The Labour-led Swansea Council is transforming the way it works to support communities and families through the firebreak announced by the Welsh Government.
It has also pledged to protect jobs and businesses during this challenging time.
And a number of critical front-line services like recycling, social services, child care, burials and emergency highways and council house repairs will continue while hundreds of support staff are working from home to keep the council operating.
Labour Cllr Rob Stewart, Leader of the Council, said: “Once again the council will be ready help our businesses, our communities and our families following the fire-break announced by the First Minister today.
“We can get through this together. It can’t be stressed enough that everyone needs to play their part to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe over the next few weeks.”
Cllr Stewart insisted that the purpose of the fire-break is to get the Covid-19 transmission rate down to manageable levels, protect the NHS and save lives during the critical winter period.
He added: “I want to thank the people of Swansea and local businesses for their commitment to observing the local lockdown measures introduced a few weeks ago.
“Hard as everyone has worked, the spread of the virus is moving faster and is continuing to pose a serious threat. We have to get it back under control or there is a real risk the NHS will be overwhelmed going into the winter period.
“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level and alongside a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales afterwards, together we’d hope to slow the virus down enough to get us through until Christmas and beyond.
“To do the right thing for our families and our neighbours we need to observe the new rules announced by the First Minister. We’ve also got to pledge to follow the two-metre rule, wear a mask in indoor public spaces when we have to go out and wash hands regularly.”
Cllr Stewart said the council is well-prepared to implement the new measures from 6pm on Friday.
For Swansea Council services it will mean that from 6pm on Friday until November 9:
- Recycling centres will close. Kerbside collections will continue as normal
- Libraries will close, though online services will remain. No-one will be fined for late return of books and other items
- Public toilets operated by the council will remain open.
- Leisure centres operated by Freedom Leisure, including the LC, will close
- Primary schools will close on Friday and re-open on November 2
- Secondary schools will close on Friday and re-open on November 2 for Years 7 and 8. Pupils in Year 9 and above will return on Monday November 9. Any pupil who has an exam during this period should attend to sit the exam.
- All council offices will be closed to the public
- Parks will remain open for daily exercise
Cllr Stewart said: “Our services have seen radical change since the start of the pandemic in March so we are already well-prepared for the necessary changes
“We need to continue providing vital services like home care, social services and collecting refuse to keep our communities clean and healthy so that we help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
“From 6pm on Friday we will temporarily close to the public our libraries, leisure centres, housing offices and other council buildings that are not critical for our services.
Cllr Stewart added: “As a community the people of Swansea stepped up to the plate to support their neighbours and communities through tough times. It was heartening to see the real face of Swansea coming to the fore.
“Just as we did six months ago, we can get through this latest challenge together. The people of Swansea has never needed its council as much as it has these last months.
“Once again our staff are rising to the challenge and doing everything they can to help our communities.”
You can find the latest Welsh Government FAQs here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questionsOpens new window