AN ORGANISATION has called on the Welsh Government to work on a roadmap out of the latest coronavirus lockdown.
CBI Wales is urging the Welsh Government to work closely with businesses to identify economy-critical elements to the process.
In a letter to economy and transport minister Ken Skates, signed jointly by CBI director-general Tony Danker and Wales director Ian Price, the CBI has identified a series of key priorities to plan for a successful re-opening of the economy when the moment is right to do so.
The CBI picked out six areas that would help businesses in Wales plan for a lifting of restrictions.
They ask the Welsh Government to:
- Confirm what will be considered low, medium or high-risk economic activity, so that businesses can understand what will open sooner or later.
- Decide whether or not there will be a return to alert levels, as part of a gradual re-opening. And if so, what will now be permitted under each level as more people become vaccinated.
- Identify and understand the conditions that need to be met before rolling back certain restrictions, and ultimately the need for social distancing.
- Outline how the vaccine will be deployed once the most vulnerable groups are inoculated, to reach the government’s target of all UK adults being offered a vaccine by autumn.
- Think how regular mass rapid testing in the community and workplaces could allow a wider, speedier reopening of the economy.
- Create bespoke, detailed plans for the harder to open sectors of the economy, such as testing regimes for international travel, or the conditions for activities such as hospitality and live events to return.
Running alongside the roadmap there must be clear parameters for determining what, and for how long, economic support measures remain in place, the CBI say.
Mr Price said: “The prime minister has set out the initial parameters for reopening as a country, which was a big help for businesses.
“Clearly, the precise dates will be determined by data, so let’s use this time wisely to get the roadmap right together for when lockdown ends.
“There is huge appetite among businesses to help the Welsh Government create and deliver a roadmap out of lockdown that lasts, has national consensus and kickstarts our economic recovery as 2021 unfolds.
“A common framework with devolved administrations must also be possible and help to minimise differences in approach, and we will work closely with the Welsh Government to help promote that consistency.
“Businesses are currently completely in the dark when planning for the weeks and months ahead and this is hindering investment. We can provide more clarity and do the prep work now to enable them to plan for reopening and growth.
“It’s clear that we will be entering a new normal even post-vaccination. We will have new workplace, testing and economic realities to live with.
“We’ve all learnt a lot in 2020 about what reopening looks like so let’s move now to a plan for 2021 that is detailed, practical and instils confidence.”