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Fears of friction over Covid restrictions as holidaymakers flock to Wales

16 Jul 2021 5 minutes Read
Picture by Llywelyn 2000 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

There are fears that a significant divergence in Covid laws between Wales and England could lead to “some friction” as visitors continue to cross the border over the summer.

In England from Monday, July 19 – dubbed as ‘Freedom Day’ –  the legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops and public transport will end, to be replaced with less stringent recommendations that masks be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces.

This includes the reopening of all remaining closed businesses and venues, including nightclubs, with all capacity limits also set to be removed.

But in Wales, where public health is a devolved issue, this will not be the case with face coverings remaining a legal requirement in all indoor public places for at least another three weeks unless health exemption applies.

This covers supermarkets and hospitality, with the only exception being when seated inside a pub or restaurant, as well as public transport and taxis with anyone travelling into Wales by rail expected to put a mask on after crossing the border.

The Welsh Government has suggested August 7, provided that the public health situation allows it, as a date to relax the regulations to more closely match those of England’s, with such a move to Alert Level 0 dropping the legal requirement to wear masks in such settings.

Concerns

But concerns have been raised that the lack of clarity over the divergence in Covid-19 rules could lead to issues, with the majority of visitors to popular tourist venues tending to cross the border from England.

In the Commons on Wednesday, Arfon MP Hywel Williams urged the Prime Minister to “make it clear that those visiting Wales this summer must stick to Welsh laws” and to clarity that on Covid regulations that he could only speak for England.

In response, Boris Johnson said, “I think that people should stick to the rules and the guidance wherever they are, and the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to talk about a cautious and measured approach.”

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Anglesey Council’s portfolio holder for economic development and tourism praised the Welsh Government’s handling thus far.

“Mark Drakeford’s approach to dealing with the pandemic has been more cautious and totally focused on protecting the people of Wales and the First Minister has served us well,” said Cllr Carwyn Jones, a member of the Plaid Cymru-led administration.

“Boris Johnson has been more gung-ho in his approach and is dropping the covid public health measures as of Monday in England.

“This difference in approach and response between England and Wales will potentially create some friction in certain situations with the summer holidays now upon us and different rules in place.

“I was aware during the first lockdown that some people visiting Anglesey from England were genuinely confused with the rules as they only get the updates on the English network TV that Boris Johnson was conveying, and he does so in a way that you could easily misconstrue what he is saying as covering the whole of the UK.

“I would urge everyone who is visiting Anglesey to come here and enjoy but do so on the proviso that you abide by the rules that are in place here in Wales, respect the businesses and the measures they have in place and respect our local communities and our precious environment.”

Cllr Carwyn Jones at Llanddona Beach on Anglesey.

Meanwhile, a Gwynedd Council spokesperson said that signage is in place both on the border and within the county to remind people of the rules enforced in Wales.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have been urging those who choose to visit Gwynedd to be patient, to plan visits in advance and to respect our communities by following Welsh Covid-19 rules in full,” said a council spokesperson.

“We work closely with our partners from Welsh Government, including Visit Wales, local authorities, the police and other key organisations to ensure that people visitors are aware of the latest Welsh regulations.

“As part of this, signage is in place as people approach Wales to remind them of the need to adhere to Welsh Covid-19 regulations. We also have signage in place in Gwynedd’s towns and popular destinations to remind residents and visitors of the importance of keeping to the rules to help stop the spread of the virus.

“We are promoting the latest Welsh Government regulations on all our channels and reminding those visiting Wales of the need to keep wearing face masks and social distancing.

They added, “Information is also being circulated to Gwynedd businesses via regular bulletins which include posters and assets which can displayed to amplify the Welsh Covid-19 regulations, and our tourism and marketing team are using all their resources including the Snowdonia Mountains and Coast website to make sure that visitors from outside Wales are fully aware of the latest situation.

“Council Covid-19 community engagement officers continue to visit communities across the county to advise residents and businesses and will be reminding members of the public of the latest regulations, including the need to wear face coverings and keep social distance in indoor public places.

“Our priority is to keep the people of Gwynedd and the people who visit our county safe. But we all have a part to play in that and to stop the spread of infection.”


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Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago

Can we have large, clear, bilingual and permanent signs along all of the border reminding those crossing over that they are moving from one nation to another and that different regulations may apply. And as soon as possible please.

Last edited 9 months ago by Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago

Yep I did read the article and it gave me the idea. The signs would be “permanent” and not just for Covid, indeed they would probably not mention Covid at all. They are signs to remind travellers that England and Wales are different and may not have the same regulations or laws. Many roads crossing the border already have some kind of sign but I think there should be a standard format that is large, bilingual and clear with some artistic merit.

