PEMBROKESHIRE County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update.

“Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s update.

“I’m sure like me many of you have enjoyed your first walk away from the immediate vicinity of your home over the weekend.

“How lovely to be able to travel a little further, enjoy a different walk and different views while keeping within the stay local rules.

“I have no doubt that the First Minister’s announcement on Friday is still fresh in your minds but I’ll just recap quickly a few points.

“The stay at home message has changed to stay local, which means roughly five miles.

“Barbers and hairdressers can now open to appointments – something I know a lot of people have been waiting a very long time for – and people can meet family and friends who live locally as long as it is outdoors.

“A maximum of four people from two households (excluding any carers or children aged under 11) can meet, socially distanced.

“These are small but extremely welcome steps forward and has been achieved because so many people have been following the rules.

“Thank you for doing your bit and please keep up the effort.

“I’m delighted to say all primary school pupils returned to classrooms on Monday and how wonderful it is for them to see their friends and get back to a sense of normality.

“Secondary Schools have also welcomed back learners this week with arrangements being worked up for a full return after Easter, although pupils will have the chance to catch-up before then.

“The First Minister has also highlighted further key dates with the phased re-opening of non-essential retail from Monday, March 22 and garden centres able to re-open.

“I will focus on dates further ahead as we get a bit closer.

“Turning to vaccinations and the incredible effort continues.

“In Pembrokeshire, as of Wednesday, 49,521 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.

“That is equal to 39.4 per cent of the population. A further 7,101 are now fully vaccinated.

“The number of vaccinations delivered this week across the Hywel Dda region has increased significantly to 26,559 and I’d like to thank everyone working incredibly hard to keep this seven day a week operation going.

“Next week we will see a very poignant moment in the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tuesday will mark exactly one year since the first UK lockdown and we will light up County Hall in yellow as part of the commemorations.

“It will be a time to reflect on the past year, remember those lost and those still suffering as a result of coronavirus and look to the future.

We are still fighting the virus a year on but the vaccines and improved medical knowledge and treatment developed over the key weapons in our arsenal.

“I’m sure I don’t need to remind people that there is a very big rugby match coming up this weekend.

“Please watch the game – and hopefully celebrate a Welsh Grand Slam – with those you live with.

“It will be very tempting to meet others but the risk is still real – please don’t take the chance.

“I think only the most optimistic Welsh fan could have dreamt of going to Paris with a chance to secure the Grand Slam but let’s hope for one more big performance and a happy Welsh nation come Saturday night.

“Stay safe everyone.”