THE First Minister of Wales announced changes to restrictions in Wales during his latest press conference and three weekly review. It may not have been what many had been expecting by way of relaxation of the rules but it was something to celebrate for some as he lifted the lid of the pressure cooker most have been in since Covid-19 struck.
The changes are as follows:
During the conference the First Minister said that the hard work of many was paying off and that things were improving across Wales. He also added his customary cautionary warning that things could always take a turn for the worse and that new strains of the virus were still dominant in Wales.
There was good news on the latest figures, which showed that cases of Covid-19 were down to 41 per 100,000 in the population. Numbers in hospital with Covid-19 related symptoms are falling and vaccinations are progressing with 38,000 vaccinations having taken place in one day.
When questioned about further relaxations of restrictions the First Minister said that too much too quickly could result in a return to stricter measures. He said that to avoid that the Welsh Government would take a careful, cautious and phased approach unlocking sectors with step by step changes and gradually restoring freedoms.
The First Minister was optimistic and offered more hope of further changes towards the end of April when there could be the further opening up of the economy, outdoor venues and gyms.
The First Minister pointed out the differences between restrictions in England and Wales and warned against people crossing the border to holiday at self contained holiday venues. He cited the rules in England, which do not allow people to travel and remain away from their homes and asked owners of self contained holiday venues to make appropriate checks when taking bookings. It is a case of us all obeying the rules he said.
Social media has been full of debate and complaints from business owners and parents who expressed their anger, frustration and disappointment that the First Minister did not go far enough in lifting restrictions. The First Minister said he did not believe there was a public outcry.
The changes will come as a relief to many especially the return to school for most children. The slow and cautious approach may not be popular but it has tipped the balance towards a road out of what has been for many an horrific twelve months.