have introduced a number of new rules and opening hours in response to the UK blockade. Supermarkets are only a handful of…

All new rules and opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and Asda

Breaking Business News / Coronavirus News

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Wales Airshow in Swansea is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

Swansea Council said it had not taken the decision lightly

Wales Airshow in Swansea is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Coronavirus UK: What happens if you can no longer work because of the lockdown?

Police patrolling a deserted Trafalgar Square as the UK enforces new measures because of the Coronovirus pandemic. (Picture: Barry Lewis/In Pictures …

Coronavirus UK: What happens if you can no longer work because of the lockdown?

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Coronavirus: Supermarkets limit shoppers as rules tighten

Shops have brought in a host of measures following the introduction of strict new government curbs.

Coronavirus: Supermarkets limit shoppers as rules tighten

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tesco stops sale of skimmed milk and multibuy offers to meet demand for other products

Queues outside a Tesco store in Shropshire (Picture: PA Wire )Tesco will no longer sell skimmed milk and scrap multi-pack offers to allow suppliers …

Tesco stops sale of skimmed milk and multibuy offers to meet demand for other products

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Latest BBC News update…

Latest BBC News Update including Coronavirus News

 
 

First it was advice, now it’s an order. Boris Johnson has issued a stark message to the country: “At this moment of national emergency… stay at home.” Speaking after the UK death toll reached 335, the prime minister introduced unprecedented restrictions on everyday life, meaning people must only leave their house for one of four reasons – to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items, and to fulfil any medical or care needs. 

 

Shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut, along with libraries and children’s playgrounds, and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together will be prohibited. The restrictions will be in place for at least three weeks and police will have the power to enforce them, including through fines.  Read the prime minister’s statement in full and get a more detailed breakdown of the new rules.

 

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says it’s still not quite the kind of total crackdown seen in other countries, at least not yet – no curfews, for example – and there will be a time on the other side of this crisis to analyse whether the government made the right decisions at the right time.

 

A reminder here of the symptoms of coronavirus and how you can minimise your risk. And here we answer 10 of your most-asked questions .

 
 
 

 
 

The World Health Organization says the pandemic is “accelerating”, with more than 360,000 cases globally and more than 16,000 deaths. But WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was still possible to “change the trajectory” with rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies. 

 

Many other nations have now imposed lockdowns along the lines of that in the UK. France is strictly limiting physical exercise and closing outdoor markets, and South Africa’s government is preparing for the worst. India is stopping all domestic flights, but there are particular fears surrounding one textile city.

 

In Italy, the worst-hit country, the latest daily increase in deaths was the smallest since last Thursday, raising hope that stringent restrictions on public life are starting to have an effect. The BBC’s Sima Kotecha describes the haunting experience of Rome under lockdown. 

 

In the US, where 481 people have died, state governors and city mayors are pleading for more help from the federal government. However, the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher explains why the president may be having second thoughts about following suit with a large-scale lockdown. 

 

Our live page has all the latest developments, while health correspondent James Gallagher looks at when and how life might return to normal.

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It is clearly not a good time for the world and it is not a good time for relations between the US and China. President Donald Trump has repeatedly chosen to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus”. The president and his secretary of state have both denounced China for its failings in the initial handling of the outbreak. Meanwhile, social media in China has spread stories that the pandemic has been caused by a US military germ warfare programme; rumours that gained considerable traction. But this is not just a war of words, something more fundamental is going on . 

 
 
 

Jonathan Marcus

BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent

 
 
 
 

 
 

The drastic measures announced by Boris Johnson are reflected in dramatic headlines. “End of freedom”, the Daily Telegraph declares. “Britain shuts up shop”, the Daily Mail says, while the Sun has a picture of a giant padlock with the headline “House arrest”. As the Financial Times puts it, the prime minister has been “forced to close Britain”. While there’s widespread support for the measures, there’s also a feeling that, as the i puts it, the prime minister has dragged his heels. The Guardian says he significantly “escalated his language” after days of being accused of “sending mixed messages about what the public should do”. Leo McKinstry, writing in the Daily Express, says the imposition of these “savage rules” will have been particularly difficult for the PM, who is “an optimistic liberal at heart, with a deep suspicion of the big state”, but he had no alternative.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Free Trains in Wales for NHS Staff On TfW and other Transport News…

NHS staff in Wales are being offered free travel on Transport for Wales rail services with immediate effect, the company has announced.

