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Mark Drakeford slams Boris Johnson’s ‘premature and reckless’ plan to scrap free UK Covid testing

21 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Chatham House (CC BY 2.0). Mark Drakeford (right) Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Mark Drakeford has slammed Boris Johnson’s “premature and reckless” plan to end free Covid testing across the UK.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce this afternoon that free testing will come to an end as part of a raft of measures to end Covid measures in England.

The UK Government also distributes tests to other parts of the UK and any steps to scale back Covid measures in England will have financial implications for the Welsh Government, which receives its population share of any Treasury spending.

“Any decision to change the existing National Testing Programme would be premature and reckless,” Mark Drakeford said.

“Testing has played a pivotal role in breaking chains of transmission and as a surveillance tool helping us detect and respond to emerging variants. It’s essential that this continues.

“Any decision to effectively turn off the tap on our National Testing Programme, with no future plans in place to reactivate it, would put people at risk.

“In Wales, we’ll continue to make decisions to protect the health of people based on the scientific evidence available to us.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also expressed concern over the plans.

The reality of UK finance flows means this decision determines the money devolved administrations (paid for by taxpayers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have for testing,” she said.

Boris Johnson is due to update MPs on his plan for easing Covid measures in England this afternoon before leading a Downing Street press conference.

However, a Cabinet meeting at midday to sign off the plan was delayed after reported tensions between the Health Secretary Sajid Javid and the Treasury led by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

It was briefed last night that self-isolation laws in England could be scrapped as early as Thursday, which would be the first time people with the virus are not legally obliged to stay home in nearly two years.

In Wales and Scotland restrictions are expected to stay in place until at least the end of March, but the financial implications of ending measures in England may force the hands of the governments there.

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John Thomas
John Thomas
2 years ago

According to all his ex’s that’s not the only thing Pinocchio Johnson has been premature on.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Boris Johnson during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic pondered Hurd immunity , a decision that killed thousands until scientists bent his chubby arms to reconsider .
Now he’s led by the far-right ERG by scrapping England Covid restrictions forgetting millions have not been vaccinated either due to ideology. There’s still
thousands of vulnerable people who cannot be vaccinated due to health issues and although many in England are triple vaccinate can still spread Covid- 19, Delta & Omacron variants. His actions are wayward and crazy?

2 years ago

Just wacthing Johnson’s Covid announcement. Lord how I despise Tories…. Each and every one of them.

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
2 years ago

98% have antibodies, 90 % double.jabbed , 0..2 % have Covid in Wales., death rates are at normal levels. When is it time to move on ? after Drakeford joins the space race or when we each get free tree in the post ?

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