The Welsh government is being urged to develop a “route map” to recovery prior to its three-weekly review of its nationwide “alert level 4” restrictions.
Covid rates are continuing to fall across Wales and the R number is believed to be below 1 but the Labour-led government is not expected to make significant changes to the lockdown when it announces the conclusions of its review on Friday lunchtime.
The Welsh Conservatives have called for the government to work on a “route map” out of lockdown.
The party’s Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said: “I believe politicians of all stripes want this lockdown to be the very last and we will work with the Welsh government to do whatever it takes to ensure this is the case.
“We’d encourage Labour ministers to start work developing a route map out of lockdown, which should include crucial targets concerning the rollout of coronavirus jabs, falling numbers of infections and the reopening of schools and businesses.
“This has been a difficult period for our country, but as the vaccination rollout picks up pace and the finish line is in sight, it is for ministers in the coming weeks to lay out a roadmap to economic and societal recovery in Wales.”
The Welsh government brought in its level 4 restrictions before Christmas – ahead of the English lockdown – as Covid rates soared.
Though the seven-day rate has dropped below 200 per 10,000 people and the R number may be as low as 0.7, the government has been warned by its chief medical officer, Dr Frank Atherton, that the virus could surge again if restrictions are lifted too soon.
On Thursday, the Welsh government revealed a revised testing strategy that looks forward to the possibility of people eventually being tested to allow them to attend events such as sports matches or festivals.
It says: “As we move forward with the vaccine rollout and towards lower prevalence of the virus, later in 2021, we will look to see how testing can further support a return to normality.
“As we move from pandemic to endemic, our approach will evolve and could involve testing to enable people with a negative result, or those who demonstrate the required level of antibodies in their system, to attend work and normal daily activity; attend a cultural or sporting event; travel internationally; meet friends and family.”
The strategy also says the government will examine whether testing of asymptomatic contacts of people with Covid could allow them to remain in work or education as an alternative to isolating for 10 days.
Meanwhile, the owner of a tanning and beauty salon in Cwmbran in south Wales has been issued with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
Gwent police raided Euphoria Tanning Hair and Beauty earlier this month and found that tanning beds had just been vacated and beauty treatments had clearly been taking place.
The force released CCTV footage showing eight people scuttling fro the premises via a fire exit as police arrived. Three customers also received fixed penalty notices.
— to www.theguardian.com