NHS workers will just need to show their work ID to access services to get themselves back and forth to work until 30 April.

Public transport is to operate on a reduced scale throughout Wales because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However the reduced service has led to crowding on some trains.

New timetables are now in place for trains and buses until further notice.

Announcing the move for NHS workers, Transport for Wales (TfW) said: “At Transport for Wales our primary focus is keeping our colleagues and customers safe, and to keep key workers moving.

“From Monday 23 March, Transport for Wales will provide all NHS workers free travel to and from work until 30th April on production of their NHS ID.”

A statement on its website added: “We are doing all we can to keep vital services running, so that emergency service staff who are using our trains and key workers are to travel in safety with confidence.” 

Some passengers were reporting difficulties in maintaining social distancing on trains on Monday morning.

Hospital worker Emma Lamorte highlighted the situation on Twitter and called for more trains.

Presentational white space

Tube travellers in London have also experienced crowded carriages, with unions saying it left transport staff feeling “furious” as they were unable to maintain social distancing.

However, other travellers in Wales reported quieter than usual carriages.

Aurora Heathfield

Image captionAurora Heathfield, outside Cardiff Central, was on a train carriage with only three other people

Commuter Aurora Heathfield from Bridgend, said there was an “eerie feel” on the train to Cardiff on Monday morning with carriages much quieter than usual.

“It would usually be pretty busy and you’d be looking for a seat. There was three people in my carriage,” she said.

Jake Newberry from Cross Keys, Caerphilly county, said there was “hardly anyone” on his train on the Ebbw Vale line and he had expected to see more people due to the reduced timetable.

Alex Varney said the train from Barry to Cardiff was also quiet with the conductor providing advice over a speaker rather than walking through the train to check tickets.

“It was nice and quiet and nice to have some space,” he said.

“Everyone was calm and pleasant and just going through their day.”

A TfW spokesman said on Monday afternoon: “Whilst some services were busy this morning, on average most were 50-60% full. However, we will continue to prioritise peak periods services in order to ensure we do not create overly busy services.

“”We will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis and increase capacity where necessary but we do strongly urge customers to carefully consider whether they do have to travel so that priority can be given to key workers.”

Why are services being reduced?

The changes reflect the fall in demand, reduced availability of staff and the latest public health guidance, transport companies said.

Transport Minister Ken Skates said it remained “crucial” to keep some services going for key workers and supply chains.

“This action aims to balance the current significantly reduced levels of passenger demand as people follow the guidelines to socially isolate with the need to reduce the number of people required to run the network,” he said.

“This contingency measure will help to ensure there are enough staff to keep services running over the coming weeks and months.”

Ken Skates

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionKen Skates hopes the new plans will keep transport on track for the coming months

The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should avoid “non-essential” travel.

Operators said the closure of schools, as well as people increasingly working from home, was expected to see a further significant decline in demand.

How have bus services changed?

First Cymru, which operates services across south and west Wales, warned customers face disruption to services because “increasing numbers of staff” were self-isolating.

It said there would be a reduced timetable for services in Ammanford, Bridgend, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Llanelli, Maesteg, Port Talbot and Swansea.

The company also urged passengers not use cash payments to buy tickets wherever possible, to “stop the spread” of coronavirus.

Arriva bus at Wrexham Bus Station

Image copyrightALAN SANSBURY

Image captionMany bus operators are running a Saturday timetable

Stagecoach, which operates throughout south-east Wales, said a reduced timetable would operate until further notice but had been created to ensure “critical routes are maintained wherever possible”.

Nigel Winter, managing director, said the company was working to maintain essential services, safeguard jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry in a “challenging” situation.

“We also know that our bus services play a vital role in keeping the country running and ensuring key sector personnel get to work,” he added.

“Our objective has been to focus resources on where we know they are needed most at this time.”

In north Wales, Arriva Bus is running an emergency service but will still operate key routes “to ensure customers can continue to access critical services”.

