Relaxing restrictions should be driven by “data not dates” Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has said.
He said that whilst the picture was improving “by the week” and commended all involved in the effort to drive down the rates of transmission, Wales was “not there yet” in terms of being ready to relax restrictions on a national level.
His comments come as First Minister Mark Drakeford will announce today that stay-at-home restrictions will remain in place in Wales for a further three weeks as the youngest children start returning to school from Monday.
Mark Drakeford will also say that they are looking at sending other children back on 15 March and being the reopening of the tourism sector by 2 April.
The Plaid Cymru Leader however asked that travel restrictions be eased with “caution” and called for an extension to the furlough scheme for “several months after lockdown restrictions end”.
Mr Price added that he hoped the Government would put a sharp focus on re-introducing household bubbles in response to the increased loneliness and isolation as a result of current restrictions.
“The picture seems to be improving by the week and everyone involved in the effort to drive down the rates of transmission should be commended,” he said.
“However, we’re not there quite yet in terms of being ready to relax restrictions on a national level.
“Infection rates remain high and the headroom we have remains low. At every step, action should be driven by data not dates.
“We cannot ignore the mental health crisis which has been brought about as a result of the pandemic. It’s vital that everything possible is done to enable gyms to be among the first facilities to reopen.
“Loneliness and isolation are also a real challenge for many people, and we hope that the government will put a sharp focus on when and how it will be safe to return to extended household bubbles.
“Travel restrictions should be eased with caution and the sensible approach would be to reintroduce the ‘stay local’ message for as long as necessary.
“It’s vital that those who have lost their livelihoods continue to be supported and we support the Resolution Foundation’s call this week for furlough to be extended for several months after lockdown restrictions end.”