A LOCAL lockdown will come into force in Newport from 6pm tonight after a surge in coronavirus cases since the end of August.

Just a month ago, the rate of cases in the city was low, but in common with several other areas in south east Wales, the city has seen a sharp rise over a short period of time.

The Welsh Government have taken the decision to impose a local lockdown and the same restrictions will apply in Blaenau Gwent.

For details of the restrictions, see here.

That means that from this evening, three out of five of Gwent's councils areas will be in lockdown. Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil will also become subject to such restrictions at the same time, all four areas joining Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf on the local lockdown list.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic's march through Wales, Gwent was the first area to be affected on a large scale.

The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Newport on March 8. It was also the first case to be found across Gwent.

Soon, the virus would spread, with cases confirmed in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Monmouthshire in the following week.

Between March 9-15, 20 cases were found in Newport, among 58 in Gwent.

That grew to 85 cases in Newport the following week.

On March 23, Boris Johnson announced a UK-wide lockdown to battle the growing spread of the virus.


During the week of that announcement, 392 cases were found in Gwent, including 171 in Newport.

That was the peak of coronavirus cases in Newport, and from there on, numbers began to fall, though deaths started to rise.

In the week beginning April 13, the number of weekly cases in the area dropped below 100 again, with 65 reported.

A big step was taken in May when numbers dropped to 15 cases between May 11-18.

South Wales Argus:

Timeline of coronavirus cases reported in Newport

The numbers of cases being reported each week in Newport fell to single figures in June.

As a result, all non-essential shops were allowed to re-open in Wales on June 22.

The five-mile travel limit was lifted on July 6, and gyms were opened on August 10.

There were just a handful of cases confirmed in Newport and other parts of Gwent during late July and through most of August.

In the week ending August 16, just five cases were confirmed in the city.

However, things began to change as September approached and from the first to the second week of this month, there was a rise in cases in the city from 25 to 105. A further 70 cases were reported last week.

Yesterday, Public Health Wales added another 11 cases to Newport's total.

Announcing the new restrictions yesterday, health minister Vaughan Gething said: "In Newport the rise in cases appeared to start with a house party at the end of August and was subsequently linked to a number of pubs.

"But we are now seeing a wide spread of cases across the city, which are not linked to a particular cluster or showing links with existing cases.

"The rise in cases in Newport means we have made the difficult but necessary decision to introduce local restrictions... to protect people’s health and to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"In Blaenau Gwent we have seen cases linked to pubs and a lack of social distancing, but there have also been cases in care home staff and in secondary schools in the area."