Live coronavirus updates as First Minister Mark Drakeford to give briefing on the situation in Wales

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First Minister Mark Drakeford is to give a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in Wales today (September 23), after a set of new restrictions were announced for the whole of the country on Tuesday night.

You can follow along here for live updates from 12.30pm.

The tightening restrictions have come as the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister and Mr Drakeford agreed to take “further coordinated action” across the UK.

This means people in Wales are now supposed to work from home wherever possible, only meet with their extended household indoors up to a maximum of six people, wear face coverings on public transport, in shops, and in enclosed public spaces and only travel when necessary.

Mr Drakeford also announced that the rules for sale of alcohol will change, so that from Thursday at 6pm, hospitality businesses in Wales – including pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos – will have to close at 10pm. They will also have to provide table service only.

Off-licences, including supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.

The new measures follow the decision to put four more areas of south-east Wales under a local lockdown, as cases of coronavirus have risen considerably.

Newport, Bridgend, Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent became subject to the same restrictions as RCT from 6pm on Tuesday, meaning more than 850,000 people in south-east Wales will be living under local restrictions.

In these areas, people can no longer form extended households and will only be allowed to meet family members outdoors in a socially-distanced way and people cannot leave or enter the borough without reasonable excuse.

Figures from Public Health Wales (PHW) show that there were 281 new cases of Covid-19 recorded on Tuesday, September 22.

That is the highest number of cases recorded in a single day since April 20, close to the peak of the pandemic when 281 were also recorded.

The Wales average now stands at 32.1 cases per 100,000 people, which is up from 29.2 the day before.

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