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Doctors, carers and vulnerable families are urging everyone to stay home and save lives this Easter, as part of continued efforts by police to keep the public safe.
From today (Thursday) Dyfed-Powys Police will be conducting increased stop-checks on arterial roads into Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys to ensure only those who need to travel are doing so.
Patrols will also continue across the four counties to ensure social distancing rules are being observed as we head into the sunny Bank Holiday weekend.
As part of the campaign key workers, cancer survivors, transplant patients and others who are most at risk have recorded personal pleas to the public to follow government advice and stay at home.
These include a GP from Pembrokeshire, the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Helen (a home care worker from Powys) and radio DJ Tommo.
Roads Policing Inspector Andy Williams said the response from the public since the UK was placed in lockdown two weeks ago had been hugely positive, but it was vital locals and potential visitors continued to stay at home this weekend.
“We understand that Easter is a time when families and friends would usually get together to celebrate and make the most of the fine weather outside,” he said.
“But this remains a public health emergency, with many lives at stake if people do not continue to follow the government guidance.
“This isn’t just about protecting ourselves and our loved ones - it’s thinking about every shop worker, carer or off-duty paramedic we might come into contact with when out and about.
“Social distancing is essential if we are to reduce the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe.”
He added: “We will maintain a strong presence on roads across the force area this weekend, ensuring only those who need to travel are doing so.
“More people on the roads also means a greater likelihood of vehicles breaking down or being involved in an accident, which puts further strain on emergency services.”
Yesterday the Welsh Government confirmed the current UK-wide lockdown, which permits only essential travel, would be extended beyond the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Shopping for basic necessities such as food, daily exercise, travelling to and from work if you are unable to work from home, or having a genuine medical need remain the main reasons for people to need to leave their homes.
Separate advice has been issued to individuals and households who are ‘shielding’ due to existing health vulnerabilities.
The government has also clarified that those experiencing domestic abuse, or who may be at an increased risk due to lockdown measures, should still seek help.
Anyone in immediate danger should still call 999 and ask for the police.
Those who are unable to talk on the phone should call 999 and then press 55, and call handlers will listen to any background noise and make an assessment of the situation in order to respond correctly.
For advice on what to do if you are suffering domestic abuse, or for more information on the current restrictions CLICK HERE.