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago

Silly me. Only you made the comment under an article about differing Covid regulations in England and Wales.

Fair enough. Given that England and Wales follow the same legal system, what vital differences warrant these signs?

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Ah demands from complexity fallacy. You know that Cymru holds devolved powers yes? You understand that devolution does not exist to rubber stamp everything Westminster says and does? To contradict someone who was ejected from Eryri for breaking our rules by coming for a day trip at the height of the pandemic: England doesn’t OWN Cymru. In devolved matters OUR laws and rules take precedence. Quite frankly many visitors are, like you, wilfully ignorant, even contemptuous, of the differences and could do with being reminded of this every time they leave the chaos of Mordor to enjoy our natural splendour.… Read more »

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

What are its differing public order laws?

Otherwise : Welcome to Nationalist Cymru : we will burn your holiday home as soon as we can find an intelectually challenged metal machinist to carry the can.

Oh and it’s different when some pot bellied local rugby club goes “on tour” isn’t it?

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Increasingly it is not just “Nationalist Cymru” which is beginning to see the potential benefits of independence from a state currently dominated by people who believe that Wales/Cymru does not or should not exist.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Cymru wants independence. That is not nationalism. It says a lot about you that you can’t tell the difference.
We want freedom from far right authoritarian politics. We support multiculturalism and we do not claim some sort of arrogant, jingoistic, national superiority. That is your game.
You clearly loathe all of us so
1. Stop opposing us dumping UKBIN
2. Never visit. We will all be happier

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Where does Cymru support multiculturalism?

Over 76 post war years very few ethnic minorities live there.

A Nigerian woman in Gwynedd had Swastikas painted on her door?

Your own black English football captain was abused by fans.

Asylum seekers in Penally are abused by locals on a daily basis.

Cardiff fans sing “better black than jack”

This is an amateur journalism site that has no credibility beyond around 10 or so xenophobic wackos.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

I’ve just found a dummy and some toys on the floor by a pram. Are they yours by any chance?
Still, good effort trying to drag my nation down to your level.
Oh and slagging off this site? Perhaps you should clear off to GB News where your kind dwells. The other two will be pleased to see you. But whatever you do, don’t kneel down to tie your shoelaces (I assume you can tie your shoelaces)

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris don’t get personal with Mark Archer, tempting though it may be. 🤣🤣🤣

Chris
Chris
9 months ago

I take your point but turnabout is fair play.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Cardiff supporters would rather be black than come from Swansea, that isn’t very woke but it is hardly serious racism. 😄😄 As an aged Swansea Uni graduate I can tell you that Cardiff”s distain for Swansea is reciprocated. 🤣🤣🤣

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago

Oh the inverted bigotry of the Welsh Nationalist.

I really hope these plans to house asylum seekers in second homes in Gwynwedd don’t come off.

For the asylum seekers’ sake.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Awww poor baby! You’re really upset aren’t you? We’re you expecting when you threw your abusive little tantrum that us “Bally taffies” would quiver in fear of your Anglo Saxon stiff upper lip. Get over yourself ya bigoted t1t

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Here we go again, insults. My lovely Welsh daughter currently works with refugees in Berlin, providing them with assistance and support, an example of Welsh internationalism. The political environment in most of Wales is further left than it is in England and the left of the political spectrum tends to be less nationalistic than the right. But when the political left is threatened by right wing nationalism it may look to alternative policies to protect its core philosophy, I think Mark Drakeford is saying exactly this.

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago

Your comments defending Cardiff / Swansea racism then extolling the virtues of your daughter working on Berlin as somehow “Welsh internationalism” sum up the nationalist retiree.

Wales is not a multicultural country, it has major areas of bigotry and intolerance and a retired former public sector trying to avert that on the basis of what his daughter does in Germany is just narcissistic.

“my daughter helps refugees / the only immigrants in Sketty are doctors”

Yep. There is a lot of that.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Wow, so many wrong assumptions, in fact none of them were right. Seriously don’t try and get a job that requires a lot of analytical or deductive reasoning, I don’t think you will do well. 😂😂😂😂

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
9 months ago

I’d hesitate to refer to Welsh indy-supporters as right-wing, Nick; I think the movement includes both socialists and the more conservatively-minded. “All under one banner”, and all that…
Or were you refereing to BritNats?

