Caerphilly becomes first Wales area to be placed in lockdown

Local lockdown measures will be enforced across Caerphilly from Tuesday evening to prevent coronavirus from spreading in the area.

From 6pm on September 8, people will not be allowed to enter or leave Caerphilly County Borough Council area without a ‘reasonable excuse’. It is the first area of Wales to be placed in local lockdown.

Residents will also only be able to meet others outside their household outdoors and overnight stays at other homes are also not allowed. Anyone over the age of 11 will also be required to wear a face covering while inside a shop, which is not mandatory elsewhere in Wales.

The lockdown comes after 98 new cases of the virus were recorded in Caerphilly over the last seven days. The Welsh government said the restrictions had been imposed due to the rapid increase in people testing positive for the virus.

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.’

A pop-up testing centre was installed in Caerphilly over the weekend. Ministers said they had identified 19 positive cases of the virus after 450 underwent testing, indicating that Covid-19 is ‘circulating in the community’.

Council leader Philippa Marsden said: ‘We need to create a break in the cycle of infection we are seeing in Caerphilly borough at the moment and unfortunately that means introducing new, tougher restrictions.

‘I would urge everyone living in the area to follow these new measures; to follow the social distancing guidelines and to wash their hands regularly. If we all work together, we can bring this outbreak under control and reduce cases of the virus.’

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