How high are Covid rates across Wales as lockdown restrictions ease further?

Further coronavirus restrictions were relaxed in Wales over the weekend. Credit: PA Images

Further coronavirus restrictions were relaxed in Wales over the weekend, allowing larger groups to meet and people to travel further.

It is part of the Welsh Government's plans to ease the country out of lockdown, as cases of the virus continue to fall.

On Monday, a further 125 cases were confirmed and one death was reported in Wales.

But not all parts of Wales have seen a consistent drop in transmission over the last two weeks, with parts of north and south Wales both experiencing outbreaks.

Last week it is believed a number of indoor gatherings in Neath Port Talbot caused a cluster of cases there.

Prior to that, community testing programmes were extended as a result of outbreaks in Anglesey and Merthyr Tydfil, both of which are also believed to have been caused by household mixing.

The First Minister has repeatedly said that his government will not hesitate to tighten restrictions if cases begin to rise again.

So how high are Covid rates across Wales at the moment?

Case rates have almost halved in Merthyr Tydfil, which has recently been subject to local outbreaks. Credit: PA Images
  • Has the situation improved for areas affected by recent outbreaks?

According to Public Health Wales data between 22-27 March, Anglesey is still being affected by the impact of household mixing.

It remains the area of Wales with the highest number of cases per 100,000 people, at 77.

However, that is a fall of 15% from 91 cases per 100,000 during the previous week (between 15-21 March).

Cases rates have almost halved in Merthyr Tydfil, from 134 to 71 cases per 100,000.

According to Swansea Bay University Health Board, 23 confirmed cases in and around Briton Ferry had been traced back to birthday celebrations and extended family members visiting each other indoors.

Indoor visits are currently not permitted under coronavirus rules, unless you are part of a support bubble.

But despite the recent cluster, cases have also fallen by 18% in Neath Port Talbot, from 60 to 42 per 100,000.

Between 15-21 March, there were also more than 50 cases per 100,000 in Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Conwy, Flintshire and Swansea.

Those rates have more than halved in Blaenau Gwent, Newport and Flintshire, and dropped by 42% in Conwy.

In Swansea, they have only dropped by 1%.

More than three million tests have been carried out in Wales since the pandemic began. Credit: PA Images
  • Where are case rates rising?

The coronavirus situation can change rapidly, but data between 15-27 March shows cases have risen in some areas.

Monmouthshire and Torfaen have seen a rise in cases - from 13 to 23 cases per 100,000 in the former, and 17 to 21 cases per 100,000 in the latter.

Denbighshire has seen a 68% increase in cases per 100,000, meanwhile Gwynedd has seen a 22% increase.

Everywhere else across Wales saw a fall in Covid rates during that period.

There is currently a ban on non-essential travel in or out of Wales. Credit: PA Images
  • If cases are falling, why are we still in lockdown?

The Welsh Government has said that it does not want to risk a spike in cases by emerging the country of lockdown too soon.

Instead, it has announced provisional dates for certain areas of society to reopen, such as close-contact services, gyms and allowing extended households.

Setting out the timetable, the First Minister said such areas will be considered as part of a review on 22 April.

Leisure centres, outdoor attractions, weddings, community centres, organised activities with 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors will also be considered.

It comes as the vaccine rollout continues across Wales, with figures for Monday showing a total of 1,400,750 first doses have now been administered in Wales - an increase of 13,167 from the previous day.

Public Health Wales added that 416,862 second doses have also been given, an increase of 4,199.