Great Britain

Council tells kids not give Christmas cards due to covid risk

SCHOOLKIDS in a Welsh county have been told not to exchange Christmas cards with their pals.

A council in Rhondda Cynon Taf, south-east Wales, said youngsters can send e-cards or make one card to put on display in their classroom instead over coronavrius fears.

It comes as new measures will come into force across Wales from the end of this week after an uptick in Covid-19 cases.

The council said they issued the advice in accordance with information from Public Health Wales, but PHW said they hadn't issued any guidance on exchanging cards and gifts in schools.

A spokesperson for the council - which oversees the region with around 300 covid cases per 100,000 - said in a statement: “Based on advice from Public Health Wales we recommend that actual Christmas cards are not handed around by pupils in our schools this year in order to mitigate any Covid-19 transmission risk.

"Instead we recommend this year that pupils send virtual Christmas cards using their Hwb email accounts or they can make one in class and display it for all their friends to see.

We also recommend that gifts are not sent into school by parents on this occasion due to the risk of transmission.

“Alternatively we recommend that individual schools consider suggesting other alternatives such as donations to a school’s chosen charity.”

However, a Public Health Wales spokesperson said: “I can confirm that Public Health Wales hasn’t issued any guidance to schools regarding the exchange of Christmas cards and presents.”

Wales underwent a short "fire-break" lockdown three weeks ago.

The full lockdown lasted for three weeks in a bid to bring cases down.

But the spread has started to creep back up, with new measures coming into Force Friday that will see all pubs, bars and restaurants closed at 6pm and the sale of booze banned.

From 6pm draconian new national measures will come into force in Wales, slapping tough curfews and booze bans on the hospitality sector.

Pubs and restaurants will still be allowed to do takeaway after 6pm - but it will be a heavy blow for hospitality hoping to get a boost over the Christmas period.

Other entertainment venues will need to close, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, soft play, casinos and skating rinks.

There is already a 10pm curfew on buying alcohol in supermarkets or off-licences.

Mr Drakeford said this morning: "I recognise just how hard the hospitality and (leisure) sectors have worked to comply with the regulations.

"I know the new restrictions will be difficult, coming as they do at one of the busiest times of the year."

But he warned "we continue to face a virus that is moving incredibly quickly across Wales, and it is a virus that will exploit every opportunity when we spend time with one another."

And there have been calls to close schools one week early across Wales, putting the last week of 2020 teaching online.

Mark Drakeford has previously said that he does not want to close schools down again.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford gives details of coronavirus measures that will follow fire-break lockdown in Wales

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