A cluster of cases in the Welsh county has been traced back to a rugby club’s trip to horse races, which “stopped off at a series of pubs on the way”
Local lockdown measures are being imposed in the Welsh county of Rhondda Cynon Taf following a rise in cases of COVID-19 in the region.
The new local lockdown restrictions will come into effect at 6pm on Thursday the 17th of September, Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, has confirmed.
These new restrictions are being put in place after two key clusters of coronavirus cases were identified at “a rugby club and pub in the lower Rhondda” and “a club outing to the Doncaster races, which stopped off at a series of pubs on the way”.
The health minister for Wales has blamed the increase of COVID-19 cases on “people socialising indoors and not following social distancing guidelines”.
Mr 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.
This comes after An estimated 8.4 million people in the UK consumed “high-risk” amounts of alcohol throughout June, compared to around 4.8 million people four months previous. The number of people throughout the UK drinking at high-risk levels has almost doubled since just before the nation’s coronavirus lockdown, according to experts.
“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.
“Coronavirus has not gone away. It is still circulating in communities across Wales. Its vital people stick to the rules.”
Earlier today Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda, told Sky News of the challenges his area faces.
He told Sky News:
“The single biggest issue facing my constituency is the testing fiasco.”
“The Rhondda is one of the poorest communities in Europe, it’s very resilient, but we’ve had terrible flooding this year.”
“To add to that, we still haven’t had a penny from the Westminster government to deal with the flooding. We’ve got £130m of broken bridges and a coal tip that fell down into the river. We haven’t had a penny to make that safe.
Schoolchildren and parents could be prioritised for COVID-19 tests, after hospitals and care homes, as the UK government deals with “real challenges” in the system, according to a cabinet minister
“I really worry that at the end of this, the gap between rich and poor in this country will be even wider.
“I really fear the government is at risk of losing control of the virus and that could mean many thousands of people losing their lives.”