Three more council areas in South Wales will go into local lockdown from 6pm on Monday, the Welsh Government has announced.
Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan will be covered by the restrictions, which mean people will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse.
They will not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with, with extended households suspended.
The number of latest Coronavirus outbreak in Wales have been confirmed and updated.
— Public Health Wales (@PublicHealthW) September 27, 2020
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Following a worrying rise in cases of coronavirus across South Wales, we took action on Friday to introduce local coronavirus restrictions in Llanelli and local restrictions will come into force in our two largest cities– Cardiff and Swansea – tonight.
“We are now taking further action and placing three more areas under local restrictions in South Wales – Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen, and the Vale of Glamorgan – because we are seeing rising rates in these three areas.
“Introducing restrictions in any parts of Wales is always an incredibly difficult decision for us to make.
“But we’re acting to protect people’s health and to try and break the chain of transmission and stop the situation from getting worse.”
The announcement comes just hours before local lockdown restrictions come into force in Cardiff and Swansea, Wales’ two biggest cities, on Sunday evening.
Further measures were also introduced in Llanelli, in Carmarthenshire, on Saturday evening.
Restrictions are already in place in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
One of our greatest defences against coronavirus is you.
✅ Keep 2m from others✅ Wash hands regularly✅ Wear a face mask, where needed✅ Only meet 6 people from your extended household indoors – except in areas with local restrictions✅ Only travel when necessary pic.twitter.com/0AlomFpT2B
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) September 27, 2020
It means more than 1.8 million people in Wales – nearly 60% the population – will be under local lockdowns from Monday night.
On Saturday, there were a further 370 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wales, bringing the total in the country to 22,584.
Public Health Wales said three further deaths had been reported, with the total since the beginning of the pandemic increasing to 1,612.
Welsh Conservative shadow health minister Andrew RT Davies called for ministers to bring forward “urgent” financial support for struggling businesses.
He added: “Ministers should also reconsider the suspension of social bubbles/extended households.
“The disregard for the mental health of individuals is very concerning and this could be a very difficult period for those living on their own. Please think again.”
Health Minister Vaughan Gething told BBC Breakfast on Saturday that the situation was “real and very serious”, with coronavirus transmission driven by households mixing indoors and in pubs.
He said that there had also been some imported coronavirus transmission, mainly from European holidays.
Mr Gething warned that if there was no improvement the Welsh Government will need to consider further restrictions.
He added: “We are doing this because we have to try to avoid much more significant harm and if we can’t see a turnaround in the collective discipline that saw us out of lockdown through the summer then we are going to have to consider taking further measures.”
The new measures for parts of Wales means an estimated 17.8 million people across the UK will be living under enhanced coronavirus restrictions by Monday evening.