Tory MP slams Welsh Government for not scrapping Covid self-isolation rules
The Under-Secretary of State for Wales has accused the Welsh Government of causing “confusion and inconvenience” over its decision to delay scrapping self-isolation rules in line with England.
David TC Davies, MP for Monmouth, came out in support of the announcement, made by Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions at Westminster last week, that all Covid restrictions in England could end this month, including the requirement for those who test positive to quarantine for five days.
The Welsh Government has said it is not considering removing the regulation until at least the end of March.
Wales’ economy minister Vaughan Gething said the UK Government’s decision was not based on scientific evidence and warned that diverging policies on self-isolation would cause difficulties for people who travel regularly across both nations to live and work.
Mr Davies told the PA news agency that he rejected these claims, saying: “The UK Government have always acted on scientific evidence and have always been committed to returning people’s liberties as quickly as possible, whereas the Welsh Government seems to want to keep restrictions on freedom in place for as long as possible.
“Once again the Welsh Government have decided to do things differently, seemingly for the sake of making a statement, that they’re the Welsh Government and they can do things differently.
“This is just going to cause confusion and inconvenience for people living in Wales.”
At the press conference on Friday announcing the three-week review of the rules in Wales, Mr Gething denied that differing policies would cause confusion, and criticised the Prime Minister for “ambushing” the devolved governments with the decision to scrap self-isolation rules.
He said: “I think people have got used to the fact there has occasionally been differences between the two countries. It’s very clear though, the rules of Wales apply when you’re in Wales.”
In response, Mr Davies said: “The Welsh Government have been present at Cobra meetings where a lot of the decisions have been taken, so they know exactly how we’ve arrived at the decisions.
“They have not allowed the UK Government equal access to meetings at which they take decisions. So, we never have a clue what they’re about to do.
“We should be working more closely together and it’s an absolute crying shame that we can’t, and that instead of working closely, they’re determined to take every opportunity to attack the UK Government and drive a wedge between the UK Government and Wales.”
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