Caerphilly county is being placed under a local lockdown on Tuesday, September 8, the Welsh Government has announced.
Government officials say the new measures are being introduced following a rapid increase of confirmed coronavirus cases, which “have been linked to clusters of people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines in the borough and summer holidays overseas”.
The new regulations will apply to everyone living within the Caerphilly county borough area, and kick in from 6pm on Tuesday.
In the last week, there have been 133 new cases confirmed – equivalent to a rate of 55.4 cases per 100,000 population, which is the highest rate in Wales and one of the highest in the UK.
Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething said “a lot of these cases are in younger people” and are mild, but the virus is circulating in the community and “it’s only a matter of time before we start to see more serious cases, which need hospital treatment”.
The Welsh Government said case numbers are expected to continue to rise.
What do the new Caerphilly local lockdown rules mean?
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Caerphilly county borough council area without a reasonable excuse. The Welsh Government say a reasonable excuse “includes work, if they are unable to work from home, or making a compassionate visit to a loved one or to give care”.
- Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in shops;
- People will only be able to meet others outdoors; meetings with other people indoors and extended households will not be allowed for the time being. No overnight stays will be allowed. Care visits will be able to go ahead.
The Welsh Government says the regulations, which will be enforced by the police and council, will be kept under review but further measures will be considered if there is not a drop in cases.
It comes after community testing was introduced in Caerphilly at the weekend. On Saturday, some 450 people were tested and 19 were positive – a positivity rate of 4% – indicating the virus is circulating in the community. A similar number of people were tested on Sunday and the results are expected shortly.
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Overall, the rate of new coronavirus cases in Wales has risen nearly four-fold in the last four days, with more than 300 new positive cases recorded since Friday.
The latest figures from Public Health Wales (PHW) confirmed on Monday, September 7, there were 133 new cases recorded in Wales. It follows 98 new cases on Sunday and 77 on Saturday.
At least 16 Welsh schools have now confirmed they have been affected since reopening for the autumn term.
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