Fire break lockdown explained – and how it’s different to a circuit breaker

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Cases of coronavirus have been rising sharply in Wales, and it has been decided that action is needed.

A “fire break” lockdown will be introduced across Wales at the end of the week to help regain control of coronavirus.

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the fire break lockdown would coincide with half term.

This means Wales will be placed under a series of restrictive measures from 6pm on Friday October 23 until the start of Monday November 9.

It is hoped the fire break lockdown will help slow down the spread of coronavirus, after 3,870 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Wales between October 10 and 16.

What is a fire break lockdown?

A "fire-break" lockdown is the exact same thing as a “circuit breaker” lockdown.

Put simply it’s a “short and sharp” lockdown, similar to the national lockdown in March – but this time just for Wales.

Usually, a "fire breaker" is an obstacle that stops the spread of a fire, such as a large open space in a forest.

A "fire breaker lockdown" will theoretically act in a similar way, and involve a set of measures which will be in place to stop the spread of Covid, save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Labour leader Keir Starmer explained a circuit break lockdown as ”a temporary set of clear and effective restrictions to get the R rate down."

What measures does Wales’ fire break lockdown consist of?

There are five main rules people in Wales need to stick to:

  • Stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Do not visit other households or meet those you don’t live with
  • Certain businesses and venues, including bars, restaurants and most shops must close
  • Secondary schools will be closed for an additional week after half term, but primary schools and childcare will remain open
  • Face coverings will continue to be mandatory in indoor spaces, including public transport and taxis

  • Manchester MP Yasmin Qureshi in hospital after positive coronavirus test

Those who break the new rules may be told to go home, or risk facing a fixed penalty notice of £60, rising to £120 for a second breach.

You could also face criminal proceedings, and if you are found guilty you must pay a fine.

There are a set number of reasons people in Wales can leave their homes, including for food, medicine and essential household maintenance.

They are also allowed to leave for exercise, access childcare and education, and to deposit and withdraw money.

A full list of reasons is available on the government website.

  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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