- February 24, 2021
- Posted by: Vaughan Gething AM
- Category: Columns
On Friday the First Minister confirmed that the Alert Level Four restrictions would continue for a further three weeks, helping us to continue to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our NHS. I want to thank you all for the role that you have and are continuing to play to protect loved ones our communities and our NHS. The sacrifices that you have made have given us the much needed head room to be able to reopen schools for our youngest learners. I also want to take this opportunity to thank schools across Cardiff South and Penarth for all their hard work, in our hubs, educating pupils remotely and in preparing classrooms for their safe return. Thank You.
At the three week review some minor changes to the restrictions were announced. Four people from two different households are now permitted to exercise outdoors together and licensed wedding venues will be able to reopen from 1st March but only to perform wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. The Welsh Government will also look at the guidance on visiting in care homes. If the number of coronavirus cases continue to fall the Welsh Government will look at bringing more learners back into the classroom and reopening some non-essential retail at the next review on 12 March.
We continue to make good progress in the rollout of the vaccine. As I write this, 862,248 people have received their first dose of the vaccine. I pay tribute to the fantastic efforts of our vaccination teams across Cardiff and the Vale Health Board and the length and breadth of Wales in helping us to achieve our first milestone. We now move onto the next four priority groups, as well as providing second dose appointments to all those in the first four groups. You will not need to do anything you will be contacted directly to arrange an appointment. If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with me at [email protected] or on 0300 200 7150.
Last week plans to make 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas by 2023 moved a step forward. The Welsh Government has announced that it would trial 20mph speed limits in a number of areas to help finalise the approach that we take across Wales. I have long supported the call for 20mph in built up areas across the constituency and have worked with residents and the 20 is Plenty group to campaign for this. A 20mph default speed limit would make a real difference in making our streets safer and encourage more people to walk and cycle. I will continue to keep you updated on this.
I also wanted to let you know that you are entitled to register for a postal vote ahead of the Welsh Parliament election which is due to take place on Thursday 6th May 2021. I know how difficult it can be to get things done at the moment. With things likely to remain difficult for some time, a postal vote allows you to have your democratic say without having to go out to a polling station on election day. If you would like to register for a postal vote, all you need to do is register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
As ever, if you need my help or advice then please get in touch