Posted: Thu 5th Nov 2020

Clamping down on non-essential travel from England into Wales will be the responsibility of English police forces

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Nov 5th, 2020

Clamping down on non-essential travel from England into Wales will be the responsibility of English police forces and the UK Government, according to Welsh ministers.

England’s month-long lockdown started today (November 5) and will remain in operation until December 2, restricting all non-essential travel and retail.

But while similar measures are in place in Wales, the lifting of the 17 day long “firebreak” on Monday has led to concerns that residents will be tempted to cross the border and take advantage of Wales’ non-essential retail shops and pubs reopening.

Speaking during Thursday’s daily briefing, the Minister for North Wales and Economic Development Ken Skates stressed that any fixed penalties or a clampdown on cross-border travel from the east will be the responsibility of English police forces and the UK Government.

The Welsh Retail Consortium voiced concerns that shop workers and managers could be put in a difficult situation of policing shoppers – particularly in areas such as Broughton Shopping Park in Flintshire, which lies just 400 metres from the border.

But responding to questions from the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Ken Skates MS said: “For four weeks from today non-essential retail in England will be closed, so that removes any prospect of anyone travelling over the border into England for non-essential retail,”

“I also want to say that we’re encouraging people to be as responsible as possible, not to look at what we cannot do but what we should and should not do.

“We know that in order to disrupt the flow of transmission of coronavirus, the best things we can do are to minimise contact with other people, to stay as local as we possibly can and to ensure we’re doing the obvious like regularly cleaning our hands and wearing face coverings.

“Through personal responsible behaviour, an enforcement regime will not need to go to the endth degree of issuing fines and our approach in Wales has always been engaging, educating and encouraging, and to only enforce fixed penalty fines as a last resort.

“Whilst I have no doubt that we’ll continue to see on social media examples of poor personal behaviour, I believe the vast majority of people in Wales during the pandemic have behaved impeccably and I hope people will go on behaving in that way.”

He added: “There are English regulations regarding movement of people who live in England anywhere within England and then across into Wales, so the rules will actually be enforced by English police forces.

“People in England shouldn’t actually be crossing county borders never mind national borders, this is a responsibility for the UK Government in England and English police forces.”

Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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