Covid lockdown for Newport, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent

Woman in Merthyr Tydfil Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Merthyr Tydfil is one of the four areas impacted by the new rules

Four more counties in south Wales will go into lockdown from 18:00 BST on Tuesday.

Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport will have the same restrictions as Rhondda Cynon Taf.

People will not be able to enter or leave those areas except for a limited number of exemptions including work and education.

Licensed premises like pubs will need to shut by 23:00 every night, with that rule also extended to Caerphilly.

People will only be able to meet others not in their own household outdoors – meetings with people from their extended households will be banned in the four areas.

The new measures affect 431,000 people, bringing more than 850,000 people in Wales under local lockdown, with restrictions brought in to Caerphilly county borough and Rhondda Cynon Taf earlier in September.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said Monday’s extension followed rises in Covid-19 cases in the four counties.

At a press conference Mr Gething said he would hold “an urgent meeting” on Wednesday with all councils, health boards and police forces in south Wales.

It will discuss the wider regional situation and whether further measures are needed.

Earlier, senior UK government advisers warned of a “six-month problem” of rising cases and potentially 50,000 new deaths.

Mr Gething said he could not “definitively” give a timescale of how long lockdown measures would be needed.

He said the change in seasons would mean “there will be more people indoors” and it would be “more difficult” to do more activity indoors.

Mr Gething added there was no timescale of “when we will be through this”.

What does local lockdown mean?

If you live in one of the six counties affected, the rules mean you cannot visit or leave the areas affected without a “reasonable excuse”.

That can include:

  • For work, if you cannot work from home
  • For buying essentials like food or medicine
  • To provide or receive emergency assistance
  • To meet a legal obligation, and to access or receive public services
  • To avoid injury or illness or escape a risk of harm

Motorists can continue to use the M4 and other major roads – you can drive in and out of the areas as long as you do not stop.

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