Open letter for publication – Message from the First Minister

Our lives have changed drastically over the past two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Every one of us has made changes to the way we live our lives.

This is a truly unprecedented time and we are all adjusting to this new way of life.

We have had to take a series of difficult decisions in Wales, and across the UK, to slow the spread of the virus.

Schools and businesses have closed and most people are working from home. The streets are quiet.

These measures have been introduced to protect all of us and to protect our NHS.

The message is simple stay at home and save lives.

We should only go out for essentials as infrequently as possible. There is no need to stockpile as there is plenty of food available. We can go out once a day for exercise, close to home but we should not take any unnecessary risks.

The Welsh Government is working with all its partners across Wales, including local authorities, the NHS and social care services, trade unions and others, to do everything we can to respond to the pandemic.

I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who has offered to help in their local community. We’ve had a tremendous response to people offering to help – from phoning a friend to picking up shopping. But please do this safely and protect yourself and others.

I’d also like to thank our NHS and social care staff who are doing a fantastic job. People are offering to come out of retirement and back into the NHS and social care to help with the effort against coronavirus.

There has been a terrific response across Wales.

Let’s pull together and all play our part, to protect each other and our NHS.  The actions of every single one of us matters.

For more information visit: gov.wales/coronavirus

Mark Drakeford

First Minister of Wales

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