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Travel arrangements with Ireland crucial to avoid traffic disruption in Wales, First Minister tells PM

21 Dec 2020 2 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford the First Minister of Wales. Picture by the Welsh Government

The First Minister has told the Prime Minister that travel arrangements with the Republic of Ireland will be key to avoiding travel disruption on Wales’ roads.

Mark Drakeford attended a COBR civil contingencies committee meeting earlier today, which was chaired by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to a Wesh Government spokesperson, the First Minister made clear that arrangements with the Irish Republic were very important in avoiding the need for traffic management plans in Wales.

The meeting was convened to look urgently at the impact the spread of a new variant of coronavirus is having in the UK, and the subsequent decisions to increase measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Only essential supply chain workers and freight are currently allowed to travel between Holyhead and Fishguard and the Republic of Ireland, due to the new Covid-19 strain which is believed to have developed in the south-east of England.

The Irish Government today said that the he 48-hour travel ban to and from the UK was appropriate to assess the new strain and to work with the UK government and European colleagues to decide what comes next.

 

‘Management’

“The First Minister attended a COBR civil contingencies committee meeting earlier today, which was chaired by the Prime Minister,” a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said.

“The First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland, along with UK cabinet ministers, were also in attendance. It was convened to look urgently at the impact the spread of a new variant of coronavirus is having in the UK, and the subsequent decisions to increase measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“On the impact of the travel bans imposed by European partners, the First Minister updated the meeting on the current situation at Welsh ports. While traffic management plans are not needed at this point, the First Minister made clear that arrangements with the Irish Republic were very important in sustaining that position. UK-wide supply chains for food, medical supplies, PPE and vaccines are robust.

“The Welsh Government will continue to closely monitor the situation in the days ahead.”

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