Tories accuse Welsh Government of being ‘anti-business’ as most Covid restrictions are lifted
The Welsh Conservatives have accused the government of being ‘anti-business following the latest decision on the easing of Covid restrictions in Wales.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed face masks will no longer be legally required in shops and on public transport and the requirement to self-isolate with Covid will also move into guidance from next week.
But with Covid cases currently increasing, driven by the BA.2 sub-type of the omicron variant, two key legal protections will remain in place.
Face coverings will remain a legal requirement in health and social care settings and businesses will still be required to carry out coronavirus risk assessments, with reasonable measures put in place in light of those assessments.
Responding to the latest round of changes to the coronavirus measures, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson Russell George MS said: “Whilst it is welcome that Ministers have once again listened to Welsh Conservative proposals with self-isolation and mask wearing becoming guidance from Monday, it is disappointing that the Labour Government continues to be anti-business.
“At a time when the Government should be doing all it can to boost jobs and productivity, is it right that businesses should continue to have fill out paperwork with little value? We need to trust businesses to do what is right to keep their staff and customers safe.
“The First Minister talks about living with Covid, but his actions say something different with the Welsh Government extending some Covid regulations until September.
“After two years the people of Wales know what to do to keep themselves safe and should be trusted to do what they think is right, whilst the Government focusses on repairing the economy, tackling the cost of living and ending the Welsh wage gap.”
Announcing the result of the government’s latest three-week review, Mark Drakeford said: “We have seen an unwelcome rise in coronavirus cases across Wales, mirroring the position in most of the UK.
“We have carefully considered the very latest scientific and medical evidence and we need to keep some legal protections in place for a little while longer, to help keep Wales safe.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have taken a gradual and cautious approach as we have relaxed protections.
“We are firmly on the path towards leaving the emergency response to the pandemic behind us and learning to live with coronavirus safely.”
The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 14 April, when the remaining legal measures will be reviewed.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
Bit of a stretch to say Labour have listened to the tories, when have they ever said anything worthwhile
Kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴
The actions of P&O show businesses can’t be trusted, and need strict laws and regulations, with meaningful penalties to force them to do what is right for staff and customers.
The highlight (lowlight) of this Tory tirade is ‘The Welsh wage gap’. This is an age old Westminster construct that long pre dates devolution. They couldn’t have conducted the brain drain without it. Even now, I could get a higher rate of pay going over to Avonmouth for shifts compared to this side of the bridge for doing the same job but I’d blow the difference wasting fuel so it’s not worth it.