PEMBROKESHIRE County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Tuesday, March 24, as follows:

‘The Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening (Monday, March 23) set out new arrangements to reinforce that minimising social contact is the most important way that collectively we can tackle COVID-19 and protect the NHS.

‘The three new measures are:

1. requiring people to stay at home except for essential activities

2. closing non-essential shops and community spaces

3. stopping public gatherings of more than two people.

‘We are currently urgently reviewing, evaluating and actioning the implications of the Prime Minister’s announcement.

‘A full list of service changes is being prepared but may take some time to finalise given the urgent pressures on other work streams and the extent of information.

‘Service changes are being announced live on our website when they are known and I list below some key updates:

• decision taken to close our Customer Service Centres in Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock with immediate effect and for the foreseeable future. Customers are asked to see our website for updates and information; email the Council or call the Contact Centre

• a specific contact centre arrangement for social services is being set up. It is planned to do a specific press release on this tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25)

• specific queries about council tax; business rates; housing rents and housing benefit are now being dealt with by email

• only essential highway work and transport services are continuing in order to support travel for key workers. Routine maintenance work has ceased for the time being

• the County Council’s Construction Capital works are only being undertaken for urgent or emergency purposes – all other sites are closing

• parks and gardens remain open but signage will be placed to highlight ‘no gatherings’

• the immediate closure of coastal car parks and associated toilets

• playgrounds, sports grounds and pitches are closing

• Haverfordwest Airport is closed to all but essential flights

• The library ‘at home’ mobile service has been suspended

‘The more general updates I want to highlight today are:

• work is being undertaken to hopefully exploit opportunities for food businesses doing takeaways/deliveries. Further details will follow as they become available.

• as a result of the PM’s announcement, some businesses are starting to close down and access business support grants. More detailed business advice is under preparation to help businesses.

• an assessment of school provision for key workers is being undertaken with a view to moving to hub arrangements at our school sites. A review of school transport provisions is also being done to support this.’