Welsh county Rhondda Cynon Taf put in lockdown after spike in coronavirus cases

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A British county will be placed under local lockdown after a rise in coronavirus cases.

The measures will apply in Rhondda Cynon Taf, south Wales, from 6pm on Thursday, the Welsh Government has announced.

Under the restrictions, people will not be able to enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf council area without a reasonable excuse.

This includes work, if people are unable to work from home, as well as making a compassionate visit to a loved one or to provide care.

Residents will only be able to meet outdoors and will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors.

Rhondda Cynon Taf, which has a population of around 240,000, has witnessed a rolling seven-day case rate of 82.1 per 100,000 people.

All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm.

Schools are still expected to remain open long with with premises such as pubs and shops, Wales Online reports.

The new measures will be enforced by the local authority and the police.

It is not yet known how long the lockdown will remain in place.

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Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: "We have seen a rapid rise in cases in Rhondda Cynon Taf in a very short space of time, linked to people socialising indoors and not following social distancing guidelines.

"We now have evidence of wider community transmission in the borough, which means we need to take urgent action to control and, ultimately, reduce the spread of the virus and protect people's health.

"We need the help of everyone across Wales to prevent the increasing and onward spread of coronavirus. We can bring coronavirus under control if everyone pulls together and follows the rules we have put in place. They are there to protect you, your family, and your community.

"Coronavirus has not gone away. It is still circulating in communities across Wales. Its vital people stick to the rules."

The government added in a statement: "Contact tracing teams have been able to trace about half of the cases back to a series of clusters in the borough.

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"The rest are linked to community transmission.

"There are a number of clusters in Rhondda Cynon Taf – two of which are significant.

"One is associated with a rugby club and pub in the lower Rhondda and the other with a club outing to the Doncaster races, which stopped off at a series of pubs on the way."

Earlier this month, another local lockdown came into effect in the town of Caerphilly after a rise in cases.

Ahead of the restrictions, Mr Gething said they would last until October “at the very least”.

They will reportedly be reviewed every two weeks.

  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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