Mark Drakeford urges people of Wales not to go to pubs in England when they reopen
The First Minister has said that people in Wales should not go to pubs in England when they open in less than two weeks’ time.
Pubs in England will open outdoors on 12 April but Wales will not open its own outdoor hospitality until 26 April.
Mark Drakeford was asked on Radio Wales if he was worried that people would “inevitably” cross the border go to the pub in England.
“Now look, that will happen. We can’t avoid it happening. I hope people will not seek to do that,” he answered.
“There is a Bristol variant of coronavirus which we’ve managed to keep out of Wales.
“And I hope people think very carefully about the actions that they take, and continue to do the things that people in Wales have done to keep themselves, and other people, safe.”
‘Not a long gap’
He was then asked by the presenter Claire Summers if he had thought about opening at the same time so that people do not feel the need to go to England to go to the pub.
“We absolutely thought of that,” Mark Drakeford said. “We rehersed it very directly this week with our scientific advisors, with our Chief Medical Officer.
“They gave us specific advice on that point and the advice was that we shouldn’t bring that date forward, because the risks of doing so would outweigh the advantages of doing things in line with how they are being done across our border.
“So yes, you know, we are very alert to that. We asked for very particular advice. The advice was clear cut. We should stick with the date of the 26th of April. That is the safest way to do things in Wales.
“And it’s not like it’s a very long gap, Claire, is it? It’s a couple of weeks. And here in Wales on the 26th of April we can now be confident that outdoor hospitality, pubs, restaurants, cafes will be able to reopen.
“And I know people in the industry will be looking forward to that, and glad to have a specific date that they can now plan for.”