We all hope that the public health crisis caused by Covid-19 will pass sooner rather than later, and I sincerely hope that we don’t have a second spike in Coronavirus cases, writes Russell George MS.

However, the economic crisis which it has wrought will likely last far longer - years if not decades.

While the Government’s original focus was rightly on saving lives and protecting the NHS, we must now reopen our economy in a safe and measured way so that we can put our economy back on track to save livelihoods.

This is the message which I have been pushing in the Senedd in my role as Shadow Minister for the Economy.

Many so called “non-essential” businesses have reopened and I was pleased to visit Llani Barbers to have a new post-lockdown trim.

Children also returned to school; the five-mile travel restrictions (which in my view were totally unfit for purpose for rural Montgomeryshire) have been relaxed and we are now allowed to form “social bubbles” with one other household to see family or friends which we haven’t seen for over four months; and the tourism industry and hospitality sector has begun to reopen its doors.

I also hope that the Welsh Government will follow the UK Government’s lead in relaxing the two-metre social distancing rules and the ability to use indoor spaces so that trading becomes viable for more businesses.

Over recent months, I have been particularly sad to hear of the demise of Laura Ashley and I asked the First Minister to leave no stone unturned to support redundant staff at this iconic and major employer.

I will continue to do our best to support the highly skilled and loyal staff of Laura Ashley and all of those in the wider supply chain who have been adversely affected by this news, but this remains deeply concerning for all the families affected.

In more positive news, the UK Government and Welsh Government have worked together, to double the value of broadband vouchers to help rural communities in Montgomeryshire.

I wish all residents a happy summer and hope your families remain safe and well as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.