Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
Further to my update to you yesterday evening about the review of the local restrictions introduced two weeks ago in Caerphilly borough, I want to update you about the outcome of the formal review of the local restrictions in Rhondda Cynon Taf and the developing situation across Wales.
In Rhondda Cynon Taf, cases have continued to rise. This is to be expected – it could take two weeks or more to see the peak because of the time between infection and the onset of symptoms. Restrictions will therefore stay in place and we will continue to monitor the situation carefully.
Cases are also continuing to rise in Blaenau Gwent and Bridgend, where local restrictions were introduced earlier this week.
We have been carefully monitoring the situation in Carmarthenshire, which is overwhelmingly linked to a rise in cases in Llanelli. Eight out of 10 cases are linked to the town and the majority of these have been traced to people socialising.
We have seen a rapid increase in cases in Swansea. We are investigating these to determine the sources of the increase but there appears to be links to close household and social contacts.
We have seen rising cases in Cardiff and a steady increase in the Vale of Glamorgan, which have been linked to people meeting and mixing in each other’s homes; to people socialising without social distancing and some small clusters in workplaces.
We take the protection of people’s health very seriously in Wales and we have carefully considered whether we need to introduce further local restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus in some of these areas of South Wales.
We have decided to introduce local restrictions in Llanelli, which will come into force from 6pm on Saturday. Local restrictions will also come into place in Swansea and Cardiff from 6pm on Sunday.
We will 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 at the same time as Swansea and Cardiff.
This means everyone living in Llanelli, Cardiff and Swansea 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, including our capital city, will be living in areas under local restrictions to protect their health and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
And, of course, there are series of new rules, which apply across Wales – to everyone living in Wales – which apply to licensed premises, meeting indoors and wearing face coverings.
We know people can make a real difference in their local areas – we are seeing this happen in both Caerphilly borough and Newport.
We do not want to keep these local restrictions in place for any longer than they need to be – and with people’s help they will only be a short term measure to help us bring virus under control.
We are continuing to closely monitor the situation in North Wales where the picture is mixed – cases overall are much 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.
I will keep members fully informed.