Column in the Barry & District News by Alun Cairns MP:
Many people locally will have seen reports around the Covid-19 outbreak in Dinas Powys, which I know is concerning for residents across the Vale of Glamorgan. It represents the challenge that we still face, showing that the risk of Coronavirus is still very real as we start to get back to what is now a ‘new normal’.
Despite the small localised quarantine in Dinas, I have to say that I am hugely impressed with how people in Barry and the Vale are adapting to this new way of life. There will, no doubt, be instances of concern over the coming weeks and months but we can have confidence that we are well equipped to deal with any challenges ahead of us. The track and trace system, which identifies risks of outbreak and then requires those affected to quarantine, has been shown in Dinas to be doing its job and each day the medical experts are taking positive steps.
It is essential that people continue to wash hands regularly and maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of a second spike.
Local shops are managing really well, with many introducing new measures which include putting markings on the ground to indicate one-way systems, installing hand-sanitising stations, keeping people distanced when inside and, of course, starting new delivery services.
I really want to recognise them for responding so positively and I think that this has been reflected in an upturn in trade over recent weeks. Despite the significant challenges since March, there is potential for an economic bounce back and I’ve spoken to independent traders locally who have started to do well again – particularly as people took advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, for example.
While we can take confidence from this, it is important that we remain vigilant and take every possible measure to protect ourselves and others from the risks of Covid-19. With society opening up again, students returning to schools and universities and people heading back to the office, there will naturally be a greater risk of a virus spreading. While we should try to return to normality, we can continue to take proactive measures including washing our hands regularly, wearing a mask where required and keeping to social distancing rules.