Plaid Cymru are calling on the Welsh Government to adopt ‘micro-quarantines’ in high-infection areas in order to avoid another national lockdown.
Leader Adam Price said Wales was “poised perilously on the brink of a second wave of COVID-19” and that a failure to act could lead to a second wave “worse than the first”.
However Wales could avoid wide untargeted lockdowns, nationally or across a whole local authority area, he said.
Caerphilly County Borough has become the first area of Wales to have a local lockdown imposed on it, and warnings have been issued to neighbouring councils including Merthyr Tydfil.
“The evidence is now clear that we are poised perilously on the brink of a second wave of COVID-19. Infections are rising, and this may soon be reflected in hospitalisations and deaths,” Adam Price said.
“Returning holidaymakers, the easing of restrictions combined with less adherence with those still in place have combined in new disease spikes. Autumn now brings us the reopening of schools, the return of universities and colleges, a gradual return to work, colder weather closing off outdoor mixing as an option and the onset of the flu season.
“If we do not act, then winter could become a second wave that is even worse than the first with little option than reintroducing a full Lockdown. It is not too late however to avoid this from happening. We could instead adopt a ‘Cooldown’ strategy that avoids both a second wave and a second lockdown.
“The Welsh Government must utilise all the tools available to beating this virus, including emerging technologies and treatments, and must be transparent in its approach.”
Adam Price also revealed his party’s 10-point Coronavirus winter plan which is designed to avoid both a second wave and a second lockdown.
The 10-point plan focuses on community-based solutions, utilisation of new technologies and improvement of communication, and is based on the following ten points:
- Smart Lockdowns: Micro-quarantines at community level
- Improve Cluster Identification: Encourage everyone to keep contact records, with the support of an app
- Asymptomatic Testing: Test symptomless contacts (as well as those with symptoms)
- New Tests: Use the latest technologies such as quick saliva tests
- Communication: Start a regular conversation with the public around avoidance of the 3 C’s: closed, crowded and close-contact settings.
- Safer Air: Wider use of face mask and better use of ventilation. Make masks mandatory in closed public settings
- Protect Schools & Colleges: Bring in national guidelines for use of face masks
- Fewer Deaths, Better Treatments: Early intervention and the use of pulse oximeters
- Local Furlough: Targeted local lockdowns must be supported by local economic package of support
- New COVID Plan: Wales needs a public plan for the period from now until a vaccine becomes widely available.