MORE parts of Wales will be entering a local lockdown in the Government’s efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The update comes as Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething announces new measures coming into force for four more areas of the country from 6pm this Tuesday (September 22).

The new measures will come into force on Tuesday evening to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus in the four local authority areas.

The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport:

• People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;

• People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;

• All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm;

• Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales.

Speaking about the new restrictions, Mr Gething said: “Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in place in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other south Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.

“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing. We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.

“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.

“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”

These four areas join Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf which are also under local lockdown – with increased measures in place compared to other parts of the country.

Mr Gething adds that it is promising to see a dip in the cases reported in the Caerphilly area and goes on to explain the two-week lag before the measures would have an impact.

He said: “It does show what we said at the outset, that it would take about two weeks for the measures to start to have an effect.

“We are starting to see, and this is a cautious not of optimism, that it does show for everyone that is about to go into new local restrictions that it is possible to see improvements if everyone follows the rules as they have done in Caerphilly.”