PLAID Cymru has urged the Welsh Government to clarify the rules for schools in terms of who should isolate and who should attend.

Sian Gwenllian, Arfon MS and Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for education, says the advice is ‘conflicting’ and that, while cases are rising, more should be done to tighten up the system, which she says is a ‘mess’.

The matter was raised by Plaid Cymru in Senedd Plenary on Tuesday, September 28, to which the Trefnydd replied: “I disagree with the member that the system is a ‘mess’ and said that the current guidance is ‘clear’.”

In the last week, there have been 9,500 COVID-19 cases among people younger than 20, the vast majority of whom are school children.

Ms Gwenllian said it’s ‘astonishing’ that Welsh Government is ‘failing to address mounting anxiety and concerns’.

Independent SAGE has re-published it guidance to schools, which includes the reintroduction of physical distancing, face coverings and testing, and re-asserts the need for good ventilation.

Ms Gwenllian said: “Welsh Government must respond to increasing concerns from parents, teachers and pupils on the rising infection rates in schools.

“Constituents tell me that the advice they’re being given is either conflicting, or absent entirely.

“The government must ensure that the TTP (Test, Trace, Protect) system is fully functioning. Despite the efforts of frontline staff, there are major problems and inconsistencies.

“When it comes to our children’s safety, it’s astonishing that Welsh Government is failing to use the measures that are available.

“For example, testing class-mates and siblings who have been in contact with COVID positive cases would help identify asymptomatic positive cases who would then need to self-isolate.

“There is much on ventilation that should still be done.

“There’s still no decision on the £3.3 million allocated to controversial ozone machines – the government should pull the plug on that ill-fated scheme and spend public money on moving air around and ventilating classrooms.

“Schools should be a safe place for our children to learn - not a breeding ground for COVID-19.”