In a letter to the First Minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, says 5 mile rule serves to further isolate those in more rural locations, and calls the guidelines “impractical”
The Welsh Government’s cautious approach on lifting restrictions had been largely welcomed by Plaid Cymru, but Shadow Health Minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, has said the introduction of a 5 mile travel limit disproportionately favours those in city centre locations.
Under the new guidelines, people from two different households in the same local area would be allowed to meet outdoors – and “local” has been confirmed as within a 5 mile radius. But in a letter to the First Minister, Mr ap Iorwerth points out that this new rule is “impractical”, it disproportionately favours those in city centre locations, and serves to further isolate those in rural communities.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:
“I’d previously urged Government to look at allowing families to meet in the open air, on the grounds of welfare, as long as it was based on science and risk management. It is not clear where the figure of 5 miles comes from, nor is it clear how this rule can be effectively governed.
“What is of greater concern is that in rural parts of Wales, including my constituency, 5 miles is a very small area. Many people who consider themselves to live close to family or friends, would still be unable to see them.
“To have a plan that disproportionately favours those in city centre locations is both unfair and is another Cardiff-centric policy from a government which seems intent on ignoring the needs of rural Wales.
“There is a very different understanding of what ‘local’ means in different parts of Wales, and I appeal to the First Minister to allow more flexibility to reflect the geographic realities of Wales and its communities.”