Plaid call on Welsh Government to ‘stop dithering’ and stop travel from high-Covid areas into Wales

Picture by John Jones (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Plaid Cymru have called on the Wesh Government to “stop dithering” and use their powers to stop travel from high-Covid areas of England into Wales.

It was confirmed earlier today that there would be no restrictions on people from parts of England under the most severe lockdown from travelling into and staying in parts of Wales that aren’t under local lockdown.

The Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething earlier revealed that there was evidence of transmission of Covid-19 as a result of people coming in from high infection areas of England into Wales. However, the Welsh Government has so far not implemented measures to restrict travel into Wales.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts MP said the rules as they stood were “unfair”.

“People from Conwy, with 122 cases per 100,000, are not permitted by Welsh law to make non-essential journeys into Meirionnydd next door, where cases stand at 18 per 100,000,” she said.

“Yet people in Liverpool, with almost 600 cases per 100,000 can still go on holiday in Gwynedd and Ynys Môn.

“People in Wales are asking the Prime Minister: how is this fair?”

In his response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “guidance was clear” that people should not travel from very high-risk areas.

Speaking after the session in the House of Commons, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “It now seems people will be asked nicely by the Prime Minister not to go on holiday from areas of high infection, but this does not go far enough and is clearly unfair to people subject to restrictions within Wales.

“People are rightly concerned that there is growing evidence that outbreaks in Wales are linked to the unrestricted movement of people from high transmission areas of England.

“The First Minister Mark Drakeford must now stop dithering on this matter and immediately use his powers to control the spread of the virus into Wales.”

 

‘Disappointment’

At a press conference today, Health Minister Vaughan Gething claimed there had been “an importation of coronavirus cases from contact with some of those high prevalence areas in England”.

“We will meet later today and we will then make choices given that their doesn’t appear to be a resolution of this with England over those areas,” he said.

“Sadly, the Prime Minister has chosen not to act so we will make the choices here in Wales.”

The First Minister Mark Drakeford also said that he felt “great dismay” after his calls for travel restrictions on those in high infection areas of England were once again ignored.

Later Drakeford said he expressed “deep disappointment” at the “inadequate proposals” for travel restrictions in high infection areas in England, and said these would be met with “great dismay” in many parts of Wales where infection rates are lower.

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