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The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that the country will go into a two week long 'fire break' lockdown in an attempt to bring down the number of cases and slow the spread of coronavirus.
The lockdown will start at 6pm on Friday evening, and will mean that anyone who doesn't work in an essential job will have to stay at home, as with the previous lockdown in March.
All hospitality settings, as well as schools and other public amenities will have to close for the fortnight period, which includes the school half-term holiday and will last for a fixed period until November 9.
Once the two week period has elapsed, Drakeford confirmed that primary schools will reopen following the half-term break, but only years seven and eight will return to secondary school at that time.
The First Minister also confirmed that a package intended to help businesses in the longer term would be increased from £80 million to £100 million.
He confirmed that this package will include a ring-fenced £20 million for the hospitality and tourism industry.
Drakeford said: "We know businesses will need support quickly. The funds will open in the first week of the fire-break and we will work to get the money allocated as quickly as we can."
Whilst he admitted that the lockdown would be 'sharp and deep', Drakeford said that the measures are absolutely necessary to slow down the increasing spread of the virus.
He said that everyone in Wales would be 'required to stay at home' but added: "The only exceptions will be critical workers and jobs where working from home is not possible."
The Labour politician also said that the effects of the two week break would not be felt by the time the lockdown ends on November 9, but in the weeks that follow that.
Official events that had been planned to go ahead for Remembrance Sunday on November 8 will still take place, however.
He said that the decision to implement the measures was taken with a 'heavy heart' but that the approach was necessary and would be beneficial in the long run.
He continued: "The window in which we have to act is only a small one,
"If we do this, our health service will be able to care for people with coronavirus and everyone else."
This fire break represents the best chance of 'avoiding a much-longer - and much more damaging - national lockdown', Drakeford added.
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