The First Minister's announcement today (May 29th) that he would relax the Covid-19 lockdown rules to allow two households to meet outdoors but that he would introduce a 5 mile limit on people's movement from their homes has been labelled "unfit for purpose" for Powys by Mid Wales MS, Russell George.
Speaking after the announcement, the Welsh Parliament Member for Montgomeryshire said:
“A five-mile travel ban for meeting friends and family will let people travel from one side of Cardiff to the other, but in rural Montgomeryshire, it won’t let many people travel to their nearest town or village. It is therefore unfit for purpose for much of rural Mid Wales.
“This policy is arbitrary and it is unfair to say to many families, who haven't seen each other for months, that they cannot mix. For many people this will mean they will see grandparents and grandchildren reunited in the garden next door, while they are left isolated.
"After many weeks of restrictions, the Welsh Government would have been better to stress that people should exercise their own best judgement rather than to set an arbitrary rule of 5 miles.
"For me, I believe that we all need to exercise common sense and personal responsibility, interpreting the rules based on our own individual circumstances while adhering to important social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines.
"This announcement was also a huge missed opportunity to say something positive to businesses in Mid Wales. The Welsh Government needs to support business to help reduce the risk of our local economy in Mid Wales slipping further towards a recession and allow those many businesses which are ready to implement proper social distancing to re-open their premises to get the economy moving again."