On Friday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething published a written statement to update Members about the latest coronavirus situation in South Wales.
We continue to see rapidly rising cases in many parts of South Wales, which has led to introduction of new local restrictions in Llanelli on Saturday. Local restrictions will also come into force in Cardiff and Swansea on Sunday at 6pm.
In his statement, the Health Minister said we would closely monitor the situation in Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen over the weekend and will review whether these areas also need to come under the local restriction regime.
These three areas have seen cases within their own boundaries rise sharply over the last few weeks and they all border areas with considerably higher rates of coronavirus.
We have held a series of meetings today with public health experts, local authority leaders, the NHS, police and police and crime commissioners to assess the latest position in each of these areas.
All participants agreed local restrictions should be introduced in Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen. These will come into effect at 6pm on Monday (28 September).
This means everyone living in these three local authorities will:
- Not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse.
- Not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with for the time
- being – extended households (sometimes called a “bubble”) are suspended
- for the time being.
- All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.
- Everyone must work from home wherever possible.
A large part of the population of South Wales will now be living in areas under local restrictions to protect their health and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Although the restrictions are the same in each local authority, this does not mean people from one local area under local restrictions can travel to another area under local restrictions without a reasonable excuse, such as travelling for work or education.
This is not a regional lockdown. We have introduced a series of local restrictions in these South Wales local authority areas to respond to a specific rise in cases in each area, all of which have distinct and unique chains of transmission.
In some places, such as Caerphilly and Newport, we have seen positive falls in response and we will be able to take action to relax these restrictions in these areas if they continue.
It is important everyone follows the rules where they live. 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.
We continue to closely monitor the situation in North Wales where cases overall are lower than we are seeing in South Wales at the moment but there is evidence that coronavirus is increasing in some parts of the region. We will be meeting North Wales local authority leaders next week to discuss the developing situation.