THE leader of Newport City Council has said people have become “a little bit more relaxed” and some are “not following the simple and basic rules of social distancing”, after the city reported a spike in coronavirus cases.

Newport’s rolling weekly case rate to May 1 - the latest available date - is 25.9 cases per 100,000, many times down on the horrendous rates recorded not only in the city but across Wales during the winter.

This was down from the previous reading of 29.1, but the city has had the highest rolling weekly case rate in Wales for much of the two weeks to May 1, and on some days in that period has recorded the most new confirmed cases among Wales’ 22 council areas.

Speaking at a council cabinet meeting, Cllr Jane Mudd, said: “We’ve seen a number of cases in certain areas here in Newport, which are emerging not because of any breakdown in any system, but because people have become a little bit more relaxed, and what is happening is that in some cases people are not adhering to all important social distancing rules.

“And it’s really important if people do find they’ve been asked to isolate, they must follow that guidance and isolate.

“However, we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of Covid within Newport because people are not following the simple and basic rules of social distancing, and self-isolating when requested to do so.

“It’s absolutely important to be able to continue in the direction we are continuing, enabling businesses to reopen and people to go about their normal lives.”


Cllr Mudd said people should not be financially disadvantaged for self-isolating because “there is support there to help people with this”.

The council leader also highlighted her own ward –Malpas – as an area that has seen a rise in Covid cases.

Data from Public Health Wales shows that there were seven cases reported in Malpas between April 25 to May 1. Only the neighbouring ward of Bettws had more cases (eight).

The figures show that Malpas has a case rate of 89.3 cases per 100,000 people and Bettws has 99.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Cllr Mudd said: “Please remain vigilant in keeping to social distancing - and I say that particularly in relation to some areas in the north of Newport, my own area as well.

“So, to people in my own community and the people in the neighbouring communities, please remain vigilant and if you do have symptoms, please get a test.”

Fifteen council areas in Wales had rolling weekly case rates of below 10 per 100,000 for the week to May 1. Newport remains the only area with a rate of above 20 per 100,000.

In terms of numbers, Newport recorded 40 confirmed cases in the week to May 1, second only to Cardiff (47), though population size is a big factor, and case rates are a more accurate measure.

Case rates in neighbouring areas, to May 1, are: Cardiff, 12.8 per 100,000; Caerphilly, 12.7; Torfaen, 11.7; Monmouthshire, 5.3.