Ben Lake MP urges UK Government to consider Ceredigion in lockdown exit strategy


Ben Lake MP has today urged the UK Government to give full consideration to places such as Ceredigion as part of its lockdown exit strategy.

During virtual Urgent Questions today, Mr Lake recognised that widespread testing and contact tracing “will be essential” in the fight to contain future covid-19 outbreaks, and that such a system would need to be “fully operational” before the UK moves from full lockdown. 

In terms of implementing such a system, Mr Lake urged the Secretary of State to look at the work already being carried out by Ceredigion County Council in conjunction with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Aberystwyth University. Increased testing and contact tracing will have to play an important role in future attempts to prevent the chains of transmission, and will need to be rolled out along with social distancing measures as part of a holistic strategy to contain Covid-19 outbreaks.

Ben Lake MP said: 

“It is crucial that any plans to review lockdown restrictions consider the experiences of counties such as Ceredigion, and recognise that the Covid-19 outbreak has reached different stages in the four countries of the UK. Some areas will remain more vulnerable than others as a consequence of the outbreak’s development during the current wave, and so any lifting of lockdown measures can only be done if a rigorous and extensive system of testing, contact tracing and isolating positive cases is in place in every county. 

“While both UK and Welsh Governments are currently refining national contact tracing systems, they will need to be supplemented by local contact tracing teams and testing resources if they are to prove effective. It is for this reason that the Governments must adopt a collaborative approach with local authorities – including the Council, health board and university – ensuring that the new approach makes best use of their assets and expertise, in addition to the skills and resources they can offer locally. 

“Local authorities must be at the heart of the new strategy to contain Covid-19. As Ceredigion County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board have demonstrated during this crisis, local bodies inevitably have a more detailed understanding of their populations than that of central government, and this must be drawn on if contact testing and tracing is to be effective. Public safety must be the priority, and should underpin any decision taken in relation to how and when restrictions are eventually lifted.”

You can watch Ben's contribution here:

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