Bangor will go into local lockdown from 6pm tomorrow, it has been announced.
Welsh Government Minister, Eluned Morgan, made the announcement on S4C news tonight. The lockdown will impact the six city centre wards, with the rest of Gwynedd remaining under national restrictions.
The wards are Garth, Hirael, Menai, Deiniol, Marchog, Glyder, Hendre and Dewi.
In the wider Gwynedd local authority area, there is evidence of transmission of coronavirus throughout the county but the incidence rate varies from 152 cases per 100,000 in Arfon, which includes Bangor, to 55 cases per 100,000 people in Dwyfor and 18 cases per 100,000 people in Meirionydd.
The Welsh Government has held extensive discussions with the local authority, Bangor University, the NHS, North Wales Police and public health experts about the situation in Gwynedd about the need for local restrictions in Bangor.
Further discussions will be held with the local authority and the incident management team about the wider situation in Gwynedd on Saturday.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Unfortunately, we have seen a large number of cases in Bangor, which is largely linked to people socialising.
“We have worked closely with the local authority, the police in North Wales and public health experts to assess the need for local restrictions. We all agree about the need to take targeted action in Bangor.
“We want to discuss the wider situation in Gwynedd in more detail tomorrow to decide whether we need to extend local restrictions more widely across the county area.
“While large parts of Wales are now subject to local restrictions, I want to be clear – this is not a national lockdown. These are a series of local restrictions to respond to rises in cases in individual areas.
“It’s always difficult to make the decision to impose restrictions but we hope that these measures will make help to control the spread of the virus. It is important we all work together and support each other. This isn’t just about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting each other.”
As a result of the extra restrictions:
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
- People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households, with the exception of temporary bubbles for single people and single parents.
Gwynedd council had urged the Welsh Government to introduce a local lockdown after a rise in Covid-19 cases.
The chair of Gwynedd’s incident management team, Dafydd Williams, said they were “continuing to monitor the rise in cases”.
“After careful consideration, a recommendation to introduce a health protection zone for Gwynedd has been made to the Welsh Government who will make a final decision on the best way forward,” he said.
“In the meantime, we would urge all Gwynedd residents to continue to follow the Covid-19 rules to keep our communities safe.”
The restrictions are in addition to the rules that apply everywhere in Wales, including:
- All licensed premises must stop selling alcohol at 10pm;
- Everyone over 11 must wear face coverings in indoor public areas.
- The targeted local health protection area in Bangor is being created in response to a significant cluster of cases, which has developed in the city – the incident rate stands at around 400 cases per 100,000 people. Cases appear to be closely associated with young people and the student population.
The new local restrictions will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.
Keep Wales safe by:
- Always keeping your distance
- Washing your hands regularly
- Working from home wherever you can
- Following any local restrictions
- Thinking carefully about who you are meeting and where you are going – the more places you go the
- greater the chance to come into contact with coronavirus.
- Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.