The Welsh government has declared that a lockdown will be implemented between Friday, October 23, and November 9, across Wales to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). From Friday, members of the public will be required to remain in their homes whilst indoor and outdoor gatherings involving separate households will be banned. People may only leave their homes for limited reasons such as exercise. Employees must also work from home if possible. Pubs, restaurants, and non-essential shops will also be closed. Places of worship will be closed except for funerals and weddings. The measure replaces the 17 local lockdowns that had previously been introduced across Wales. On Friday, October 16, the Welsh government imposed a travel ban on those arriving from areas of the UK deemed as having high levels of COVID-19 cases with exemptions existing for limited circumstances.
As of Monday, October 19, there have been 725,298 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK with 43,736 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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