Vaccinations and lower infection rates: "Wales is doing brilliantly but with Covid there's never a good time to get it wrong.


Riaz Hassan, Welsh Labour's Senedd candidate for Carmarhen and South Pembrokeshire, has been speaking ahead of the three-weekly Covid review by Welsh Government.  


"With Mark Drakeford's next set of announcements coming on Friday, we are all hoping for a route which sets out our return to normal.  Wales is doing brilliantly – our collective efforts and a careful approach from Welsh Government are working and this area has among the lowest infection rates in the whole of the UK.  


“Staying locked down has been hard on us as individuals and on business too.  But Welsh Government has mitigated the effects on business.  I have been talking with business owners in the area and the Welsh Government's rate relief is a welcome boost in the middle of so much economic uncertainty.  From April Welsh Labour is extending the rates holiday for businesses and charities in the retail, leisure & hospitality sectors for a further 12 months.  Businesses with a rateable value of up to £500k will continue to pay no rates at all in 2021-22.


“There are Welsh Government grants for freelancers and arts and culture businesses, something which commentators like Martin Lewis the Money Expert have pointed out were completely missing from UK Tory Rishi Sunak’s budget last week.


“But the bottom line is we are all aching to be free and to enjoy the spring weather.  I fervently hope that Mark Drakeford will amend the “Stay at Home” rule to “Stay Local” for the next three-week period so that locals can see, smell and feel the fresh air of their favourite places within a short distance.


“Finally, there is never a good time to get it wrong when we are dealing with this virus.  So I thank Mark Drakeford and his government for getting it right on so many occasions over the past year, and also learning from any mistakes along the way.  


"In Wales we can see the difference, we really can.  We are beating the virus for everyone we love.  And we’re beating it together for Wales.”