Coronavirus Wales: Local lockdown extended after ‘worrying and rapid rise in cases’

Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport are going back into lockdown 

Daniel Wittenberg
Monday 21 September 2020 15:27 BST
Merthyr Tydfil is one of the latest areas in Wales to see a local lockdown
Merthyr Tydfil is one of the latest areas in Wales to see a local lockdown

Four more counties in south Wales will go into lockdown from 6pm on Tuesday, the Welsh government has announced.

Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport will be placed under the same restrictions as those brought in for Rhondda Cynon Taf earlier this month.

The Welsh government’s health minister, Vaughan Gething, said that there had been a “worrying and rapid rise” in coronavirus cases in the four affected areas.

Residents will not be able to enter or leave the areas, except for a limited number of reasons, including work and education.

Mr Gething told a press conference in Cardiff: “Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other South Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.

“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing.

“We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.

“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.

“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”

On Tuesday, the Welsh government will call an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border.

This will discuss the “wider situation” in South Wales and whether further measures are required across the area, a government spokesman said.

The new measures, which will be enforced by local authorities and police, will be regularly reviewed, he added.

On Sunday, Public Health Wales said a further 199 people had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 20,644.

With Press Association

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