Home U.K. Wales lockdown: Major coronavirus restrictions begin TOMORROW as third of population hit

Wales lockdown: Major coronavirus restrictions begin TOMORROW as third of population hit

Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr and Newport will join Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly in facing new restrictions.

That covers around a third of the Welsh population. 

The four impacted areas in Wales have a population of 430,000 people. 

The new restrictions will come into force from 6pm on Tuesday.

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People in the impacted areas will now not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.

They will also now only be allowed to meet others they don’t live with outdoors for the time being.

All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm.

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Speaking at a press conference in Cardiff, Wales health minister Vaughan Gething said many of the recent coronavirus cases have been linked to people socialising indoors without physical distancing.

A third of the Welsh population will be in lockdown from 6pm on Tuesday (Image: GETTY / SKY NEWS)

He said: “Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other South Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.

“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing.

“We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.

“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.

“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.”

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Mr Gething added the new measures, which will be enforced by local authorities and police, will be regularly reviewed.

The Welsh Government is also calling an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border on Tuesday.

The Government said this will discuss “the wider situation in south Wales and whether further measures are needed across the region”

On Sunday, Wales said a further 199 people had tested positive for coronavirus, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,644.

Downing Street has said Boris johnson will discuss the response to coronavirus with the first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland later today before announcing any further lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of infections.

He will also chair a COBRA meeting tomorrow morning.

The Prime Minister will speak to Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon and Wales’s Mark Drakeford separately, and will also speak to Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and her deputy Michelle O’Neill together.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “One thing he will do is reiterate his commitment to working together with the devolved administrations as one United Kingdom in response to the rising infection rates that we’re seeing across the UK.”

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The latest developments come just two hours after the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned UK could be facing 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October, leading to 200 deaths a day a month later, if the surging rate of infections is not brought under control.

During a televised briefing alongside Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, he presented a graph showing how the number of daily coronavirus cases could surge significently if the current rate of the episdemic doubling every week continues.

Sir Patrick warned: “At the moment we think the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days.

“If that continues unabated, by mid-October you would end up with something like 50,000 cases per day.

He added this would lead to more than 200 deaths per day.

Sir Patrick said: “The challenge, therefore, is to make sure that the doubling time does not stay at seven days, and to make sure that we do not enter into this exponential growth.”

The Government’s Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty warned if the spread of COVID-19 in the UK continues at its current pace, deaths from the virus will contninue to rise, potentially exponentially.

He told the briefing: “If this continued along the path, the number of deaths directly from COVID will continue to rise, potentially on an exponential curve, that means doubling and doubling and doubling again and you can quickly move from really quite small numbers to really very large numbers.”

This is a breaking story. More to follow…

Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed

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