Cardiff bus

Image copyrightJAGGERY/GEOGRAPH

Image captionOnly eight Cardiff Bus routes will continue as normal

Cardiff Bus is now following a Saturday timetable for most of its services across the capital with the exception of some services which are running normally. School buses will continue for eligible children.

All Newport Bus services are also now following a Saturday timetable in “these unprecedented times”, the company said.

It added: “We will maintain bus services for our customers for as long as we are able to.”

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How are trains affected?

Train operators across Britain will gradually reduce services following talks with the UK and Welsh governments.

However operators will still run core services to ensure key workers can get to their jobs and the flow of goods continues.

Class 170 train

Image copyrightRICHARD JONES/MLA PHOTOGRAPHY/TFW

Image captionBusy commuter lines will be prioritised

TfW said Sunday service times will be applied throughout the week though some additional services will operate to support busier commuter routes. 

“This timetable has been designed to be as resilient as possible, whilst ensuring we balance a reduction in demand, availability of our people and the need to support key workers such as health, food retailers and delivery teams,” it said.

The operator said advanced tickets were now eligible for refunds.

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The New Welsh Inventions inspired by the Global Pandemic…

A new ventilator, a virus-killing snood and a hands-free door pull are just some of the innovations coming out of Wales to tackle coronavirus.

Since the outbreak, doctors, scientists and designers have been working on ideas to stop the virus spreading.

The ventilator has already successfully treated a Covid-19 patient and has been backed by the Welsh Government.

Mass production of the snood-type mask is under way while a 3D design of the handle has been widely circulated.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, who was part of the impetus to get the ventilator into mass production, said the innovations put Wales “on the front foot” in the battle against the pandemic.

“It shows that Wales, as a small nation, can get things done quickly as we face the biggest challenge of our generation,” he said.

The Covid Emergency Ventilator

It took just three days to design but the senior doctor involved believes the easy-to-build device could dramatically ease the strain on NHS staff.

ventilator

Image caption“The patient can self-care, releasing specialist nurses for other duties,” said Dr Rhys Thomas

Dr Rhys Thomas, from Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, was “desperately concerned” at the lack of intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators to deal with the expected influx of patients.

Along with engineering company CR Clark & Co of Ammanford, he created a machine that not only helps patients to breath but cleans the room of viral particles.

“It’s simple and robust and specifically designed to work against Covid virus in a contagious environment,” said Dr Thomas.

“Although it won’t replace an ICU ventilator, the majority of patients won’t need intensive care if they are treated with this ventilator first.

“The machine will [also] clean the room of viral particles and only supply purified air to the patient. The patient can self-care, releasing specialist nurses for other duties.”

Dr Rhys Thomas

Image copyrightPLAID CYMRU

Image captionDr Rhys Thomas served for 17 years with the British Army, including seven tours of Afghanistan

He said a patient in Llanelli who was treated with the machine at the weekend was now “recovering well”.

Welsh ministers have given the go-ahead for production of up to 100 ventilators a day.

The ‘virus-killing’ snood

Designers claim the mask kills more than 95% of any viruses – including Covid-19.

woman wearing snood mask

Image captionThe snood has been developed in response to the pandemic

The company hopes to make as many as a million-a-week and plans to reserve part of that stock for the NHS.

“We have been working on the anti-viral coating since 2011 but it’s only in the last five weeks that we have developed the snood in response to the current pandemic,” said Anna Roberts, of Virustatic Shield.

The hands-free door handle

Wyn Griffiths came up with the idea after his wife visited a local hospital last week and had to touch door handles after sanitising her hands. 

door pull being made

Image captionAnyone with a 3D printer can now make the door pull

That evening he had designed a prototype ‘arm’ which attaches to an existing door handle, with a crook to open the door. 

He has now distributed the 3D design online for anyone to download it for free.

Mr Griffiths said: “Hopefully people who have a 3D printer can help out their local hospital or anywhere the public visits by distributing these around the country.”

Menai Science Park

Image captionM-Sparc in Gaerwen is supported by Bangor University

The innovation centre

The handle and snood were both designed at the Menai Science Park in Gaerwen on Anglesey, a hub for small start-up companies and scientific research.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart, managing director of M-Sparc, said it was “vital” the park plays its part in coming up with innovative ideas.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart

Image captionMr Rhisiart praised small companies developing “new innovative solutions”

“In the middle of all the doom and gloom it’s good to see small companies developing new innovative solutions,” he said.

