Posted: Mon 12th Oct 2020

Tougher restrictions set for England – “we will then have some rapid choices to make” says Wales’ Health Minister

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


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

Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething has said that following the announcement, there will be “some rapid choices to make” which could include national rather than regional measures in Wales.

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

The prime minister will host a Cobra meeting (COBR) at 11am, Mr Johnson is then expected to address the House of Commons, at 6pm he will make a live address on TV.

According to SKY News: “Details have not been confirmed but it is thought (media speak for “we have been briefed, officially“) residents under the tier three (the toughest) restrictions will have to avoid all non-essential travel and stay in their area.

It is not a full lockdown, as schools and places of worship are expected to remain open. But bars, clubs, cafes, gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers may be closed, along with shops and some services. There are conflicting reports as to whether restaurants would be forced to close.

Tier two restrictions are expected to prohibit households mixing indoors. They may be allowed to meet in a private garden but must follow the rule of six and social distancing.

Tier one restrictions are likely to be what is currently in place across England, including a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.”

Liverpool’s Metro Mayor and City Mayor have issued a statement this morning confirming that Liverpool City Region, which includes the Wirral, “Pubs and bars; Betting Shops, Casinos and Adult Gaming Centres and Gyms will close.”

“These measures they feel will help stop the spread of Covid 19, reduce the levels of infection and relieve pressure on our Hospitals and NHS.”

“However, we must be clear that we have not yet reached an agreement on the wider economic support package that will be required as we go into Tier 3 restrictions but we have agreed to remain in meaningful dialogue with government to establish a wider, appropriate and mutually agreeable financial support package to mitigate the impact of new Tier 3 restrictions.”

Cheshire West and Chester could go into Tier 2 restrictions:

Asked if a similar approach will be considered in Wales and whether national rather regional measures will be taken, health minister Vaughan Gething told BBC Radio Wales this morning:

“We have incredibly difficult choices to make about protecting the health service too many can go on treating and keeping people well as far as possible, and the restrictions that we may need to place on people’s lives and businesses, and whether our local approach should or shouldn’t be replaced by national approach and the next few days will be crucial in that.”

“We are looking at all the different options, and I’ll be attending the Cobra (COBR) meeting with the First Minister, later this morning.

I think we’ll find out more at that meeting about what’s being proposed, and we will then have some rapid choices to make.

We’ll need to consider those on the basis of what the data in Wales is telling us.”

“Its that balance between whether a local approach or a national approach is a better one to have and what that means in terms of the message.

We need a message people understand, a message that people can follow for us all to be able to make the right choices to help keep well and safe.”

Mr Gething said he hoped to hear from the UK government on measures which prevent people from COVID hotspots in England travelling to Wales, but if there is no announcement within the new three-tier rules being announced today.

“We have tried to work together as four nations, the fact that there’s a Cobra (meeting) taking place today is a good thing, but it would have been preferable to have had some discussions before the substantial briefing that went to newspapers over the last few days.”

“I would much rather that we were having a slightly different conversation where ministers have spoken to each other in a different way, about the tiers.

Some of this is imperfect because I don’t think that the (UK) Government are in control of all the information that is coming out and being briefed.”

“We should get what I hope will be a single version of the truth with the measures England make later this morning.”

“We then have very difficult choices to make together with the people in Wales, but our overall approach will still be what do we need to do to help keep Wales safe and that is always going to be our guiding principle.”

The health minister will lead the first of this week’s Welsh government coronavirus press conferences today at 12.15pm. it can be watched live here: https://twitter.com/WelshGovernment

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