Hannah Neary, local democracy reporter
A family who caught Covid-19 during a birthday party at the end last year also held a gathering on New Year’s Eve, a council leader said.
Neath Port Talbot Council leader Rob Jones said a family contracted the virus after mixing during a birthday party in Port Talbot but later met for another party on New Year’s Eve.
Cllr Jones said: “Until we get the all clear, people still need to follow the rules because Covid will be out there and it will kill you.
“The majority of people do follow the rules. It’s the small-minded minority who don’t.
“Until the time comes when someone says, ‘You can now go and kiss your granny or give your family a cwtch, stop wearing face masks in shops, and sit in the cinema’, we are still going to be in danger.”
Wales entered a full lockdown, as Tier 4 restrictions began, on Sunday Dec 20.
‘Right to live’
Public Health Wales figures show Neath Port Talbot county borough had a coronavirus infection rate of 497 per 100,000 people in the week from December 24 to 30. The average infection rate in Wales during this time was 473.
On New Year’s Eve, South Wales Police (SWP) received more than 240 calls regarding Covid-19 rule breaches resulting in 43 fixed penalty notices being issued.
In total, SWP issued 430 fixed penalty notices to people breaching Covid-19 rules in December.
Cllr Jones said he has received letters from members of the public who do not believe coronavirus is real, insisting he was a liar for sharing public health warnings about the disease.
One letter included a “complete and utter rant” from a man who said coronavirus restrictions are a breach of his human rights and so he will not follow social distancing or have a vaccine against the virus.
“Well we’ve all got human rights and I’ve got the right to live”, said Cllr Jones.
“By people ignoring social distancing and refusing the vaccine, they’re denying my human rights but they don’t see it from that point.
“Everyone is tired from having their personal liberties curtailed and fed up of wearing face masks and not being able to visit family.
“But, unless we stick to the rules, those that we love will not be here for next Christmas or their next birthday.”