Wales roadmap for lockdown exit to be published today
Details will be published later today on how Wales can exit the lockdown measures put in place to help stop the spread of COIVID-19.
First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to unveil a phased ‘roadmap’ setting out how Wales will exit lockdown measures which have been in place for eight weeks,
Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the plan for England in an address on national TV last Sunday.
It triggered confusion across the UK as at no point was it made clear the easing of measures he was announcing were just for England.
Mr Drakeford said previously that Wales will look to use a ‘traffic light’ system which will make clear when certain cautious changes can be made to lockdown measures.
Later today @fmwales will publish a roadmap for how we might lift lockdown restrictions in future.
But we've also been looking a little longer term, at what the 'new normal' might look like.
And we'd love to hear your thoughts – please send them to email@example.com. pic.twitter.com/AvUKUgH8pc
— Mick Antoniw (@counselgenwales) May 15, 2020
Interviewed on Sky News this morning, Mr Drakeford said the ‘roadmap’ will, “continue the conversation we’ve had with people in Wales, about how we can come out of lockdown.
It will suggest as a traffic light system in which we move from lockdown into the red zone, where there will be some small additional things that people will be able to do.
It will look not very different from lockdown but it will be the first cautious step.
We will track those (easing steps) really carefully to make sure that they are not resulting in coronavirus beginning spread again in Wales.
If we succeed in that we’ll move into the amber zone, in the amber zone there will be quite a bit more than people will be able to do.
And again we have that that really carefully monitoring over time, if that is successful, we’ll be in the green zone and in the green zone, life will begin to look quite a lot like it did before coronavirus started, but not completely because until we have a vaccine proper ways of dealing with the disease coronavirus is with us for quite a long time to come.”
No timeframe will be published alongside the roadmap, Mr Drakeford said:
“We debated hard whether it was sensible to provide dates and time zones. In the end, like the Northern Ireland government earlier this week we decided not to do that.
Once you provide a date people get fixated with a date, rather than with a process you have to go through to make sure that it is then safe to take those measures.
The roadmap is “a sequence, a phased approach, it will give people in Wales, I think a strong sense of what to expect, but not by trying to tie it to specific dates which in a way gives it a sort of slightly spurious sense of certainty.” The First Minister said.
Asked what is “prompting” Welsh Government to take a different approach than that of the UK Government, Mr Drakeford said:
“We are focused on making sure that we don’t end up losing all the work and all the enormous effort that people have made over the last eight weeks, by doing things that sets coronavirus off circulating in the community again.
In reference to the R number – which measures the rate the virus spreads – Mr Drakeford said, “We think we’ve got only a very small amount of headroom, to begin the process of unlocking our economy and our society.
If we do things too fast the risk is coronavirus will be out there again and we’ll all end up back where we started having to go into lockdown.
So, our approach is a cautious, step by step approach monitoring it all the time to make sure that as we take these measures we are confident coronavirus isn’t getting back out of control.”
A Welsh Government press conference will be broadcast live at 12.30pm via social media: https://twitter.com/WelshGovernment
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