Traffic light system to ease coronavirus lockdown in Wales unveiled
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 14:09, Friday May 15th, 2020.
Last updated: 14:30, Friday May 15th, 2020
Welsh Government has unveiled a traffic light system that will be used to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Wales.
The traffic light system, which was announced today (Friday, May 15), will see restrictions phased from black, through to red, amber and then green.
The traffic light categories will apply to matters such as the reopening of schools and childcare facilities, seeing family and friends, getting around, playing sport and relaxing, working or running a business, going shopping, using public transport, practising faith and celebrating special occasions.
For example, when it comes to the issue of seeing family and friends, black means a full lockdown, where people are urged to stay at home and not meet up with friends or family.
Red would see a slight relaxing of the restrictions, allowing people to see one other person from outside their household to provide or receive care or support while maintaining social distancing measures.
Amber would allow people to take exercise with one other person or small group while maintaining social distancing measures.
Green would allow people to meet up with one other person or a small group to socialise, while social distancing.
It is quite likely that different restrictions will be phased through the traffic light system at different times and speeds.
The rate at which lockdown measures are relaxed will be dependent on the ‘R’ rate, which indicates the average number of people someone carrying the virus will infect.
If the ‘R’ rate is less than 1, it means that transmission in the community is decreasing. However, if the rate is higher than 1, it means the transmission rate is increasing.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said: “Over the last eight weeks, we have seen an incredible effort, from all parts of our society, to respond to the unprecedented challenge to our way of life posed by the Covid-19 virus.
“As a result, we, like countries across the world are able to think about how we can move out of the lockdown. But, it is essential as we do so, that we recognise this is not a short-term crisis.
“Until there is a vaccine or effective treatments, we will have to live with the disease in our society and to try to control its spread and mitigate its effects.”
The First Minister said there was “limited headroom” to ease current restrictions, and urged everyone to follow the Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives advice “for the next two weeks at least”.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price described the plans as “thin on detail” and said all efforts should be“focused on driving down the ‘R’ number to reduce the number of avoidable deaths to zero and to eradicate new cases rather than simply managing them.”
Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies dismissed the plans as “a roadmap to a cul-de-sac, not a road to recovery”.
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