AS tens of thousands more people in Gwent prepare for local lockdown restrictions to begin, local politicians have urged people to follow the public health rules and pull together to keep each other safe.

Newport and Blaenau Gwent will enter lockdown restrictions at 6pm on Tuesday, joining Caerphilly – and, outside Gwent, the council areas of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, and Rhondda Cynon Taf - as areas where the authorities have recorded "concerning" rises in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Ahead of the introduction of the lockdown measures, Newport East MP Jessica Morden and MS John Griffiths said they were optimistic the city's residents would rise to the challenges of the local lockdown.

"The new restrictions coming into force will bring challenges for many of us, but they are a necessary means of addressing the recent rises in cases in Newport," Ms Morden said.

"During the more restrictive lockdown earlier this year the people of Newport showed we could work together to keep each other safe - I'm confident we'll do so again."

Mr Griffiths said: “I would urge everyone to follow the guidelines and keep to the restrictions set out by Welsh Government. I know this will have been a difficult decision to make – but it’s been made in the best interests of keeping people in Newport safe.

"We were one of the hardest hit by the virus back in the spring, but we responded to those challenges well then and I know we can do the same again.”

Newport West MP Ruth Jones and MS Jayne Bryant said the local measures being put in place this week could curtail a worse spread of Covid-19 in the winter months.

“Whilst this local lockdown has not really come as a surprise, it will undoubtedly be disappointing to many," Ms Jones said. "I would urge everyone to follow the rules, continue to wash their hands and keep the required distance from others in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe during this difficult time.

"We have seen the figures for how the winter could look and we need to work together to improve the situation. I will continue to post updates on my social media pages on a regular basis and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

Ms Bryant said: "Over the last few weeks we’ve seen the numbers rise across Newport which has been worrying. Unfortunately, because of this, local restrictions will be in place to help stop this from escalating further.

"It’s not the news we hoped to hear but it’s really important we all do all we can to protect each other and ourselves. The restrictions will be reviewed regularly."


In Blaenau Gwent, MP Nick Smith urged residents to respond to the local lockdown with community spirit and cooperation.

“These are important measures which we must work with to help keep our community safe," he said.

“To slow the spread and try to get the numbers down we need to all work together, make the right choices and follow the measures which are now in place.”

Blaenau Gwent MS Alun Davies said: “This is not the outcome any of us wanted, but we are now at an absolutely critical point in trying to keep the virus under control here in Blaenau Gwent and across South Wales.

"We have all seen the number of cases go up and we face the very real risk of a second wave unless we are able to stop the spread soon.

"I am in close discussions with the health minister and other ministers, the health board and other agencies about the restrictions in order to get the most up to date information to share with people.

"In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to check the Welsh Government’s website about the regulations and to contact me on Alun.Davies@Senedd.Wales if anything is unclear or if there is anything that you need help with.”