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You are no doubt aware that with effect of 18:00 on Tuesday 8th September, Caerphilly County Borough entered local lockdown – the first area in Wales to fall into such restrictions.

There are reports today there is the possibility that this may be extended to other areas. So what additional impact, if any, does this have on legal services in Caerphilly?

Legal News Wales has been informed that law firms’ offices in the county are able to operate as normal providing that previously agreed Covid-19 safeguards are in place.

In the Welsh Government Guidance issued (here) yesterday, Schedule 4(a) outlines that one of the reasonable excuses to both leave and enter the County Borough is to participate in legal proceedings, as outlined in the relevant passages below:

Schedule 4A: Local restrictions

Requirement to stay within local health protection area

3.(1) No person living in a local health protection area may, without a reasonable excuse, leave the area or remain away from the area.

(2) A reasonable excuse includes the need to do the following outside the local health protection area:

…(j)  meet a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings.

Covid-19 transmission in the county is ‘one of the highest rates in the UK’

On Tuesday, health minister Vaughan Gething confirmed that “community spread” was taking place in the county and the seven day “incidence rate has increased to 72.9 cases per 100,000 population”.

“This is one of the highest rates in the UK,” he said.

He warned that the number of cases seen each day was likely to get worse before it gets better, and that it was likely to increase for the next two weeks.

Mr Gething said:

“The cases we are seeing today will have been acquired over the last couple of weeks, which includes the summer bank holiday.

“We can therefore expect more cases to be confirmed over the next couple of weeks.”

Are you affected?

If you are a law firm or practitioner in the Caerphilly region and would like to get in touch with Legal News Wales about any concerns, client care or other updates, please contact the Editor, here.