The Importance of Social Distancing

Column in the Barry & District News by Alun Cairns MP:

As we face the biggest health emergency for a generation, it’s been inspiring to see the way the community is coming together to support each other – albeit 2 metres apart!

The advice and information on how we react to the threat from Coronavirus is fast moving. It’s vital, therefore, that we stay up to date and follow the advice from the medical experts and the Government as and when it is announced.

This week, the Prime Minister, through a historic TV address, had to take the difficult decision to lockdown much of the country.

We all need to play our part in protecting ourselves and others against the spread of the virus by following the orders on Social Distancing – which means remaining at least 2 metres (6.5ft) away from others. You may only leave your home to shop for the vital necessities, for one form of exercise a day, a medical need or to care for a vulnerable person or to travel to and from work only where it is absolutely necessary.

Under the new rules, all shops apart from food stores and chemists are to close immediately. Only vital workers are to continue. The closure of public premises also includes pubs, shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, leisure centres, theatres and gyms, to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Readers will be aware of the pleas from health professionals that the public fully cooperate. Unfortunately, there have been instances, particularly over the weekend, which demonstrate that some people are not complying with Social Distancing. This has resulted in these more restrictive measures.

We cannot be clearer – If advice is ignored, the virus will spread faster and wider, meaning many more loved ones across the country will sadly die. It’s vital that we do all that we can to avoid this. Please, I urge you, listen to the experts and make sure that you follow the Social Distancing order. Stay home and play your role in combatting Coronavirus.

I know many people are keen to do their bit in the voluntary effort and this is admirable. It’s vital that this is done in the safest possible way, so please look to the groups in your area for guidance on how you can be involved.

I pay tribute to the excellent community volunteers involved with groups including Age Connects, Barry Roundtable, Barry Rotary and many others who are supporting the most vulnerable. If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can find the latest advice on my website with guidance for businesses, workers, where there are also links to information from the Government and local authority.