Shoppers in Welshpool react to news of ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales

People in Welshpool say they hope the “firebreaker” lockdown due to come into force in Wales on Friday will bring coronavirus cases down.

The town is in Powys, where nine cases of Covid-19 were reported by Public Health Wales on Monday and 654 have been recorded since the start of the pandemic.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said a Wales-wide lockdown, lasting for two weeks, was necessary to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

Jill Williams, 76, from Abermule, said: “They’ve got to do something and I just hope that people get the message this time and stop behaving so stupidly because there are a lot of people behaving very stupidly.”

Ann, 68, from Welshpool, said: “I’m confused really because in one way I think it might stop the spread, but Powys in particular has got quite low incidence, so I’m not sure how useful it will be to us locally and there are worries about the economy.

“Until they’ve got this track and trace sorted, we’ve no chance of getting out of this. We could have this again in a few weeks.”

Stan Chapman, 22, of Welshpool, said: “Obviously we haven’t got many cases around here at all but we do need it.

“All of Wales needs to be locked down and the rest of the country should follow as well.

“We just need to get it over and done with. It’s not going to go away after three weeks, it’s not going to make much of a difference but it will help and if people listen to it, hopefully it will go down.”

Dan Box, 24, of Welshpool, called for gyms to be reopened to help people’s mental and physical health.

“People’s mental health is massively impacted with the gyms, so mental health cases are probably going to go up,” Mr Box said.

“They’re on about saving the NHS, protecting the NHS – that’s protected by keeping gyms open.”

Ciara Owen, 21, from Welshpool, said: “I think it’s been badly handled but if it’s best for us then we’ll just have to ride it out.”