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Express newspaper asks why England is ‘so far behind’ Wales in lifting lockdown

14 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) in yesterday’s speech broadcast on BBC One. Mark Drakeford (right), picture by the Welsh Government.

The Express newspaper has asked why Wales is reopening after the second wave of lockdown while England “is so far behind”.

The lockdown regulations in Wales have changed from ‘stay at home’ to ‘stay local’ – but the ‘stay at home’ rule is not due to end in England for another two weeks.

The newspaper says that First Minister Mark Drakeford’s changes in Wales would lead to pressure on the Prime Minister to ease “draconian” rules faster in England.

“While lockdown measures will start to ease in Wales, further months of lockdown restrictions await people in England,” the newspaper says.

“[The] easing of restrictions on social gatherings and the reopening of some hospitality businesses, such as hairdressers, is scheduled to start much earlier in Wales than it is in England.

“And with Wales and Scotland on a different reopening timetable to the rest of the UK, many are wondering why England is so far behind.

“Boris Johnson has previously been accused of being too slow to lift the draconian rules England is currently being subjected to.”

The newspaper quotes CRG chair Mark Harper who askes why the lockdown will be necessary once all those eligible in vulnerable groups have received their vaccination.

“Once you’ve protected people that make up 99 per cent of the deaths from Covid, it doesn’t seem to me that lots of restrictions staying in place are actually sensible,” he says.

‘Progress’

The newspaper does however concede that the faster re-opening in Wales may be due to the fact that Covid cases are lower there and more of the population have received their second dose.

“This may be due to the fact Covid cases in Wales are significantly lower than they are presently in England,” the Express says.

“In the seven days leading up to March 6, Wales also reported a seven-day case rate per 100,000 of 44.2, while in England this figure stands at 60.3.

“Another reason Wales may be easing lockdown now is it is making progress in vaccinating its population against coronavirus, with the latest figures for March 10 showing a total of 1,034,141 people have been given their first vaccine dose.

“In total, 32.8 percent of the Welsh population have now received their first vaccine dose.

“Significantly, seven percent of the population have now received both doses of the vaccine.”

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