“It’s just a glimpse. We’re not saying it’s the answer but it’s something.”

For more Welsh News, Business News, Welsh Business News, UK Business News, Tech News or Coronavirus News please follow the links.

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Latest update on Coronavirus from The PM as UK goes in to lockdown!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK is going into lockdown in a televised address to the nation last evening.

The PM made the announcement from 10 Downing Street amid widespread calls for tougher measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 / Coronavirus.

He ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items on Monday evening.

He told people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To ensure people follow the rules, Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of non-essential stores including those selling electronics and clothing.

All public gatherings of more than two people – other than those you live with – will be banned, the PM said.

Other premises being shuttered are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

The UK coronavirus lockdown rules you must now comply with, or face police action, are as follows:

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson orders lockdown of the UK and orders people to stay at home

And, while parks will remain open for exercise, all social events including weddings and baptisms will be stopped.

Funerals, however, can continue.

Mr Johnson said the measures will be “under constant review” and will be considered for relaxation in three weeks’ time if the evidence allows.

Earlier in the day all Britons travelling abroad were told to return to the UK “while you still can”.

The Welsh Government has also announced the closure of all caravan parks, campsites and tourist hotspots after people flocked to Welsh landmarks on the weekend.

The First Minister will also take additional powers over licensing because some pubs didn’t close over the weekend.

The measures come after it was announced four more people have died after contracting the coronavirus in Wales.

There are now 418 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wales and there have so far been 16 deaths.

But Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said the “the true number of cases is likely to be higher” as the virus continues to circulate in every part of Wales.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

BBC News Daily

 

 
   
 

 
 

 
 
 

 

No school for the “foreseeable” future. Exams off. Clubs closed. Millions of children will be looking forward to a spring, and possibly a summer, free of responsibility and routine. But these are not normal times – they’re likely to have to spend days and nights indoors with parents or guardians. They won’t get much personal contact with friends and, for teenagers, the cancellation of exams will make a difficult time of year even more worrying. “It’s the perfect storm for parents and children,” says Sam Cartwright-Hatton, professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Sussex.  

 
 
 

Justin Parkinson

BBC News

 
 
 
 

 
 

Several of the newspapers have pictures of crowds taking advantage of the spring sunshine to get outdoors – in spite of the guidelines on social distancing. “Madness” is the Daily Mirror’s headline. “Stay home or face lockdown”, warns the Sun, while for the Daily Mail, the headline states starkly, “Obey the virus rules – or else”. The Daily Telegraph says there’s been deep concern within Whitehall as it emerged over the weekend that public messages urging people to stay at home and avoid socialising were apparently being ignored. According to the Times, Boris Johnson is facing calls from his cabinet and senior advisers to impose a full lockdown in London. A senior government source tells the paper: “It is inevitable – you just have to look at other countries.” Elsewhere, on the issue of the Olympics, the Financial Times reports that talks in recent days have focused on the length of a delay, possibly even to 2022.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

As we said, those deemed most vulnerable are being encouraged to adopt a policy of total isolation, but what is it really like to do that? Listen to the latest episode of BBC Ouch’s podcast in which some of those in that position – those with health conditions or disabilities – share the emotional and practical challenges.

 
 
 

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Primark to close all 189 UK Stores including all stores in Wales – WelshBiz

Retail Giant Primark is to close all 189 of their UK stores in response to coronavirus.

The major high street retailer will close all its shops due to the Covid-19 outbreak in a move affecting some 37,000 people.

The Primark store on Cardiff’s Queens Street, as well as all 189 UK stores will close with immediate effect due to the coronavirus.

The announcement by Primark, which has branches across Wales, will affect 37,000 people.

A Primark spokesman said;

“Our main priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees,”

“Primark has committed to supporting all employees who are directly affected by store closures, with full pay for their contracted hours for 14 days, after which the situation will be reviewed.

“Primark will continue to closely monitor the situation, following WHO advice as well as local and national government guidance.”  

