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Covid: 'Clear guidance needed' as lockdown talks continue

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  • Coronavirus pandemic
image captionSeventeen areas in Wales currently have local lockdown rules in place

"Clear guidelines" are needed if a new national lockdown goes ahead in Wales, a council leader has said.

Hugh Evans said it was "important that we keep the public on board" with any new plans to tackle a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The Denbighshire council leader and others held talks with the Welsh Government on Friday "to consider what is going to happen next week".

Discussions on a "fire-break" lockdown are continuing over the weekend.

Mr Evans told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast he wanted the Welsh Government to "come up with clear guidelines, and a clear understanding, if this does happen".

media captionThe BBC's Laura Foster explains what a circuit breaker is and how it could help tackle Covid-19

Mr Evans said he was told on Friday that "no decision has been made yet".

Denbighshire is one of 17 areas in Wales with local lockdown rules in place to try to reverse an increase in coronavirus cases.

Movement is restricted in and out of these places without a reasonable excuse, such as going to work.

On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said a "short, sharp" circuit-breaker could slow down the virus.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continued with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.

"Doing nothing is not an option," he said.

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image captionPeople from Covid-19 hotspots in England are banned from visiting Wales, under Welsh Government rules

Meanwhile, businesses face an anxious wait to hear if any changes will affect them.

Jonathan Greatorex, owner of The Hand hotel at Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, near Llangollen, Denbighshire, said he had already borrowed money to cover costs, with a wage bill of £5,000 a week.

"Coming into winter with fuel bills going up, costs going up, it's completely, completely, worrying for everyone," he said.

Kathryn Jones, sales and marketing director at food wholesaler Castell Howell in Carmarthenshire, said the firm had faced a "nightmare" since the first national lockdown in March and feared "it's just about to get worse".

"We have placed orders for produce to come in next week for half term. Are schools involved… are we going to end up throwing produce away?" she said.

Nail and beauty salon owner Kelli Gwiliam, from Pencoed, Bridgend, said she felt "numb" due to the possible effects on her business from a second lockdown.

"If there is no help, I really do think this is the beginning of the end," said the mother-of-four.

She said her 11-year-old son told her "not to worry about Christmas this year".

"That's heart-breaking," she said.

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