PLAID Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd Liz Saville Roberts has called for a new support scheme for those forced out of work and into self-isolation when local outbreaks of Covid-19 occur.

During Prime Minister's Questions today Mrs Saville Roberts highlighted three Coronavirus outbreaks in food processing plants in Llangefni in Anglesey, Wrexham in north east Wales, and Merthyr Tydfil in the south, where workers are currently being required to self-isolate.

In the UK, self-isolating employees who cannot work will only legally be eligible for £95.85 per week in Statutory Sick Pay.

During PMQs, the Plaid Westminster Leader contrasted this with the situation in Germany, where self-isolating workers generally receive sick-pay worth 100% of their salary.

There are concerns that some workers will be forced to ignore requests to self-isolate – potentially undermining any ‘local lock-downs’ – as the less than one hundred pound sick pay payment will not be enough to support effected families.

Ms Saville Roberts’ question follows a letter to the Treasury from her colleague Ben Lake MP earlier this week calling for a furlough-like scheme to be implemented for those forced to self-isolate.

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: "Covid-19 has now broken out in three Welsh food factories – with 200 cases in Llangefni, 70 in Wrexham and 34 in Merthyr Tydfil.'

"A plant in Germany has also seen 1,500 workers test positive. The difference there of course is that German employees get sick pay worth 100% of their salary.

"Here, workers get sick pay will on average 20% of their salary, they will lose 80% of their salary.

"These are low-paid workers. For any future local lockdown to succeed people need to be supported. Will he now commit to local furlough-like schemes for self-isolating workers."

The Prime Minister indicated that the UK Government may support the proposal, responded by saying that “nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing”.

Following PMQs, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: "People should not be forced to choose between putting food on the table and the need to self-isolate, but -under the current system - that will be the reality for many.

"The UK’s sick pay scheme has long been inadequate, but in the current context it is fundamentally dangerous.

"Local lock-downs could be undermined if people are forced to ignore the need to self-isolate as they simply have to work to keep their families fed and housed.

"The Prime Minister must not show the same complacency as he did at the start of this crisis. If he wants to move to the ‘next phase’, new schemes to support new ways of managing the disease must also be put in place.

"A scheme which means that those forced to self-isolate can keep the greater part of their salaries is not only a matter of fairness, but also one of health security in ensuring that local lockdowns are effective.'"