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) to support Businesses in South Wales…

THE Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has today outlined its work supporting businesses in South Wales affected by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The region is working with the Welsh and UK Governments to keep them updated on the current experiences of South Wales business, while working to ensure the region’s business are kept informed of the support available to them and how it can be accessed.

The Covid-19 (coronavirus) disease has caused huge disruption to many businesses for the foreseeable future and with this comes the uncertainty of how they will cope.

During this time, the CCR wants to ensure that all messages for business support from the Welsh Government and UK Government are being properly communicated and will be cascading all relevant information through its channels for the benefit of the region’s businesses. It will also be working very closely with the CCR Economic Growth Partnership to consider targeted interventions from our investment fund to support companies in our region and fill in any gaps or intervene where more tailored packages of support are necessary. This will complement not duplicate Welsh Government and UK Government interventions.

Kellie Beirne, Director of the CCR City Deal, said: “For many people and businesses across Wales, this is a very uncertain time and the coming weeks and months will present a huge challenge to us as individuals, communities and businesses.

“Many businesses and sole traders will find it extremely difficult to navigate through the weeks and months ahead without coming under severe financial pressure.

“Many sectors will also be taking a hit as customers are advised to stay away with social distancing and self-isolation. This is why it is imperative we do all that we can do to help and support each other, which is why we must communicate the business support that is coming through Welsh Government and UK Government to ensure businesses in Wales know what is available to them and how to better plan for the next few months.

“We are constantly listening and ensuring our communities are kept up to date with the latest information as it happens, and in turn, we are speaking to key organisations such as the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure that understand the issues businesses in South Wales are facing. We will also be proactively supporting our Local authorities who’s rightful priority right now must be saving lives and protection of the vulnerable.

“The CCR fully supports the help the two Governments have pledged to date. Today we are expecting a further announcement from the Chancellor with regard to a salary support scheme. It is our intention to keep cascading what these announcements mean for business, and how those companies can access that support.”

Cardiff Capital Region is working on making sure it’s as clear as possible to businesses how they can access these support schemes that are being put in place, and will be communicating this information to businesses through their channels.

In addition, the CCR and FOR Cardiff has issued a survey to help understand and identify key frustrations businesses are facing and the requirements businesses need to overcome this period of uncertainty. Businesses can complete the survey HERE.

Kellie added: “The coronavirus pandemic is a test of the resilience of our communities. There are great traditions of mutual support and cooperation in our region that we can draw on. In Cardiff Capital Region, working together for the good of all is at the heart of what we’re about. Our ethos is that the region is not a success if the most in need are left behind.

“However, now more than ever is the time for entrepreneurship to come to the fore. We will need to pivot business models, diversify and innovate in order to survive in such turbulent times.

“While this time is uncertain for many, what is certain is that we must try to sustain our businesses and communities through the crisis and help them get back on their feet when the recovery comes. The work that we do as Cardiff Capital Region is all about providing the environment in which businesses can flourish, in every corner of our region.”

For more on this article or other Wales 247 news please follow the link.

For more Cardiff Business News, South Wales Business News, Welsh Business News or Welsh News please follow the relevant links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) to support Businesses in South Wales…

THE Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has today outlined its work supporting businesses in South Wales affected by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The region is working with the Welsh and UK Governments to keep them updated on the current experiences of South Wales business, while working to ensure the region’s business are kept informed of the support available to them and how it can be accessed.

The Covid-19 (coronavirus) disease has caused huge disruption to many businesses for the foreseeable future and with this comes the uncertainty of how they will cope.

During this time, the CCR wants to ensure that all messages for business support from the Welsh Government and UK Government are being properly communicated and will be cascading all relevant information through its channels for the benefit of the region’s businesses. It will also be working very closely with the CCR Economic Growth Partnership to consider targeted interventions from our investment fund to support companies in our region and fill in any gaps or intervene where more tailored packages of support are necessary. This will complement not duplicate Welsh Government and UK Government interventions.

Kellie Beirne, Director of the CCR City Deal, said: “For many people and businesses across Wales, this is a very uncertain time and the coming weeks and months will present a huge challenge to us as individuals, communities and businesses.

“Many businesses and sole traders will find it extremely difficult to navigate through the weeks and months ahead without coming under severe financial pressure.

