Drakeford: No non-essential travel over Welsh border during England’s lockdown
Non-essential travel outside of Wales will not be permitted during England’s lockdown, the First Minister has said.
Mark Drakeford said there would be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but travel over the border should be for essential reasons only.
The law in England will not allow non-essential travel into Wales, and the law in Wales will not allow travel into England, he said.
He said that he was concerned that when the Welsh hospitality industry reopens next Monday that people in England might be tempted to visit pubs in Wales.
“The English lockdown inevitably has an impact on those who live in Wales,” he said.
“It’s important that when we open up Wales doesn’t become an escape for people wanting to circumvent the restrictions placed by the Prime Minister.”
Tourism would reopen in Wales to people living in Wales, he said.
Asked why he did not follow England in staying in lockdown until December he said he would “not follow every twist in England’s story”.
There would be a gradual loosening of the lockdown measures in Wales from 9 November, he said.
The new national measures include:
- The need to maintain two-metre social distancing and wear face masks in enclosed public places, including on public transport and taxis, will continue;
- The requirement to work from home whenever possible will remain;
People should only meet with their ‘bubble’ in their own home and only two households will be able to form a ‘bubble’. If one person from either household develops symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate.
- Up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoors activity and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other covid safety measures are followed;
- All premises, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and gyms, closed during the firebreak, will be able to reopen. Following the announcement about the English lockdown, Ministers are having ongoing discussions with the hospitality sector about the detailed rules for reopening. This includes about meeting in public indoor spaces;
- As part of keeping our risks to a minimum, people should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but international travel should be for essential reasons only.
- All schools will reopen;
- Churches and places of worship will resume services;
- Local authority services will resume but based on local circumstances;
- Community centres will be available for small groups to meet safely indoors in the winter months.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Each of us has an important part to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Wales and saving lives – we cannot do this without your help.
“Everyone has made so many sacrifices this year already. To make sure we do not lose all this hard work, we need to carry on looking after each other and keeping ourselves safe.
“This is a virus which thrives on human contact. Social contact is important to all of us but to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we need to think carefully about all our meetings and contacts with other people and try and reduce them to reduce our risk of infection.
“Rather than us asking what we can or can’t do, we need to ask ourselves what should we be doing to keep our families safe.
“Government rules and regulations are here to help. But the real strength we have is in the choices we make and the actions we take together.”
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