Last edited 9 months ago by Wrexhamian
Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Wrexhamian I didn’t mean to suggest Welsh indy-supporters are right-wing, patently they are not because I count myself as one, indeed I think we may be on the cusp of a major generation change in Welsh politics where the left leaning and traditionally unionist parts of our country are about to embrace self determination. I wish I could discuss this with you in detail but I don’t think this is the ideal medium. To me YesCymru (if it can get its act together) could be a massive force to unify Wales. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

defaid
defaid
9 months ago

I very much doubt any Welsh local authority would need to resort to Google translate.

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  defaid

I know they liked putting up out of office replies

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

This is why we like our public servants to speak a little Cymraeg. So that idiot monoglots don’t stuff up like that

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Ah yeah. Using the odd word to make it look like you can speak it instead of actually learning it.

Bit like the comments on here.

And the Welsh population as a whole don’t want Independence.

A referendum would probably yield a 17% Yes vote.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

I could put more in Welsh but you would not understand it or would whine about Google. I’m not fluent like many of the other posters, but I am better at YOUR language than you are. I’m interested where you get the authority to speak for the Cymry as a whole. I take it that’s just the usual arrogance and ignorance of many in your nation. Current polls state up to 45% support. Not long now til we are a majority and the referendum can be called. Every time a Boris minion speaks, the support for independence rises. Ironically, berks… Read more »

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

It is clear that you :

1. Don’t speak Welsh
2. Have some weird personal insult based presence on here that really achieves nothing other than make you come across as deranged and bitchly ineffectual.

45% in a referendum?

Dream on subject.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

😆😆😆😆😆 mate if you were getting any more gammony with rage I’d have to drop a pineapple ring and cherry onto you. A GREAT BRITISH PINEAPPLE though

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Somebody talking for the “Welsh Population”? A lot of Tories seem to do that because they tend to only talk to other Tories. Anybody who claims to speak for “we the people” makes me want to reach for a book on 20th century European history. Snapshots are interesting but trends are more important. Interest in Welsh self determination was smouldering, then flickering and the current attitudes from Westminster are pouring an accelerant on it. In my sixty odd years the topic of Welsh Independence hardly ever came up in conversation and now I hear it everyday, that I suspect is… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
9 months ago

Friction ? The only friction might arise if some arrogant tourist/visitor decides that the rules “back home” apply to him /her even when in Wales. The friction would then occur as his/her chin gets dragged down the M4/A55 when helped to buzz off home. No need to be too gentle with these morons. Give them exactly what they want to dish out to refugees crossing from France in little dinghies etc

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
9 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Friction? I find that calling the Heddlu can lubricate the situation.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago

Be interesting to know what Powys CC are doing, considering the length of their border with England

defaid
defaid
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Living here, I can say with a degree of confidence… probably nothing. Encouraging visitors to overnight on the roadside perhaps.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  defaid

yes, especially if Fay has any involvement with it, she was all for Powys staying “open” due to our low population density, poor thing, couldn’t quite grasp why our virus numbers appeared to be so low.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Might I suggest a minefield? Relatively inexpensive and self policing.
However, if the county is a bit squeamish about that whole pesky “breaking international law” thing, can I suggest large effigies of well known Welsh people taking the knee against racism? As we know, this will cause all the the thin skinned Brexiteers to froth with rage, shriek “Marxist wokist elitist forriners!!!!” And boycott us!! Meaning that we only get the nice English visiting us.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Another nice cheap way to keep the Anti-Equality one Nation Brexiteer types from violating our beautiful land:- They worship flags right? Well they worship THEIR flag and have invested some kind of b0110cks holy status in it. How about we paint a Butcher’s Teatowel on EVERY road into and out of Cymru that drivers must drive over. This will make them furious and they will boycott us. They will probably express their fury at us by punching Welsh cakes, stamping on cheese on toast and kicking seaweed. Even burning Welsh lamb. All of which they will have to purchase first,… Read more »

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Do you have some kind of perverted fixation with the English?

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Sorry to disappoint you no. The English as a people (apart from the shallow end of the gene pool) are as nice as anyone anywhere.
But I don’t care for bigots and get great enjoyment counter-trolling.
My interest in UKBIN is only to free Cymru from it because it’s a p155ing disaster for anyone not Wealthy and in the SE of England,
I hope that helps.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Good one Chris!!!!

Chris
Chris
9 months ago

If the rules allow them to visit, our neighbours to the East are very welcome.
If anyone has a snit fit about obeying OUR rules they can enjoy a swift, frictionless return to their place of departure on the toe of a sturdy Welsh boot.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

The Welsh boot option is probably a non-starter but a very hefty instant fine would be possible. Do we have enough police officers?

