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Bangor to go into local lockdown as cases surge
9 October 2020, 22:17
The city of Bangor in north Wales is the latest area to face local lockdown measures, as coronavirus cases rise across the UK.
First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed on Friday evening that a “significant cluster of cases” in the city means tighter restrictions will be introduced.
Mr Drakeford blamed the increase in cases on people socialising, with the latest data showing around 400 cases per 100,000 people.
The new measures, which will come into force at 6pm on Saturday, include banning meeting other households inside and forming extended households, although there are exemptions for single people and parents.
People will also not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse, such as work or education.
The local lockdown will apply to people living in the eight wards which make up Bangor: Garth, Hirael, Menai, Deiniol, Marchog, Glyder, Hendre and Dewi.
These restrictions are in addition to regulations already in place across Wales, including a 10pm curfew for selling alcohol and rules that everyone over 11 must wear a face covering in indoor public areas.
Mr 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.”
The Welsh Government say they have held “extensive discussions” with local authorities and organisations, including Bangor University, with cases said to “appear to be closely associated with young people and the student population.”
The measures in Wales follow the news that Boris Johnson will make a statement to MPs on Monday, with expectations that he will announce a three-tier lockdown system in England.
It is thought that parts of the north of England, where coronavirus cases have continued to rise, will face tougher restrictions, such as the closure of pubs and restaurants.
The latest public health data revealed Nottingham has the highest rate in the UK, with 760.6 cases per 100,000 people - a huge jump from 158.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 29.
The Welsh First Minister previously wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to consider imposing travel restrictions on parts of England subjected to local lockdowns, similar to those in place in Wales.
Mr Drakeford said he was yet to receive a reply from Mr Johnson but added there was "speculation" that travel restrictions could be introduced in high incidence areas of England.
He told the press conference he was prepared to wait until Monday to hear of Mr Johnson's plans and see how far they go in terms of protecting areas of the UK with low levels of the virus.
On Friday, Public Health Wales said there had been a further 766 cases of coronavirus and two deaths of people with the virus.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Wales to 29,028 and deaths to 1,646.