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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday coronavirus update

* The poster which tops the busy Llangollen
Coronavirus Help Group page.
Through the Llangollen Coronavirus Help Group page on Facebook co-ordinator Cat Meade put out an urgent appeal for help yesterday (Saturday).

She said: “HELP REQUIRED - A volunteer has had a huge donation of ingrediants for batch soup making, needs cooking tomorrow.

“Foodshare have pans/containers and freezer to store for food parcels for those in need in Llangollen.

“We NEED a kitchen, preferably an establishment in town with staff in the know to cook it, to ensure all measures are taken we do not want volunteers gathering in an outside kitchen to cook, please contact me asap.”

Demonstrating the way the community is responding to the crisis, not long afterwards, she was back on the page to report: “HUGE thank you to Swan Inn, Pontfadog, Steve & Fiona have volunteered their services to batch cook all soup for those in need tomorrow in their 5* hygeine rated kitchen, they are also offering take away meals along with drinks, visit their page The Swan Inn, Pontfadog for more info.”

Cat added: “It's heartwarming and also heartbreaking for all our local pubs and restaurants at this time, we are proud of you guys for taking the responsible approach to shut down this beast from spreading, please contact me direct with your take out options, we will get the info out to Llan on here and via leaflets.

“I am currently working on the next leaflet drop, due to be out Tuesday next week, main aim for those not on social media and 2nd aim to give our local business the opportunity to offer take out, deliveries, services etc please inbox me your info by 5pm tomorrow or email, this group is to help the TOWN and all that includes.

“Finally, a continued thank you to volunteers, another mass of calls, emails today with support.

“Tomorrow I will be taking some time out with my family, feel free to leave msgs. We all need time out so Go have a rest day, play with the kids, do some gardening, turn off the news/radio and turn up the tunes, make a big Sunday roast, bake some cookies, watch a film, have a wine/beer, whatever makes you feel good  (that's just my list) and a big Happy Mother’s Day to all you fab Mommas and Nannies, Dads playing both roles, appreciate your loved ones.”

Also yesterday, came word that the town’s Tourist Information Centre in Castle Street was closing due to the risk of infection.

Another message was posted by the Post Office team at Stan’s to say they were changing their opening hours in response to the coronovirus risk.

Llangollen Community Garden posted:

"All organised garden sessions cancelled until further notice. Garden available for individual/family visitors only. Please join/use our WhatsApp group to avoid visiting at the same time as anyone else. If you are at the garden and anyone else arrives please follow government advice and keep apart by at least 2 metres. Always wash your hands after gardening."

Wales-wide, MPs have written to the UK Health Secretary asking him to place travel restrictions on people fleeing the rest of the UK to self-isolate in rural Wales.

This came in the wake of huge numbers of people visiting Snowdonia and other beauty spots and tourist areas in Wales yesterday. Llangollen itself was reported to have been full of visitors.
The MPs are concerned that if the people fall ill, or bring the coronavirus with them, it will put further pressure on the already over-stretched Welsh NHS.
They point out that NHS Wales has a lower number of critical care beds for the size of the population than the rest of the UK. Wales also has a higher population of over 60-yearolds than the UK average.
“I am writing to express my concern about reports of a substantial increase in the population of rural areas as people seek to escape the coronavirus,” Dwyfor-Meirionydd MP Liz Saville Roberts writes in the letter.
“Such a population churn poses a risk in Wales, whose health services are under great pressure already. Wales has around five intensive care beds per 100,000 people, as opposed to the UK average of 6.6 beds per 100,000.”
The letter has also been signed by Ben Lake, MP of Ceredigion, Jonathan Edwards, MP of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, and Hywel Williams, MP of Arfon.
Earlier this week Dr Eilir Hughes, a GP in north Wales, said he was “extremely concerned” that there had been a high influx of tourists and second home owners who had arrived in rural areas “with the intention of staying here for the time being.
“There is evidence that a significant amount of people who own holiday homes and static caravans have decided to travel down under the impression they’d be safe here,” he said.
This view was echoed in a Facebook post from a Llangollen resident yesterday, which said: This is a post for all of the thoughtless tourists landing in Llangollen for a "day out". Please listen to the warnings. People who live here have no choice but to shop locally. Stop putting us at risk. This isn't a holiday!!!”

Another post, on the same theme, said: "Has anyone got any photographs of the influx of visitors and holidaymakers to Wales today that would be willing to send them to me via pm? 

"We’re trying to gather as many pics & videos as we can to be sent into the BBC and to MP’s to try and get it across that people need to stay in their own homes/areas so that Welsh hospitals aren’t put under anymore pressure."

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