First Minister “anxious” Wales doesn’t become an “escape” for people locked down in England
First minister Mark Drakeford has said he is “anxious” that Wales doesn’t become an “escape” for people trying to “get round” England’s four week lockdown.
Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that all areas of England will move into a month long lockdown from Thursday.
Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops in England will have to close, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales this morning the first minister said: “We are anxious” that Wales doesn’t become an “escape for people trying to get round new tighter restrictions being introduced in England.”
“There are a number of details we are having to work through today at an official level with colleagues in England, public transport is one.”
“Many train journeys begin in England and end in Wales or vice versa, It’s not clear to us yet what the public transport regime in England will be and what impact that will have on us.” He said.
Mr Drakeford is concerned about people travelling across the border to come to pubs in Wales, he said:
“Think of Wrexham and Chester, literally a couple of miles apart, if pubs are completely closed as they will be in Chester, what impact will that have on people trying to travel into Wales to go to a pub.”
Welsh government officials are meeting with representatives of the hospitality industry this morning to iron out plans.
Mr Drakeford will outline details of new measures this afternoon to come into force across all of Wales following the end of the fire break on November 9.
He had previously said that following the fire break, shops, restaurants, bars and cafes will be able to reopen in Wales as will gyms and leisure centres, “essentially on the same terms as they traded before the fire break lockdown.”
The new national measures “will only help keep coronavirus under control if everyone adapts their behaviour to the ongoing public health emergency.”
The first minister said: “My main message today to people is, that we will only get through all of this, we will only find a pathway through to Christmas and beyond, If we ask ourselves not, what will the rules allow and how can I stretch them, but what should I be doing.”
”We need to do the minimum not the maximum which the rules allow because it’s by avoiding contact and it’s by avoiding travel, It’s by only doing the minimum that we need to do, that we will find a way through what is still a deepening public health emergency.”
“Our real strength lies in the choices we make and the actions that we take together, government rules by themselves will not find a successful way through coronavirus.”
“It really is the way we live our individual lives, the choices we make, the question we should ask ourselves is not what can I do, but what should I do.”
“Of course, there are journeys that are essential and of course, there are contacts that are very, very important.”
“But ask yourself the question, is this journey really necessary? if it is it must happen, if it’s not, then please ask yourself whether going on that journey is helping or hindering your safety and the safety of others.”
“When we talking about contact with other people, ask yourself again, is what I’m doing keeping myself on those people I love safe as they can be?
“If it’s not, then please don’t ask yourself what will the rules allow, ask yourself what should I be doing.”
The announcement will be made at his 12:15 PM lunchtime briefing, which will then be followed by a Q&A session.
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