Rhondda Cynon Taf has become the second county in Wales to be placed into local lockdown, following a “rapid” increase in virus cases across the county.
The Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the incident rate in RCT is now 82.1 per 100,000 people, and that Tuesday’s positive test rate was 4.3% – the highest in Wales.
From 18:00 on Thursday, the following restrictions will come into force for people living in the county:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council area without a “reasonable excuse”, such as travel for work or education.
People will only be able to meet outdoors for the time being. People will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household.
Everyone over 11 must wear face coverings in indoor public places – as is the case throughout Wales.
He said the cases are mainly linked to people socialising without social distancing and meeting up in each other’s homes.
Rhondda Cynon Taf becomes the second county in Wales to be placed under local lockdown, after similar measures were introduced in Caerphilly County last week.
Last week, residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf were asked by the local authority to undertake voluntary measures in an attempt to control the spread of the virus.
But cases have continued to rise in the area, and Mr Gething said there is now also evidence of community transmission.
The health minister said there are a “number of clusters” in Rhondda Cynon Taf – two of which he described as “significant”.
He told the press briefing: “One is associated with a rugby club and pub in the lower Rhondda and the other with a club outing to the Doncaster races, which stopped off at a series of pubs on the way.”
Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Cllr Andrew Morgan said more information and details on the terms of the lockdown will be published later on Wednesday.
In regards to Caerphilly, which entered local lockdown last week, Mr Gething said there were “grounds for cautious optimism”.
He said there had been a “small fall” in both the seven-day rate of new cases and the positivity rate in the Caerphilly area, although both still remain high.
He said police in Caerphilly had also reported very high levels of compliance with the restrictions.
“I want to thank everyone living in the area for their help over the last week and for the support we’ve seen from public services in Caerphilly borough”, Mr Gething said.
“It’s only by working together that we will be able to reduce coronavirus, protect ourselves and our loved ones and keep Wales safe.”
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