Coronavirus laws are being further tightened in Neath Port Talbot, the Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen in response to a growing spread of cases, First Minister Mark Drakeford, has confirmed.
Local restrictions will come into force from 6pm today (Monday 28 September).
The restrictions, which will apply to everyone living in Neath Port Talbot, Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen are:
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
- People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households (sometimes known as ‘bubbles’). This means meeting indoors (in people’s houses, in a pub or elsewhere) with anyone you don’t live with is not allowed at the moment unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person.
- All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.
- Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor places, which are open to the public, such as shops, as well as on public transport – as is the case in the rest of Wales. (There are some limited exemptions for people with disabilities and medical conditions – these are the same as for public transport).
The First Minister said:
“Following a worrying rise in cases of coronavirus across South Wales, we took action on Friday to introduce local coronavirus restrictions in Llanelli and local restrictions will come into force in our two largest cities– Cardiff and Swansea – tonight.
“We are now taking further action and placing three more areas under local restrictions in South Wales – Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen, and the Vale of Glamorgan – because we are seeing rising rates in these three areas. These areas also share borders with local authority areas where rates are much higher.
“Introducing restrictions in any parts of Wales is always an incredibly difficult decision for us to make. But we’re acting to protect people’s health and to try and break the chain of transmission and stop the situation from getting worse.
“This is not a regional lockdown – this is a series of local restrictions in each local authority area to respond to a specific rise in cases in each area, which have distinct and unique chains of transmission. In some places, such as Caerphilly and Newport, we have seen really positive falls in response and we hope they can begin to be relaxed if they continue.
“It’s really 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.”
Local restrictions are already in place in seven other areas of South Wales – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly borough, Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Newport.
Restrictions came into force in Cardiff and Swansea at 6pm Sunday 27 September.
Much of South Wales is now covered by local restrictions – although the restrictions are the same in each local authority, it 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.
All local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.
The Welsh Government is continuing to keep a close watch on the situation in North Wales – cases overall are much lower than in South Wales, but there is evidence coronavirus is increasing in some parts of the region.
Keep Wales safe by:
- Always keeping your distance
- Washing your hands regularly
- Working from home wherever you can
- Following any local restrictions
- Following the rules about meeting people
- Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.