Wales will see another county go into lockdown from 6.00 pm Thursday as positive COVID-19 cases rise in the area amid a rapid increase across the UK.
The BBC reported Rhondda Cynon Taf, with a population of 240,000, will see the restrictions imposed, the second county after Caerphilly.
As a result, no one will be able to leave or come into the area unless for essential travel, and pubs and licensed bars must close at 11.00 pm. There will be a ban on inter-household gatherings, but residents would be allowed to meet outside.
According to Health Minister Vaughan Gething, Rhondda saw a rapid rise in cases of 82.1 infections per 100,000 people over the past week, compared to 21.4 per 100,000 across the whole of Wales.
“Now we need to stick to the rules and get the transmission rate down to protect the NHS and the most vulnerable,” said Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for RCT.
Resident and butcher David Bishop meanwhile told the BBC the new lockdown would boost local businesses.
“Everything is going to be open as normal, it just affects the daily lives of families meeting together”, he said. “We were open right through the original lockdown, and in real terms, it actually got busier for us”.
Positive coronavirus cases have also increased rapidly across the UK. Government data revealed Wednesday that new daily cases had reached 3,991, the highest daily tally since 8 May when 4,649 were recorded.
The government has received criticism for the unavailability of virus testing, with some people only getting an appointment hundreds of miles from where they live.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended the country’s testing system while trying to meet a “colossal spike” in demand.
At the weekly PM Questions session in parliament yesterday, Angela Rayner MP stood in for opposition leader Keir Starmer accusing the prime minister of incompetence and having no plan.
“They’ve had six months to get this right and yet the prime minister still can’t deliver on his promises,” she said.
Testing capacity has increased since the peak of the virus. According to leaked documents, the government seeks to increase testing capacity further to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October..