THE LEADER of Caerphilly county borough council has said any talk of a local lockdown exit strategy is irrelevant as the county heads for another seven days of tight restrictions.

Cllr Philippa Marsden says the council has been advised that the 'R' rate, which stands at 1.4, is a "real cause for concern and is being reflected in Caerphilly, which is 109.9 cases per 100,000 population, with a positivity rate of 9.3 per cent".

Forty-six cases have been recorded in the region so far this week, with 32 on Thursday. It follows a reported 199 cases last week.

"Over recent weeks we started developing an exit strategy with Welsh Government, but the situation is changing so quickly that those discussions are almost irrelevant now because we are now likely to see a Wales-wide approach - and this will require a completely new exit strategy going forward," she wrote in a letter to residents.

Cllr Marsden was referring to reports that Wales will soon be heading for a national short 'circuit breaker' lockdown from October 26.


No outline has been given of which sectors may have to close, but some pub owners in Newport were told today that hospitality could see the biggest impact.

Cllr Marsden added: "We’ve seen many comments from people saying that ‘local lockdowns are not working’ – but we disagree.

"I’m sure you can imagine how worse the situation would be if we hadn’t introduced the restrictions when we did."

Speaking more widely, she added: "Over the past week hospital admissions have increased from 500 to 700 across Wales. If this rate of increase continues there are concerns that, within a short space of time, the NHS will not be able to cope.

"It seems we are about to enter a very rough and long winter.

"We will only get through these challenging times if we continue to work together and take individual and collective responsibility for our actions.

"We know that many of you are making many personal sacrifices in order to comply with the restrictions and we ask that you stick with it.

"Christmas is drawing ever closer and nobody wants to see restrictions over the festive period, so let’s make a collective effort to help drive these cases down."