R estimate for Wales edges upwards as shops reopen
The likely R rate for Wales has edged upwards according to the latest estimates, as non-essential shops get ready to open today.
The regional figures revealed by Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham showed that the R rate was up everywhere across the UK apart from the South East of England.
In Wales, the likely R rate as estimated by the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases had edged up from 0.7 to 0.8.
Wales did, however, have the joint lowest likely R rate, alongside the South East of England. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the R rate had edged back to 1.1.
Each region is given an R rating which measures how quickly or slowly a disease is spreading. If the number gets above 1 the disease will spread exponentially.
Today, non-essential stores are able to open in Wales for the first time since coronavirus restrictions were brought in. However the stay-local rule, with a five mile rule of thumb, remains.
The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament, Paul Davies, led calls to encourage the public to shop local in high streets to safeguard local shops and jobs.
“The UK Government has carried out every possible step to keep businesses afloat and navigate them through this wholly unprecedented period,” he said.
“Thanks to pressure from the Welsh Conservatives, the Welsh Government agreed for non-essential shops to re-open today, but that is not the end of the story.
“High streets are increasingly being pushed to the brink but collectively we can throw a lifeline by shopping locally to safeguard local shops and local jobs.
“High streets are not only the lifeblood of communities in Wales, but are also a key pillar of the economy – and, bluntly, should they collapse our vital public services will be hard-hit.
“It is very disappointing, however, that the Welsh Government has chosen to maintain its cruel 5-mile rule, meaning there will likely be a detrimental impact on the sustainability of high streets because people are being prevented from getting there.
“Notwithstanding this, if you can, I strongly urge you to get behind our high streets, spend the pound in Wales, and shop local.”