Coronavirus: Rhondda Cynon Taff to go into lockdown

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No one will be able to leave or enter the county borough without a reasonable excuse

A second county in Wales will go into lockdown because of the rate of coronavirus cases.

The 240,000 people living in Rhondda Cynon Taff will have restrictions imposed on their daily lives.

From 18:00 BST on Thursday, people will not be able to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education.

All licensed premises will have to shut at 23:00 every day, once the lockdown comes into effect.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said there had been a “rapid” rise in cases, with 82.1 infections per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

The latest equivalent figure across the whole of Wales is 21.4 per 100,000.

It is the second local lockdown in Wales, after Caerphilly was subject to restrictions last week.

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The Rhondda Cynon Taff area is home to 240,000 people

Tuesday’s rate of positive tests in RCT was 4.3% – the highest in Wales – Mr Gething previously warned a positive rate of 4% across Wales would trigger a national lockdown.

Contact tracing teams had been able to trace about half of the coronavirus cases in RCT “back to a series of clusters within the borough”, he said.

“The rest are evidence of community transmission.”

One cluster is associated with a rugby club, and a pub in the lower Rhondda valley, another is connected to a club outing to the Doncaster races, which the minister said stopped off at a series of pubs on the way.

A review into the lockdown will be held in two weeks’ time.

Under the lockdown rules, no one will be able to leave or enter the county without a reasonable excuse.

The list of excuses to travel is the same as that seen in Caerphilly, including:

  • For essentials – food and medicine
  • For work, if you cannot work from home
  • To obtain supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household
  • To provide or receive emergency assistance
  • To meet a legal obligation, and to access or receive public services

Motorists will be able to drive through the county borough, providing they do not stop.

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Testing centres have been open in the county borough

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