This week in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) Delyth Jewell MS took part in a Plaid Cymru debate calling on the Welsh Government to give more social and financial support to areas with high prevalence of Covid19.
Caerphilly was the first county to enter a local lockdown back in the beginning of September, and while this was necessary to protect public health, Delyth feels that stricter restrictions should go hand-in-hand with more support were this to happen again.
Speaking in the Senedd, she said: "That is why we are calling for this greater support: we want to see accommodation for people who can’t self-isolate at home, help for safe and affordable childcare, and protections for schools like the introduction of mask wearing in classrooms.
"We need investment to overcome the digital divide, to make it easier for people to be in touch when they can’t see one another face to face. And I’d add to that the need for mental health support to help communities with the collective trauma they’re suffering.
"Many of our proposals could be implemented Wales-wide, such as increasing the Self Isolation Grant for people on low incomes to £800, to provide more childcare and support for people who can’t work from home. These steps would help individuals and families all over Wales, but they’re especially needed in areas where the virus has been so prevalent.
"Getting the confidence of the public is paramount, which is why we want stronger communications campaigns. When Caerphilly entered a local lockdown, no official guidance was given to residents on what to expect for more than 24 hours, leaving people feeling insecure and anxious. We have to learn the lessons of that lockdown."
Delyth went into more detail about the reasons behind the fact that the virus has hit post-industrial areas in the south east of Wales in her column for the Caerphilly Observer, which you can read here.
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