FLINTSHIRE and Wrexham will go into lockdown on Thursday at 6pm, in a move which will also have an impact on thousands on the English side of the border.

For people living in Cheshire, they will be unable to travel to many parts of North Wales without a reasonable excuse from Thursday night.

Reasonable excuses include going to work where you cannot work from home, or using public services that are not available locally.

It also includes leaving your local area to visit family or close friends on compassionate grounds if necessary.

Schools, public transport and services will still be open and operational, with students living in Cheshire still able to cross the border and attend schools and colleges in North Wales, as keeping schools open remains a "top priority" for the Welsh Government.

People living close to the border, for example in Saltney, will also be able to cross the border for essentials shopping if they cannot reasonably be expected to do this within their own area or get them delivered.

However, crossing the border to purchase non-essential items, such as clothes, would not be allowed.

Residents will also not be allowed to travel over the border to play sport or exercise, unless they have mobility issues and can only exercise if the nearest convenient location is in a different county.

Travelling to and from the area for amateur sport activities, including cycling, is not permissible. Cyclists will only be able to cross the border if it is for work purposes.

People living in the Flintshire and Wrexham areas will also not be allowed to leave the country to go on holiday, even if it is pre-booked and paid for, from Thursday at 6pm.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced the new local lockdowns to the Senedd on Tuesday evening.

Local lockdowns will also be imposed on Conwy and Denbighshire.

He said the decision followed a meeting he and First Minister Mark Drakeford had with local authorities and police.

Mr Gething said: "Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in four north Wales local authority areas – in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and Conwy.

"We have worked closely with local authority leaders and the police in North Wales and we all agree about the need to take swift action to control the spread of the virus."

Under the rules, nobody is able to enter or leave the counties without a "reasonable excuse".

Exceptions include travelling to school or to work if you are unable to work from home.

People can travel to buy food and medical supplies, seek medical assistance or go to the vets, and move home.

The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus.

The new local restrictions will be kept under regular review, with the first review scheduled in two weeks, then every week after that.

They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.

Fixed penalty notices will be issued for most types of breaches of the regulations, and these will only be after police have encouraged people to comply with the regulations.

Fines start at £60; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to a maximum of £1,920. If prosecuted, however, a court can impose any fine (it is not limited).

The new measures will come into force at 6pm on Thursday, October 1, to protect people's health and control the spread of the virus in the four areas.

The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham:

  • People will not be allowed to enter or leave each of these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
  • People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households. They will also no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household (sometimes called a 'bubble').

The restrictions will be in addition to the rules that apply everywhere in Wales and England, including:

  • All licensed premises must stop selling alcohol at 10pm
  • Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas.
  • People must work from home if at all possible.