As of 6pm on Thursday, four local authority areas in North Wales will be placed under local lockdowns following a rise in coronavirus cases. Here, the we look at the key questions surrounding the new restrictions.
– Where are the lockdowns being imposed?
The Welsh Government has announced Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham will be placed under local lockdowns from 6pm on Thursday.
Announcing the new measures, health minister Vaughan Gething said: “It’s always difficult to make the decision to impose restrictions but we hope that these measures will make a positive difference – just as we have seen in Caerphilly and Newport, where local residents have pulled together and followed the rules.”
– What are the new restrictions?
Under the new measures, people under lockdown will not be allowed to enter or leave the county in which they live without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.
People will also only be able to meet people they do not live with outdoors and will not be able to form, or be in, extended households.
– How many people will be affected?
The local lockdown will affect around 504,000 people and will bring the number of people in Wales under lockdown to more than 2.3 million.
It means 16 areas of the country will face some form of extra restrictions, with the majority of the other areas under lockdown located in South Wales.
– Why are the measures being brought in?
The Welsh Government said the local lockdowns are being imposed after people meeting indoors, not following social-distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays overseas with the virus led to a surge in cases.
Mr Gething said: “These are largely linked to people socialising indoors and are the pattern of transmission similar to what we have seen in South Wales.
“We have worked closely with local authority leaders and the police in North Wales and we all agree about the need to take swift action to control the spread of the virus.”
– How long will the lockdowns last?
While there is no definitive answer as to how long the new restrictions will be in place, authorities have said they will be under “constant review”.
Councillor Mark Pritchard, leader of Wrexham County Borough Council, said: “It’s a balance between people’s health and the economy, and we have to do everything we can to get it right.
“These measures will be kept under constant review as we look to control the spread of the virus in the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.”