Police boss fears alcohol ban in Wales may tempt people to drink and drive
A police boss has shared his fears that a combination of the alcohol ban in Welsh pubs and open borders with England may tempt people to drink and drive.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has warned people not to drink in England, and then drive back to Wales.
Under the restrictions, that come into force at 6pm today, pubs are allowed to remain open, but they are not allowed to serve alcoholic drinks.
People living under tier two restrictions in England are able to have an alcoholic drink in a pub or a restaurant with a substantial meal. There are tier two areas that border Wales, such as Cheshire and Shropshire, where pubs are open.
Mr Jones said: “There is the potential of an increase in people driving to Cheshire for a meal and something to drink. I hope it won’t happen.
“There is obviously the danger of drunk driving happening in areas that are close to the border. They are allowed to serve alcohol with food in tier two areas. There is nothing to stop people from Wales from travelling to tier one and tier two areas in England.
“We obviously hope that people won’t drink and drive, but it is a possibility.
“There is a campaign to warn people against drink driving every Christmas, and I’m sure there will be a campaign each side of the border.
“If people do go over the border for a meal then I would urge them not to drink and drive. Just as we would any time of the year.”
The Welsh Government is issuing travel guidance which strongly advises people in Wales not to travel to other parts of the UK with lower levels of coronavirus. But people are still allowed to do according to the rules.
The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford brought in tougher restrictions on the hospitality industry following a spike in cases after the firebreak lockdown.
He said that this was necessary because of a “stark” rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Wales.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “There will be no restrictions on travel within Wales but we need to have some restrictions on travel across the border to those parts of the UK where infection rates are high to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“We are also advising people in Wales not to travel into those parts of England and Scotland where the infection rate is lower, to help prevent them taking coronavirus with them.
“Coronavirus doesn’t respect borders – we all have a part to play in keeping Wales and the UK safe. Please think carefully about where you are going and what you are doing. This virus thrives wherever we come together with others.
“Taken together with our other measures, these travel restrictions will help to keep us all safe.”