Over the weekend I issued an urgent plea to every resident of Newport, and every visitor to our city, to act now to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The number of confirmed cases within Newport is rising, with a concerning number of cases stemming from people not adhering to the rules when socialising.

Although we all hope to avoid further restrictions being applied, there is a real possibility that we may find ourselves in that position soon.

We all have a responsibility to try and help stop the spread of the virus both within our city and the wider Gwent area. We all need to limit our contact with people; follow the laws on who we can meet indoors and outdoors; wash our hands regularly; keep our distance from others; and wear a face mask where required.

These are difficult times for all of us, but it is only by following these steps that we can hope to stop the virus spreading further.

The council continues to work closely with businesses and organisations to ensure they are operating in a Covid-safe manner and, alongside Gwent Police, we are out in the city supporting and enforcing where necessary.

Our trading standards team was out over the weekend reminding businesses of their obligations. In light of the increasing number of cases, we will be stepping up our enforcement efforts to ensure that all businesses within the city are operating safely.

The last thing we want to do is have to close establishments, but we will do whatever is necessary to protect our residents and stop the spread of coronavirus.

We continue to work closely with colleagues in Public Health Wales and Aneurin Bevan UHB in tracking those who may have come into contact with the virus. It is of the utmost importance that, if you are contacted by the Test, Trace and Protect team, you follow their advice and instructions. They are working hard to keep us safe, but their efforts need our cooperation.

If you do go out, be it to a shop, restaurant, on a bus or to school, or if you invite people into your home, please take responsibility for your actions. Protect yourselves, your friends, family and everyone you come into contact with.

We are all in this together, and it is only by working together that we will stop the spread of the virus.