Local lockdowns in four areas South Wales after a ‘worrying and rapid rise’ in coronavirus cases

The areas of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent will be placed under a local lockdown following an increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, the Welsh Government has announced.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said there had been a “worrying and rapid rise” in cases of Covid-19 in the four areas, which have a combined population of about 430,000 people.

Under the measures, which come into force at 6pm on Tuesday, people must not enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse.

People are only able to meet outdoors and are unable to meet members of their extended household indoors.

All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm.

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.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us