Posted: Mon 12th Oct 2020

First minister “deep disappointment“ UK government not implementing ban on people travelling into Wales from Covid hotspots

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 12th, 2020

Boris Johnson is set to announce today a three-tier system of measures in England intended to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Pubs, gyms and casinos in England will be forced to close and all but essential travel to and from coronavirus hotspots was expected to be banned for those living in Tier three areas, Liverpool is expected to be in the highest Tier.

It now appears the prime minister will only make it a ‘recommendation’ for people living in those hotspots not to travel outside of tier three areas.

First minister Mark Drakeford attended an emergency meeting with the UK government this morning, he said he is deeply “disappointment” at the inadequate proposals for travel restrictions which were being proposed.

In a statement a Welsh government spokesperson said: “The First Minister attended a COBR(M) meeting earlier today chaired by the Prime Minister, to discuss the proposed introduction of a ‘tiered’ system of local restrictions in England.”

“The First Minister expressed deep disappointment at the inadequate proposals for travel restrictions in high infection areas in England, and said these would be met with great dismay in many parts of Wales where infection rates are lower.”

“He also requested greater clarity on the metrics for placing areas into each tier, and agreed with other devolved leaders that the Treasury’s proposals for financial support, while welcome, did not go far enough in protecting the lowest paid workers.”

Asked during the Welsh government coronavirus press conferences today what the “latest thinking” was on people travel to Wales from hotspots in England, health minister Vaughan Gething said:

“The prime minister is still taking an approach where there is only going to be guidance on whether people should or shouldn’t travel out of highly ineffective areas.”

“This isn’t just an issue for Wales and issue for the whole UK lower prevalence areas will be affected as in the lower province areas in Wales.”

“We do understand that there has already been an importation of coronavirus cases from contact with some of those high prevalence areas in England.”

“We will meet later today and we will then need to make choices, given that it doesn’t appear to be a resolution on this which would have been the right choice to make about those very high prevalence areas where we all expect there’ll be further action taken today and over the next few days.”

“Sadly, the Prime Minister has chosen not to. So, we will be making choices.”

Mr Gething was asked about the legal powers the Welsh government has to prevent people from hotspots in England travelling into Wales, he said:

“Ministers will be meeting today with the first minister to consider the legal advice that has already been prepared to do with public health powers.”

“Because we can see an increase in the rate in particular localities in parts of the UK, we should, if needed, be able to identify those areas where the risk is such that we should have restrictions on travel.”

“It would not be a reasonable excuse for those people to enter Wales because of the of risk from the area of the country that they come from.”

“We have the same restrictions within Wales already but this will be travel to and from Wales.”

“We do have powers but like I said I’m disappointed that there hasn’t been a more definitive response from the UK government to deal with England because they understand that there is an issue in some parts of England.”

 

 

 

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