A 'SHARP increase' of community transmitted cases of coronavirus has landed Caerphilly in a local lockdown, health minister Vaughan Gething has said.

Speaking to the Argus, Mr Gething said the Welsh Government had to act following the increase in cases.

"We could not do nothing," he said. "Local lockdown was necessary because we saw a sharp increase in cases in Caerphilly.

"We saw a rate of 55 cases per 100,000 people which put it in the top 20 most infected areas in the UK, and we expected that to rise further.

"We also saw four per cent of tests carried out on Saturday return a positive result.

"If we had those two factors in an overseas territory we would be looking at introducing restrictions, so we had to do something here."

The local lockdown sees restrictions introduced on travelling and socialising in the borough.

People will only be allowed to travel with a reasonable excuse, such as food shopping, childcare, care commitments or work - though people should work from home where possible.

Anyone over the age of 11 should wear a facemask in enclosed public spaces, unless they are exempt from wearing them.


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There will also be no extended households in the borough.

Mr Gething said the Welsh Government believed people mixing in each other's homes, without social distancing, and in excess of the extended household guidelines, was the reason for the increase.

He said: "More than half of the new cases are a result of mixing in other people’s homes, over and above what is allowed under the extended households guidance.

"We have chosen three areas for the local lockdown that are easy to understand and get over the message that it is mixing in houses that is causing this rise.

"I know it will be disappointing for many people, but this is necessary to slow the spread in Caerphilly.

"A lot of what we are introducing is going back to the old stay local guidelines. It should be pretty familiar to people.

"You should only leave the area for a reasonable excuse such as childcare, work commitments or care commitments, food shopping.

"What are not reasonable excuses are socialising or people going on holiday."

The health minister said that there was no definitive end point for the new restrictions, but added it would be under constant review.

It is expected to be two or three weeks before the impact of the local lockdown will be seen on case numbers in the borough.