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Plaid Cymru unveil 7-point Coronavirus recovery plan

Written by on 10th May 2020

Plaid plan calls to adopt New Zealand model of driving down ‘R’ number, suppressing cases and reducing number of avoidable deaths to “zero”

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has today unveiled his party’s 7-point Coronavirus recovery plan which calls on Wales to adopt the New Zealand model to drive down the ‘R’ number, suppress cases and to reduce the number of avoidable deaths to zero. 

The Plaid Cymru leader added that once the number of new cases had been successfully suppressed nationally then a “more local” approach could be adopted with the ability to “re-impose lockdown measures” in order to quickly respond to the emergence of new clusters.

Mr Price said that in order to safely move to the next phase on the path to recovery, the Welsh Government would have to “change gear” and honour their promises to “ramp up testing and tracing”. 

On Friday, the Welsh Government extended the lockdown for a further 3 weeks with some “small and modest” adjustments.

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said whilst the rate of Coronavirus transmission was still “startlingly high”, the message to stay at home and save lives should be sent “loudly and clearly”. 

Today, the Prime Minister will outline any changes to the lockdown in England.

Mr Price added that if the Prime Minister were to “insist” on relaxing the lockdown in England, then travel restrictions imposed within Wales and between Wales and other parts of the UK “may be necessary” to avoid a “potentially disastrous impact” on Welsh communities.

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said,

“With the rate of Coronavirus transmission startlingly high, the stay at home message should be sent loudly and clearly. This is the only way to save lives. By respecting the lockdown, we will recover faster.”

“If the Prime Minister insists on relaxing the lockdown in England, travel restrictions imposed within Wales and between Wales and other parts of the UK may be necessary in order to avoid a potentially disastrous impact on our communities.”

“Plaid Cymru’s seven-point plan is centred on continuing the lockdown.

“When the number of new cases has been successfully suppressed nationally, then a more local approach can be adopted, with the ability to re-impose lockdown measures quickly in response to the emergence of new clusters. 

“All efforts must now focus on driving down the R number – the rate at which the virus reproduces – to reduce the number of avoidable deaths to zero. This is the model adopted so successfully by New Zealand. 

“Moving safely to the next phase on the path to recovery requires the Welsh Government to change gear, abandon the excuses and honour the promises to ramp up testing and tracing.”

Plaid Cymru’s 7-POINT RECOVERY PLAN

1. Staying in Lockdown

We were too slow into lockdown. We need to avoid being too fast out. Leaving lockdown too early would be bad for Wales, and an easing of restrictions in England would also be bad for Wales.

2.  Travel and Residency Restrictions

The UK Government needs to empower Wales in legislation and in messaging to enable restrictions on travel and residency so that policy in Wales is not undermined.

If necessary, travel restrictions within Wales, and between Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom should be introduced.

Similarly, international travel should be subject to 14-day quarantine.

3. The New Zealand Model

Driving down ‘R’ must be the priority rather than managing the number of cases based on what the Health Service can handle. This means driving the R number below 0.5 and reducing the number of cases in order to decrease the number of avoidable deaths to zero.

4. Test & Trace

Full test, trace and isolate capacity needs to be ready by end of this three-week period.

5. Care Homes

A specific strategy to drive down clusters of cases in care homes based on transparency on R number in care homes and policy of testing becoming universally available in care homes.

6. Adjustment Phase

As we enter the adjustment phase, when appropriate, local flexibility should form part of the strategy. When the number of new cases has been successfully supressed nationally, a more local approach can be adopted with the ability to re-impose lockdown measures quickly in response to the emergence of new clusters.

Such a locally targeted approach is advocated by the World Health Organization.

7Economic Support

The economic life-support machine should not be switched off. Nations that remain in lockdown longer for public health reasons, should not be disadvantaged by any changes to economic support. Current levels of financial support should be maintained in nations that need it.