“Many sectors will also be taking a hit as customers are advised to stay away with social distancing and self-isolation. This is why it is imperative we do all that we can do to help and support each other, which is why we must communicate the business support that is coming through Welsh Government and UK Government to ensure businesses in Wales know what is available to them and how to better plan for the next few months.

“We are constantly listening and ensuring our communities are kept up to date with the latest information as it happens, and in turn, we are speaking to key organisations such as the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure that understand the issues businesses in South Wales are facing. We will also be proactively supporting our Local authorities who’s rightful priority right now must be saving lives and protection of the vulnerable.

“The CCR fully supports the help the two Governments have pledged to date. Today we are expecting a further announcement from the Chancellor with regard to a salary support scheme. It is our intention to keep cascading what these announcements mean for business, and how those companies can access that support.”

Cardiff Capital Region is working on making sure it’s as clear as possible to businesses how they can access these support schemes that are being put in place, and will be communicating this information to businesses through their channels.

In addition, the CCR and FOR Cardiff has issued a survey to help understand and identify key frustrations businesses are facing and the requirements businesses need to overcome this period of uncertainty. Businesses can complete the survey HERE.

Kellie added: “The coronavirus pandemic is a test of the resilience of our communities. There are great traditions of mutual support and cooperation in our region that we can draw on. In Cardiff Capital Region, working together for the good of all is at the heart of what we’re about. Our ethos is that the region is not a success if the most in need are left behind.

“However, now more than ever is the time for entrepreneurship to come to the fore. We will need to pivot business models, diversify and innovate in order to survive in such turbulent times.

“While this time is uncertain for many, what is certain is that we must try to sustain our businesses and communities through the crisis and help them get back on their feet when the recovery comes. The work that we do as Cardiff Capital Region is all about providing the environment in which businesses can flourish, in every corner of our region.”

For more on this article or other Wales 247 news please follow the link.

For more Cardiff Business News, South Wales Business News, Welsh Business News or Welsh News please follow the relevant links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Latest Welsh Government Coronavirus Update from Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services

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Further to my statement on 18 March, I can confirm the Chief Medical Officer has issued the following guidance to NHS Wales.

The novel Coronavirus was genetically typed and identified on 7 January 2020. 3 weeks later the specialist virology centre within Public Health Wales had commenced testing for this virus. Testing capacity has continued to be ramped up and Public Health Wales now has capacity for over 800 tests per day. 

From 1 April, this will increase by a further 5,000 tests per day (total – 6,000 daily).

From 7 April, this will increase by a further 2,000 tests per day (total – 8,000 daily).

By end of April, Public Health Wales are aiming to have capacity to undertake up to 9,000 tests per day in Wales.

There is also a significant amount of work progressing at a UK level to roll out a new test. There are no estimates currently available to indicate when this will be available or the numbers of new tests that can be performed daily in Wales, but I will provide this information when we have a clear indication.

I would like to remind everyone that self-isolation and social distancing are absolutely fundamental at this stage if we are to delay the spread of this virus. We all need to follow this advice now to protect each other and our families and to help ensure our NHS is not overwhelmed with cases.

As ever, I will keep you regularly updated.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Gavin Henson keeping spirits up in Wales…

The former Wales rugby star has done his bit to keep spirits high in what are difficult times.

Gavin Henson delivers pints of beer to a local:

Gavin Henson recently hit the headlines after it was announced that he and his wife had opened up a new restaurant.

The former Wales international and his partner Katie are the new proud owners of The Fox in St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan.

But as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, it is one of many thousands of businesses set to feel the pinch in the coming weeks and months.

However, the current pandemic has not stopped Henson from winning the hearts of his new locals.

With the government calling on pubs and restaurants to close after Friday in a bid to contain the Covid-19 spread, Henson’s former region Ospreys revealed they were donating £58,000 worth of kit to cash-strapped clubs in the local area after it was confirmed that the 2019/20 season had been cancelled.

And Henson made a typically brilliant goodwill gesture of his own by personally delivering pints of beer from his new pub.

Writing on Twitter, NHS worker Richard Johnson revealed details of the delivery.

He said: “Thanks to @KatieHenson89 and @gavinhenson82 from @TheFoxStBridesM for the takeaway service tonight.

