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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Latest update on how virus is affecting the town


* Llangollen Railway has cancelled train services until the end of April.

Visiting at all North Wales hospitals is being restricted to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
From today (Wednesday, 18 March), all visits to patients will be restricted to 15 minutes at both our main hospitals, mental health wards and community hospitals. Visits will be restricted to between 2pm – 4pm and 6pm – 7.30pm.
Only one visitor per patient will be allowed, and children under the age of 16 will no longer be able to visit the ward areas.
Visits to our children’s wards will also be restricted to one parent or carer at a time.
Visiting to our labour wards will be restricted to one birthing partner per expectant mother. Similarly, family and friends visiting newborn babies will also be restricted to one person at a time.
Visitor guidance rules may be relaxed for end of life care, mental health, critically ill patients, and patients with dementia. We understand that family care and involvement could be a key part of a loved one’s recovery, and ask that you discuss any specific visiting needs with your ward sister or charge nurse.
The Health Board is also encouraging family and friends of patients under our care to consider alternative ways of keeping in touch, including the use of our hospitals’ free WiFi to use FaceTime or video calling.
Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Gill Harris said: “In response to the Coronavirus situation, we are making temporary changes to our visiting times across our hospitals.
“We understand the importance of patients staying in contact with their loved ones. But the safety of our patients and staff is paramount, and it is crucial that we take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of infection in our hospitals.
 “If you can’t be there in person, we do offer free WiFi throughout our hospitals. So for those with access to smartphones or tablets, we would encourage virtual visiting as a great way to keep in touch, where appropriate.
“Most importantly, you must not visit if you are unwell with flu-like symptoms including a high temperature or new continuous cough currently or within the last 7 days. In addition, if you have any symptoms relating to a stomach upset, including diarrhoea and/or vomiting do not come to the hospital.”
The best way to protect yourself and others against Coronavirus is to:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

The main cafe at the world-famous Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass, together with its adjacent shop, have both been closed due to coronavirus concerns.

However, its recently-opened gift shop in Llangollen town centre remains open.

On its Facebook site the Ponderosa says: “It is with great disappointment that due to the Covid-19 pandemic we as a family at the Ponderosa have made the decision to shut the main Café for the foreseeable future.

“We at the Ponderosa are putting the safety of our loyal customers and members of staff first.

“As we accommodate customers from far and wide across the UK it would be irresponsible to open as we have such a diverse demographic of clientele.  

“Covid 19 as I am sure you are all aware this is a crisis for the country and things are going to get worse before they get better, and due to the volume of people who visit the Ponderosa, we simply cannot in good conscious continue to open the main cafe.”

And The Shop in the Clouds says: “In light of the current situation regarding the COVID-19 The Shop In The Clouds understandably will be supporting the decision of the Cafe manager and closing the gift shop accordingly. We will remain closed until we feel confident for the safety of our customers.

“This has not been an easy decision to make and would like to remind you we have a website and will be putting a virtual shop on line within the next few days.

“We have our recently opened Shop Around The Corner, Oak Street, which will remain open.”

“If you would like to contact us please do via our Facebook page, E-mail or phone 01978860055.

“Again we are deeply sorry for any inconvenience but we have the public and loyal customers interests at heart.”

Other businesses affected

Llangollen Railway has postponed all train services until the end of next month as a result of coronavirus infection fears.

In a message on its Facebook page it says: “The safety and well-being of our volunteers, staff and customers is of paramount importance and we are monitoring the situation daily and following all Government guidelines.

“Due to the changing situation regarding COVID-19 and Government advice surrounding gatherings, it is with regret we feel it is both necessary and sensible to postpone our train services with immediate effect until the end of April. Customers who have purchased tickets will be contacted over the next two days.

“This is going to be a challenging time for all heritage railways as we rely on footfall to keep us running. Your understanding, patience and co-operation is appreciated and we thank you all in advance for your ongoing support.”

Another coronavirus casualty is the popular Llangollen Walking Festival.

In a message to llanblogger it says: “It is with enormous regret that we are forced to cancel the Llangollen Walking Festival 2020.

“The committee has taken this very difficult decision however, we believe it is the right thing to do. ​The health and safety of everyone is a top priority and we must all play our part to reduce the spread COVID-19.

“For everyone who has paid for their walk(s) we offer three options:

1: carry your booking over to 2021.
2: donate your booking fee to our charity (Nightingale House Hospice).
3: ask for a refund (the Eventbrite booking fee will be deducted as this is taken at source).
Please email us with your preferred option” 

Also reducing its operations is Llangollen Town Council.

It has sent out a message to the public saying: “At present no member of the Town Council staff is showing any signs of illness whatsoever.

“However, as from Wednesday 18thMarch 2020, it is requested that any business to be conducted with the Town Council Office is either done by email or by calling 07886 889454 to minimise contact with staff members.

“This is a preventative measure taken to ensure that Town Council business is not compromised with either staff having to self-isolate or be absent through illness.

“As from the Saturday 21st March2020 the Town Hall, Chamber and Town Council Offices will be closed for a period of twelve weeks until Monday 15th June 2020 as prescribed in recent UK Government advice.”

Town Council contacts are:

The Town Council has also sent out copies of a coronavirus advice leaflet which was distributed by volunteers.

St Collen's vicar, Father Less Taylor, has sent out a message to say that all church services and gatherings for public worship have been cancelled until further notice.

This includes regular Sunday services and weekday services.

He explains: “This instruction has come to us from the Church in Wales who have followed government guidance.”

The Courtyard Cafe says it is making available most of its main meals as frozen ready dinners for its customers to take home.

Choices, it says, are Welsh lamb’s liver and onions mash and peas, beef or veg lasagne with garlic bread and coleslaw, steak and kidney pie with mash and peas, All are £5.

A message on Facebook adds: “Our whole menu is available to take away, i.ejacket potatoes, baguettes, pannini, quiche.”

Premier Cars (Llangollen and Chirk) says it is still running, from 8am to midnight,and remonds people it also does shopping runs.

Glanrafon Chapel in its own message says: “In line with the national effort to curb the impact of the coronavirus and our personal circumstances the services at Glanrafon Chapel, Princess Street have been suspended for the time being.

“Our bookshop will also be closed. Please see our site for live sermons 11am and 6pm on Sundays and further information.”

A new Facebook page has been set up by Llangollen Health Centre carrying coronavirus advice and information.

Chirk Castle has announced that its café and shop will be closed from Saturday 21 March in response to the government's advice during the coronavirus outbreak.

A message says: “The Estate will remain open for walking, the car park can be used, and the toilets at Home Farm will be maintained and available for use.

“This is in line with the government current advice on social distancing, and we believe that it is important there are still outdoor spaces for people to use. If the government advice changes this policy might be changed, so please check our Facebook page or website before travelling.”

All McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland will become takeaways, drive-throughs and delivery operations as the company attempts to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, chief executive Paul Pomroy wrote: “Our restaurants will remain open for as long as it is safe to do so.

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