But there were some mixed opinions – with one local businessman describing it as a ‘waste of time’
“I wished it wouldn’t come, I hoped it wouldn’t come, but we’ve just got to put up with it.”
His sentiments have been echoed by many across the town, and also in neighbouring Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Vale, along with Neath Port Talbot and Torfaen, have all been placed under more significant restrictions from 6pm on September 28, in an effort to stop the growing number of coronavirus cases in those areas.
They join Swansea, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Newport which have all also been placed under local lockdown restrictions.
The restrictions mean people will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, and that people will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors.
They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households, meaning meeting indoors, whether that be in houses, in a pub or elsewhere, with anyone you don’t live with is not allowed unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person.
All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm, and everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings.
In Neath town centre today, many went about their daily business just hours before the measures were imposed, and there was a sense of calm.
Sylvia Dyer said she had faith in the advice that was being issued by the Government, and expressed her compassion for traders.
“I think if everybody listened to what the Prime Minister says, I think we’ll be fine, I think we’ll get over it.
“We’ve got to feel safe, and I feel safe when I’m out and in the shops because everybody is listening.”
Mrs Dyer will be having to celebrate her grandson Isaac’s 10th birthday differently today because of the restrictions.
She said: “Obviously now when I see him I’ll have to stay out in the garden with an umbrella. That’s basically what I’ll do. That’s the only thing you can do. Stay safe, and the children.”
“It’s a serious situation. It’s a pity it has flared up again because we were doing so well and I’m peeved really that we’ve come to this situation again – for how long, God knows, you know?
“I just hope we’ll all do the right thing and we’ll come back down, down, down to normal, hopefully.”
Brian Warlow, owner of Neath Market Health Stall spoke of how he felt the mood was in the town.
“We’ve got to take the advice of the experts, they must know what they’re talking about surely.
“I have been busier today than I have been any day since last March. I don’t know if people are worrying about stocking up or anything. Specifically things like D3 are popular which everyone is taking for Covid now anyway and it’s just been hammering off the shelves.”
Paul Cole, of Paul Cole Quality Butchers, felt little could be achieved by the latest measures, however.
“I think it’s just going over the top. If everybody abided by the rules and stuck to the rules we would be fine.”
Speaking about what lockdown was like the first time, he added: “Horrible. To be locked in the house. I rely on my carer to take me out. The lockdown should have been a lot longer. They shouldn’t have lifted it.”
Jim Morgan, 56, from Barry, said: “Basically they have brought it on themselves. Too many people are not listening. They’re not wearing masks thinking it’s not protecting anyone and all I say to them is well go and tell that to the nurses and doctors – do you think they wear masks for any reason or just for fun? There’s obviously some form of protection.
“If everybody wore the masks – if I wore one and you wore one – then it stops me giving you anything and you giving me anything. Too many people think they don’t work and everything like that, and this is why Covid is escalating.”
Mark Morgan, 36, from Barry, said: “They’re right to go into their own local lockdown. You seen we were literally encased around Wales so it’s easier to go into lockdown, put this virus off us and happy days.
“We go into lockdown at 6pm tonight – get your essentials, shops can stay open so you can go to the shops and people just need to abide by the laws by not going to other people’s houses. That’s all it boils down to at the end of the day.”
Judith said: “It should have been because people aren’t sticking to the rules. It’s like here, for instance, you’ve got one way down and one way up and nobody sticks to that.
“You know sometimes you can cross over and you go ‘oh wrong side’ and you cross over but people are just walking down and you think what’s the point in trying to distance ourselves when you have nobody else doing it? It is maddening. Lockdown should have been done a long time ago.”
News – People in Neath and Barry react to their new local lockdowns