England ‘learning from Wales’ example’ on lockdown easing says Welsh Government minister

Boris Johnson’s TV address

England is learning from Wales’ example on exiting from lockdown, according to a Welsh Government minister.

Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, made the comments as Boris Johnson gets ready to set out his plan for exiting lockdown in England tonight.

The Prime Minister is set unveil a “cautious” plan to lift England’s lockdown in a press conference at 7pm tonight, which Lee Waters said mirrored Wales’ “staged” approach in the summer.

Lee Waters said that  “devolution allows different parts of the UK to learn from one another”.

“I’m pleased that the UK government in England is not repeating the way it came out of the first lockdown, and is learning the lessons from Wales and Scotland in taking a staged approach,” he said.

One Conservative Senedd candidate however said that Boris Johnson’s roadmap for England was more detailed than Wales’ Mark Drakeford.

“It looks like England will get a proper roadmap tomorrow. Let’s have a one nation approach. Drakeford didn’t give us a roadmap at all,” Charlie Evans, the Conservatives’ Dwyfor-Meirionnydd candidate said.

‘Cautious’

Wales’ First Minister revealed his own plans in a press conference on Friday, including reopening schools to some children today and allowing the majority to return on 15 March.

Schools in England are to reopen on 8 March and up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors from 29 March.

“We will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe,” Boris Johnson said.

England’s plans are set to include:

  • Schools returning by March 8
  • Friends and family seeing each other again in time for the Easter holidays
  • Non-essential shops opening soon after Easter
  • Hairdressers opening sometime in April
  • Indoor food and drink at pubs and restaurants in May

Wales’ plans, if cases continue to fall, include:

  • People can get married in a hotel or visitor attraction again from next week
  • Schools start back today for some primary age children
  • Most other children return to school on 15 March
  • Non-essential shops and hairdressers open in three weeks

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