Posted: Sat 31st Oct 2020

“It is impossible to say to people that Christmas in 2020 will look like a normal Christmas” as four nations set for ‘common approach’ discussions

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Oct 31st, 2020


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Discussions could soon take place over a four nation “common approach” to coronavirus regulations over the Christmas period.

First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed at yesterday’s Welsh Government briefing that the Prime Minister had written to him advising him that Michael Gove would be sending an ‘invitation’ to discussions.

Although there have been similar rules in terms of the rule of six and 10pm curfew, there have been differing approaches taken by Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland throughout this stage of the pandemic.

There has been growing calls for what restrictions will be in place over the festive period, with many hoping to spend time with their loved ones.

Speaking yesterday the first minister said he wanted to find a “common approach” to Christmas between the four nations.

He said: “I’ve got no interest at all in turning this into a competition between Wales and any other part of the United Kingdom.

“I do want to see is an opportunity to discuss these matters with the UK government. The Prime Minister wrote to me at the start of this week and said that I will be receiving an invitation from Michael Gove to a discussion on a common approach to Christmas across the United Kingdom.

“We’ve done our best to try to secure that meeting this week, it hasn’t yet been forthcoming. We need to get around the table together, we need to share that information, we need to share ideas and wherever we can, particularly around the Christmas period.”

“I would like to see as common an approach as we can craft together by recognising that the state of the virus of the response that’s being made, does differ from one part of the UK to another.”

In a Zoom session with north Wales media later yesterday, Mr Drakeford reiterated that the current firebreak period aimed to give breathing space to business and members of the public in the run up to Christmas.

However he warned that this year’s festive period will not look like a normal Christmas.

Mr Drakeford said: “You know, we are all fatigued by this experience. We all feel it harder this time than we did earlier in the year.

“By the time we get to Christmas, things will be worse, not better. Our ambition is that by doing the right thing for this firebreak period, we will have a pathway through to Christmas without needing to do this again.

“So there is some hope for people if we make extraordinary effort now, then all the things that people look forward to, and all the things that people will want to do to prepare for Christmas, will still be possible to do that.

“Although it is impossible to say to people that Christmas in 2020 will look like a normal Christmas. It won’t because it will be a ‘Coronavirus Christmas’ sadly in some ways too.”

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