Caerphilly will be under a ‘local lockdown’ from 6pm tomorrow due to an ongoing spike in coronavirus cases.
This is the first such lockdown to be introduced since easing of restrictions, and shows for the first time what measures Welsh Government bring in for the circumstances.
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Caerphilly County Borough Council area without a reasonable excuse. The travel restrictions will mean people cannot enter or leave Caerphilly County Borough Council area without a reasonable excuse – this 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 outdoors – meetings with other people indoors and extended households will not be allowed for the time being.
- No overnight stays will be allowed.
- The new restrictions will apply to everyone living within the Caerphilly County Borough Council area.
The new measures will be kept under regular review and enforcement of the new restrictions will be undertaken by the local authority and by the police.
The measures are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to clusters of people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines in the borough and summer holidays overseas.
They will be kept under regular review but if cases do not fall, the Welsh Government, working with Caerphilly Council and Public Health Wales, will consider further measures.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“We have seen a significant rise in cases in Caerphilly borough over a very short space of time, which are linked to holiday travel abroad and people socialising indoors and not following social distancing guidelines.
“A lot of these cases are in younger people and thankfully, at the moment, most of these are mild. But coronavirus is now circulating in the community and it’s only a matter of time before we start to see more serious cases, which need hospital treatment.
“We need the help of everyone in Caerphilly borough to prevent the increasing and onward spread of coronavirus. We can only bring this local outbreak under control if everyone pulls together and follows these new steps.
“If we do not see cases falling, we may need to take further steps to bring this local outbreak under control.”
In the last seven days there have been 133 new cases confirmed, equivalent to a rate of 55.4 cases per 100,000 population in Caerphilly – the highest rate in Wales and one of the highest in the UK. It is expected case numbers will continue to rise.
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.
There are 132 new confirmed cases across Wales on the day on day figures, the highest since the 27th of June, and follows a distinct rise in the recent figures.
Shadow Health Minister Andrew Davies MS said tonight, “I am disappointed that a local lockdown has become necessary in Caerphilly. However, it’s absolutely vital that the virus is controlled, especially with more people returning to work and schoolchildren and students returning to study, and as the trend is rising.
“Critically, any such local lockdown must be for as short a time as possible.
“Other parts of Wales will be watching how Caerphilly deals with this local outbreak, and hopefully any lessons learnt will be shared widely to avoid a similar situation occurring in other parts of Wales.”