“Avoiding the crowds #socialresponsibility #FlattenTheCurve #supportthenhs #supportsmallbusiness.”

And Henson duly responded via his official Twitter account.

He said: “No problem doc! Sorry about the spillage, I blame the cattle grid! Enjoy.”

The stone pub has undergone a complete overhaul since being purchased by the former Wales rugby international.

It reopened in February and has a restaurant that offers fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere as well as a bar area where locals can watch the biggest sporting events on a large screen.

Business may be limited for the foreseeable future, but Henson is still proving why he is loved so much by so many.

For more Welsh Rugby News, Welsh Sports News, Welsh Business News, Welsh News or Coronavirus News, please follow the links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Former and future health and social care professionals needed – Welsh Government News…

Coronavirus News

PRESS RELEASE

Wales’ former health and social care professionals are today being asked to return to work, as an emergency recruitment drive is launched to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

First published:21 March 2020Last updated:21 March 2020

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Wales’ Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Social Services and Integration have made simultaneous appeals to their colleagues to sign-up to support those affected.

Final-year students will also be offered work in the NHS to help boost the workforce over the coming months.

Chief Nursing Officer Jean White said:

These are extraordinary times, which call for extraordinary measures to be taken to respond to the health needs of the people of Wales.

I am appealing to all health professionals who are able to help at this time to make themselves available – our National Health Service needs you. Wales needs you.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton said:

I would like to reassure NHS Wales staff and the people of Wales that we are doing all we can to support health and social care organisations during this extremely challenging period.

Our health service and our excellent health workers need all the support and help they can get. Our nation’s health depends on it.

The Welsh Government’s Director of Social Services and Integration, Albert Heaney said:

I want to reassure our dedicated social care sector that we are working with partners to ensure we protect our frontline social care staff, who play such a crucial role in caring for and supporting the vulnerable in society. 

Social Care Wales has written to the workforce and to employers to outline the measures it is taking, including how it will register those offering their invaluable experience to return and assist this collective effort.

We want to welcome you back in to the fold.” 

The plans are part of the extensive work to prepare the NHS and social care sector to provide expert care for the predicted number of people who are likely to need care as a result of contracting coronavirus.

People who have left or retired in the last three years will be asked to re-register with their relevant professional bodies. They will be asked what role they could play and how much time they can dedicate.

All returning staff will be able to ‘opt-in’ to a register to fill a range of clinical and non-clinical roles across the NHS and social care sector, based on their skills and time away from practice.

Already more than 5,000 letters have been sent to retirees across a range of roles.

The Welsh Government is also currently exploring ways to harness the skills of students who are keen to contribute. Final-year medical students, student nurses and student social workers are being offered the opportunity to take on temporary, fully-paid roles to further boost the frontline.

Those who join will be given a full induction and training.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

My First Online Business Networking Event with Introbiz…

Online Zoom Networking

Yesterday I took part in my first Online / Virtual Webinar based Networking Event, where Introbiz Business Network, innovated and adapted to switch their cancelled real world business networking event online, after their networking event in Cardiff, was one of the many event victims pulled, due to Coronavirus.

30 members of the Introbiz Business Network attended this first online / virtual networking event and the majority seemed happy and positive with the event and the way it was conducted.

The usual power networking format of everyone getting a few minutes to talk about their business was still followed online and the web system of choice for the virtual / online business networking event was the Zoom platform.

Other than a few technical issues here and there the event went well and was really useful for those in attendance to continue to network and build relationships even under the current self isolation restrictions.

Lessons will be learnt and the online / virtual events will get slicker, but all in all the event went really well.

As well as local South Wales members, the online networking event was also joined by wider network contacts and Entrepreneurs from further afield such as England, Ireland & Sweden and I’m sure the spread of networkers will continue to grow as this online networking event format gets repeated several times whilst Coronavirus Measures continue to strike the usual networking event format.

In addition to joining the Introbiz network for attending real world events, new virtual networking members from around the world can now join the Introbiz network and attend the online / virtual networking events for just £99 a year.

See https://www.introbiz.co.uk for more pictures from the event and details how to get involved.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

UK Government Advice for Employees

Updated 20 March 2020

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

UK Government Coronavirus Advice For UK Businesses…

Updated 20 March 2020

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me