I believe that the Government in Wales and indeed the Governments responsible for other areas of the UK, and around the world, have difficult judgements to make and it is often a fine balancing act during the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves during the Covid-19 pandemic, writes Russel George MS.

Here in Powys, we have a comparably lower level of infection per 100,000 of the population compared to other areas of Wales.

Where we have had cases in Powys, these have been dealt with quickly by Powys Teaching Health Board and other authorities.

Therefore, I’m more persuaded by the World Health Organisation’s view that blanket national lockdowns are not the most appropriate approach.

My fear for mid Wales is that any national lockdown will unnecessarily penalise the people of Powys from seeing their families, friends and loved ones, which would in turn have a detrimental effect on people’s health and wellbeing.

Earlier this month, we came out of the Wales-wide lockdown, and I am of the view that a targeted approach to tackling any outbreaks is the best course of action.

An urban solution which may be suitable for south Wales isn’t right for rural mid Wales.

In areas such as Powys, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire which cover approximately 40 per cent of the land mass of Wales, low cases of Covid-19 have been, and continue to be reported.

I certainly hope that we will see further targeted approaches, rather than blanket national rules which may not be appropriate for all areas of Wales.

I hope we don’t see further Wales-wide lockdowns and Government adopts targeted interventions, including community restrictions, shielding for the vulnerable and improved test and trace processes.

Like many of you, I am not complacent about the risks of this pandemic and sadly I accept there will continue to be spikes and outbreaks in Powys.

However, I believe that a plan which will provide this kind of targeted local intervention, and earlier intervention, based on the latest data would be a more suitable, sustainable and effective way of tackling outbreaks whilst simultaneously helping the wider local area to socially and economically recover.

I would like to see all governments work much more closely together on a consistent overall framework of targeted local interventions rather than the differing and confusing approaches which have been adopted thus far, and I particularly feel that a UK wide framework for the Christmas period would be the correct course for us as a county and a country.

I fully appreciate that some will take different views to me., but my message would be please do respect each other’s views, and let’s be hopeful of the recent news on a vaccine will end this horrible period of time for us all.