Call for return of daily Welsh Government press conferences as four more counties go into lockdown

Mark Drakeford the First Minister of Wales. Picture by the Welsh Government

Plaid Cymru have called for the Welsh Government to resume its daily press conferences as the number of Covid-19 cases increase.

The press conferences by the Welsh Government should be resumed as a means of communication with the public says Shadow Culture Minister Sian Gwenllian MS.

Four more Welsh local authorities will be under local lockdown from 6pm today as cases rise rapidly in many parts of the country, particularly the south-east.

In response, Plaid Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to restart its daily press conferences in order to keep the public informed of the fast-paced change in restrictions/

However, they have also called for giving opposition parties a “right of reply” as part of restoring the press conferences to a daily occurrence.

“The Welsh Government’s press conferences should be held on a daily basis, as they serve such an important purpose in terms of communication with the public, particularly now that we are stood on the edge of another crisis,” Sian Gwenllian said.

“Transparency is a necessity at this crucial point in order to gain the public’s trust and compliance with any new restrictions imposed in order to prevent further spread of the virus, and in mitigating the effects of a second wave.

“The conferences are also a valuable mechanism by which the government is properly held accountable – the press should have fair opportunities in questioning any developments, and opposition parties too need to be offered the right of reply.”

 

‘Clusters’

Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Newport will follow Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly county into lockdown today.

People will not be able to enter or leave those areas except for a limited number of exemptions, such as work.

Licensed premises such as pubs and bars will need to shut by 23:00 every night.

People will only be able to mix with those not in their own household outdoors – meeting people from extended households indoors will be banned in the four areas.

“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of south Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities,” Health  Minister Vaughan Gething said.

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