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Fresh lockdown in north-west England will result in people travelling to Wales, MP warns Boris Johnson

31 Jul 2020 2 minute read
Westminster Government Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Annika Haas (CC BY 2.0)

A Welsh MP has asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce leisure travel restrictions on people under fresh lockdown in the north-west of England.

Late last night the UK Government banned separate households in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire from meeting each other at home after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville-Roberts said it could lead to people travelling to stay in Wales, where the rules are laxer.

In Wales, people are allowed to ‘bubble’ with one other extended household and there are no rules on wearing face masks in shops, as in England.

Liz Saville-Roberts, Plaid Cymru’s leader at Westminster said that she had spoken to the PM as part of the  Westminster opposition leaders’ meeting.

“I questioned PM why no leisure travel restrictions from NW England Covid-19 outbreak areas,” she said.

“Lessons need to be learnt – the UK government’s announcement today will directly result in people travelling to holiday homes in Wales.

“The PM again refused to consider local furlough schemes, even though these are essential for effective management of local Covid-19 outbreaks and public confidence.”


‘Serious issues’

The confusion around the lockdown has also been criticised by politicians in the regions affected.

The UK Government say information from contact tracers indicated that most of the coronavirus transmission, which has resulted in a spike in cases across the city-region, occurred in private homes where social distancing was not being followed.

The timing of the government’s messaging, just hours before the local authorities were given legal powers to enforce the new regulations, prompted heavy criticism from Labour both nationally and locally.

Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell, who said on Thursday that her ‘inbox is full of questions I can’t answer’, told SkyNews on Friday morning: “I support any measures that keep this virus under control.

“However I think there are some serious issues about how this has been communicated and the process around it.

“I don’t think it’s good enough frankly for there to be an announcement via social media at 10 o’clock of an evening that [restrictions] are coming into force at 12 o’clock when nobody has been around to answer basic questions about what this means.”

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