Last edited 9 months ago by Nick Randall-Smith
Chris
Chris
9 months ago

Maybe we could form a street militia like “Brittan Ferst” or the EDL (but with better fitness levels) to “perteckt are streets”, but from One Nation gammons not “forriners”

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Too many North Walians end up as bitch when they mix it with the Scousers sadly.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Are you REALLY claiming “we’re harder than you are”?
What are you? 12? 😄😄😄

Ma Karcher
Ma Karcher
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

It was a response to your notion of a militia…

Do it. It would be make for some fun times…

But seriously trying to act all Welsh mafia in North Wales to the local girls who secretly fancy the guys with the six pack and Cheshire money isn’t exactly the Sopranos.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Ma Karcher

Yes I guess the nuance of humour is lost on you then. I can’t believe you’re actually trying to scrabble for credibility by being all “Midlands Gangsta”. You really ARE a child aren’t you?
It’s a hot day. I suggest you take a nap. You seem over tired

Mark
Mark
9 months ago

we could have if policing was devolved

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

I expect many of the hen oed will be glad to get across the border and under the wing of Mr Drakeford for safety’s sake…Refugees…?

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

As a compassionate nation we should take them too. So long as they integrate 🥸

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I doubt the ones in Penally will agree with you.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

There are English refugees in Penally?! 🤨

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

Ah you were lying about Penally!! ☝️ the UK Home Orifice run Penally Concentration Camp so would never put Anglos in there!
I think you raised it to suggest Cymru was as hateful to refugees as UKBIN.
Y Senedd does not manage ANY Refugee concentration camps. They are all UKBIN.
When we are free, these will not exist in our nation

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Spot on, helping them to understand that they are really in another country where we have different values and priorities and hopefully a functioning moral code. Sadly the integration part of it seems to get left off the agenda, mind you you can’t help some people…

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Has anybody else had this in the last few days, an unsolicited letter from an estate agent based in England (Fine and Country Properties Ltd) offering a free valuation of our house with the promise of wealthy buyers waiting?

Is Wales up for sale?

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago

They are based all over the UK and have franchise members all over Wales.

It would be Welsh agencies doing the deal.

Yes it is up for sale as long as Welsh residents enjoy making money.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

We have had junk mail flyers from local estate agents before but never house address specific, posh paper, letter like offers from a company based nowhere near Wales. I am concerned that our local rural housing market is being targeted by shady estate agents from elsewhere who are trying to hype the market which may further undermine the ability of local people on low incomes in rural Wales to buy their own homes. I saw this sort of venal behaviour by estate agents when I lived in London after leaving university back in the 1980s. When we moved back to… Read more »

Mark Archer
Mark Archer
9 months ago

Again. Local Welsh agents operate under the fine and country banner. Go and see them and make them stop

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark Archer

As if that is going to work. 🤣🤣🤣

Ma Karcher
Ma Karcher
9 months ago

No point moaning if you won’t do anything then.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

My mother in law gets them or similar quite often, I keep my place a tip and get left alone…it has been for sale as long as I can remember. The 70’s was a bad time, some of the best buildings were knocked down and replaced with ugly modern rubbish. Sorry I’m turning into Mrs Tygwyn…

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Mab, The happiest homes are not the neatest homes. If a home is too tidy and the owner worries about its value all the time it’s a sure sign that they need to “get a life”, that’s what father told me fifty years ago. 😂😂😂

Chris
Chris
9 months ago

Well it is a “raging success” in the West Bank. Now the ONBs are trying it here. No compulsory purchase orders yet. Just appealing to the greed of home owning Boomers and hoovering up properties for “settlers”

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I went to Jerusalem and the West Bank a couple of years ago and saw first hand how Israeli (American) money was changing the skyline. 🤔☹️

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

‘American money’ indeed…good to point that out Nick…

Chris
Chris
9 months ago

Did the same back in the 90s. In fairness Jerusalem as a whole is worth a 45 minute toilet stop, but the whole “West Bank Settlement Scheme” is a crime against humanity, as is the illegal Gaza internment camp. As you say USA is the main sponsor of this. Although Priti Evil Patel is trying to get a slice of that action

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I must admit I went out there with an open mind and came back with little sympathy for the Israeli point of view. From what I saw on the ground Israeli policy towards the Palestinians appeared to be one of suppression, containment and sequestration. Lots of guns and a strong belief in the maxim “might is right”. I didn’t like the place much, the River Jordan is a ditch and the Dead Sea looks like an environmental disaster in progress.

Israel and Jersusalem (1 of 1)-41.jpg
Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
9 months ago

Excuse the virtue-signalling, but I boycott Israeli produce, and so did my dad.

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