Drakeford expresses ‘great dismay’ at lack of restrictions on travel from high infection areas in England

First Minister Mark Drakeford AM.
First Minister Mark Drakeford AM. Mark Hawkins / Alamy Stock Photo

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that he feels “great dismay” after his calls for travel restrictions on those in high infection areas of England were once again ignored.

Drakeford attended a COBRA meeting earlier today chaired by the Prime Minister, to discuss the proposed introduction of a ‘tiered’ system of local restrictions in England.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he would not make it illegal to leave high infection parts of England.

Later Drakeford said he 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.

The Welsh Government will meet later to discuss whether to take action.

At a press conference today, Health Minister Vaughan Gething claimed there had 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 make choices given that their doesn’t appear to be a resolution of this with England over those areas,” he said.

“Sadly, the Prime Minister has chosen not to act so we will make the choices here in Wales.”

People from England and Wales are currently not allowed to stop in or leave seventeen areas of Wales that are currently under local lockdown restrictions without a reasonable excuse, but can travel freely to those areas under national restrictions.

 

‘Risk’

Last week the Welsh Government confirmed that it was considering using its powers to stop travel from parts of England with a high number of Covid-19 to cases to Wales.

Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething said that he did not watch to take a “whole nation” approach and stop anyone from England travelling to Wales.

However, he said that after Boris Johnson rebuffed First Minister Mark Drakeford’s appeal to stop people from locked-down areas of England coming to Wales, they were “actively considering” the options.

Vaughan Gething said that he had met with Mark Drakeford that morning to discuss how it could be done.

“If people from areas with a high instance of coronavirus such as Liverpool come to areas with low levels and mix in the same pubs there is a risk of transmission,” he said.

However, he said there was “no good reason” to prevent someone from a low incidence area such as Devon travelling to Pembrokeshire.

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