There will be many people out there anxious for things to get back to normal, writes FUW Montgomeryshire chairman Bryn Francis.

Returning to the way of life before the pandemic swept across the world.We are not used to being restrained in how we go about our lives and the past eight weeks have been tough for many – mentally and financially.

We all had to make sacrifices on a personal level and will have to continue to do so. With the UK’s per capita mortality rate higher than in some of the worst affected countries in the World, including France and Italy, Governments need to be vigilant and cautious in how they take us all forward.

For the FUW a main priority is to protect rural communities and food producers and we were therefore astounded to hear about the relaxation of measures announced by the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson’s address to the nation was not only confusing and ambiguous, but failed utterly to distinguish between Welsh and English changes to restrictions. Let’s be quite clear – Wales remains closed to visitors and we are still in lockdown.

Members will rightly be concerned about the Prime Minister’s comment that “you can drive to other destinations”. It certainly could lead people to wrongly assume they could visit Wales, thereby increasing the risk of introducing the coronavirus to Welsh communities as well as being fined by the police for doing so.

In March the Welsh Government had to bring in emergency legislation to close public spaces as thousands flocked to Welsh beauty spots, causing a huge risk to themselves and others.

And whilst there are some, including politicians, who feel that their “blood is boiling” over Wales’ decision not to follow England’s easing of lockdown restrictions and think that the differences are “damaging and frightening” for border communities - we welcome the Welsh Government’s approach.

While people are generally now exercising locally within the restrictions laid down by the Welsh Government, every day our offices are dealing with members who are in the vulnerable category and are concerned that the large numbers of people coming through their farmyards and fields are placing them at risk.

A few people being inconvenienced that they can’t visit our beaches are of little concern here. People in Wales also can’t visit the beach or any of the other beauty spots we love so much as a matter of fact.

We are also extremely concerned at the number of individuals arriving in rural areas and illegally using second homes and there is a growing fear that it will only get worse.

Of course, we value the huge contribution that visitors make to Wales and to our economy, but people moving around and spreading the coronavirus is one of the biggest risks we face, and the health of our communities must come first.

Let us make it clear – the changes the Prime Minister was referring to do not apply in Wales, where the Welsh Government has taken a far more cautious approach. Please continue to ‘Stay Home’ and ‘Save Lives’.