'Light at the end of the tunnel' for Caerphilly as lockdown extended for another seven days

210920 Caerphilly local lockdown

The first county to be placed under a local lockdown in Wales is to have its restrictions extended for another seven days.

Caerphilly council confirmed it had met with the First Minister on Thursday and agreed that the restrictions should stay in place for the next week.

The leader of the council Cllr Philippa Marsden said the rate of infection per 100,000 population has dropped from over 100 to around 50 since the lockdown was imposed, restricting meetings indoors and the ability for people to leave or enter the county.

Latest data shows the current rate is 50.3 in the week of 22 - 28 September.

Community testing centres opened up ahead of the lockdown to cope with demand Credit: PA

"This is a great achievement, but we still have some further work to do in order to reduce it even further", Cllr Marsden said.

"The virus spreads very quickly and the corresponding figures increase quickly but the figures take longer to drop, so we cannot become complacent."

The council said it is now working on an exit plan - but it was "unlikely" that people will be returning to what was previously considered "normal any time soon".

"We need to accept that we will be required to live our lives in a very different way for the foreseeable future and adjust our behaviours accordingly", Cllr Marsden continued.

"Lifting the restrictions is the easy bit - if we simply return to what we were doing prior to the local restrictions being imposed, the infection rate will rise and we will simply be put back into another lockdown. None of us want this – so it is within our gift to ensure this does not happen."

The council said it was working "around the clock" with the police, local health board and the Welsh Government and said there "is light at the end of the tunnel".

"Before we are able to relax any of the restrictions, we still need to bring the numbers down further. We know we are asking a lot from you, but we also know that you share our passion and resolve to keep our people and place safe", Cllr Marsden said.