Nicola Sturgeon backs Mark Drakeford on Covid-19 travel restrictions within UK

Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0) Nicola Sturgeon picture by Arctic Circle (CC BY 2.0).

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that she’s backing Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford on travel restrictions within the UK.

Sturgeon said that she had received a letter from Drakeford calling on restrictions from high-Covid areas of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland into Wales.

Her response comes as speculation mounts that the Welsh Government could take its own steps to close Wales’ border to those from high-Covid areas.

“The First Minister of Wales is seeking agreement between the four UK nations on travel restrictions where necessary from high prevalence locations in one UK nation to lower prevalence areas in others,” Nicola Sturgeon said.

“I want to be clear today that I back the calls from the First Minister of Wales and I’ll be writing to the Prime Minister today to seek urgent talks on that issue.

“I also support the First Minister of Wales’ call for another COBRA meeting in early course to discuss collectively between the four nations what further steps we can all take at this stage to suppress the virus.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far resisted calls for any travel restrictions within the UK.

 

‘Fail’

Mark Drakeford sid yesterday that Wales’ efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 are being “undermined” by the movement of travellers from elsewhere in the UK.

The First Minister said that the voluntary guidance approach had proved “ineffective” and “firmer action” was urgently required to keep the virus under control.

In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he said that it would be more straightforward to manage outbreaks if there is less movement of people across administrative boundaries.

“I have been clear throughout that this is not a matter of the border between Wales and England,” he said.

“This is a matter of preventing the circulation of the virus from areas of high prevalence to low-prevalence wherever they may be.

“If you fail to introduce the sort of measures we have already introduced in Wales, it will make this an issue which will undermine rather than support the successful operation of the border region.”

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