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Coronavirus: Rhondda Cynon Taf to go into local lockdown amid rise in cases

A cluster of cases has been traced back to a rugby club trip to the races, which "stopped off at a series of pubs on the way".

Local lockdown measures are to be imposed in the Welsh county of Rhondda Cynon Taf after a rise in coronavirus cases.

The new restrictions will come into effect at 6pm on Thursday, 17 September, Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething confirmed.

They are being brought in after two key clusters of 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".

People will not be allowed to enter or leave the area "without a reasonable excuse". Households will no longer be able to meet each other indoors or form an extended household, health bosses said.

Restaurants, pubs, cafes and all other hospitality premises will have to close at 11pm.


Rhondda Cynon Taf is the second area of Wales to face tighter coronavirus rules after Caerphilly went into local lockdown a week ago.

Figures show the seven-day infection rate for RCT is 82.1 per 100,000 people, with a positivity rate of 4.3% - the highest in Wales.

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The Welsh health minister blamed the spike in 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.

"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.

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"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, Labour MP for Rhondda Chris Bryant told Kay Burley of the challenges his area faces.

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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.

"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."

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