Plaid Cymru have called for the use of “hyper-local measures where possible” as four of the six council areas in north Wales are put into lockdown.
Responding to the news that Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham will see new Covid-19 restrictions, Ynys Mon Senedd Member Rhun ap Iorwerth said it was a “heavy blow” to those living there.
“I appeal to Welsh Government to give careful consideration to using more hyper-local measures where possible, focusing on specific clusters,” he said.
“This would be far more effective with a properly functioning and robust testing system – with fast testing and fast results for fast tracing to isolate cases – which we do not currently have and is something the Health Minister must resolve with absolute urgency.
“Loneliness, isolation and the risk to mental health is one of the very real concerns I have around the Coronavirus restrictions and Welsh Government should have a strategy targeted at protecting the vulnerable, for example allowing more contact for those living alone.”
The Welsh Conservatives also expressed disappointment over the need to impose the local lockdowns from Thursday at 6pm.
“We were warned last week that Conwy and Denbighshire were being closely monitored, but had all hoped that cases would not rise further and we could avoid further restrictions,” Darren Millar MS, who represents Clwyd West, said.
“This evening’s news will come as a devastating blow to residents and businesses in all those areas affected and I know that many will question whether such measures are entirely necessary.
“The Welsh Government, therefore, needs to be fully transparent and outline to all residents of Denbighshire, Conwy, Flintshire and Wrexham why such restrictions in these areas are needed, including sharing community by community data so that we can see whether the measures are proportionate.
“Local businesses will also need extra support, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Firms were hit for hit for six by the lockdown earlier in the year and are only just beginning to recover, it is essential that they get the support they need.
“I urge people to follow the rules to help keep the number of cases down so that these restrictions can be lifted as soon as possible.”
Janet Finch-Saunders, the Member for Aberconwy, said that she questioned why the lockdowns were being introduced in 48 hours’ time.
“If there is the need to lockdown, then surely it needs to be done immediately, because Covid doesn’t know one day from the next,” she said.