The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today called on the Welsh Government to give urgent clarity around the new 5-mile rule and how it affects different areas of Wales.
In the Welsh Government announcement today First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that two individuals would be allowed to meet, so long as they maintained social distancing.
As part of this new guidance, people are not meant to travel more than 5 miles for these interactions. However, the First Minister made clear that in rural communities, where the distance to even essential services can be greater than 5 miles, there would be some flexibility to this limit.
In response, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have urged the Welsh Government to be completely upfront about how they plan to communicate these new regulations and to make this distinction clear.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:
"While I welcome today’s easing of restrictions many questions remain. I know the Welsh Government is making these decisions to try and keep us safe, but in order for people to have confidence in the rules they must be clearly explained.
"In his press Conference today the First Minister seemed to imply there was greater flexibility in the new five-mile restriction than it initially was reported. This is a really important distinction, especially for rural communities where five miles is not a huge distance to travel.
"The Welsh Government need to provide urgent clarity around any flexibility within the new regulations. We must trust people to be responsible and follow the rules, but also ensure the rules take into account the different situations in different parts of Wales.”
Lead Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for South Wales Central Cllr Rodney Berman said:
“Clarity on how the new rules apply are vital for people in urban areas across Wales. Allowing people to go a little further afield could help with social distancing, such as in cases where the local park is popular and therefore somewhat crowded.
"This may be a particular issue for those living in flats or terraced houses who may have limited or no access to gardens of their own.
“I know that some people are also querying if it’s possible to see friends or family who may live a little further than five miles away from them, so I am sure they would be keen to know if any leeway might apply to them too.
“I understand the Welsh Government taking a cautious approach to ensure we avoid a second wave, but we need to make sure at the same time that the rules are sufficiently clear and understandable.”