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Travellers from Covid hotspots in England ‘very welcome’ in Wales but must ‘behave carefully’, Drakeford says

04 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford questioned by Naga Munchetty on BBC Breakfast.

Mark Drakeford had said that he doesn’t want to impose travel restrictions on people from Covid hotspots in England coming to Wales and that they’re “very welcome” in the country.

However, he conceded that “there is a very realistic prospect” that the new Delta variant will spread into Wales due to the fact that it was “spreading quickly” in the north west of England.

Scotland banned travel from English hotspots two weeks ago, but Mark Drakeford said there were no similar plans in Wales, although he conceded that the spread of the new variant into Wales was likely.

“We have to be realistic – the fact that the Delta variant is now spreading so quickly in the north west of England will mean that it will cross the border into Wales,” he said.

“The variant doesn’t see the border. And the amount of traffic that goes back and forth between the north east of Wales and the North West of England is very high every day. So there is a very realistic prospect that we will see that variant spreading into Wales.”

Presenter Naga Munchetty asked if he would therefore “like to be able to stop travellers from England coming to Wales, particularly from hotspots?”

Mark Drakeford answered: “No, I don’t think that is the position we are in at the moment. We have been in that position in the past. At the moment what we have asked people who come into Wales from those hotspot areas is, to behave carefully and responsibly.

“If they’re using lateral flow tests, to bring them with them. We can supply them ourselves here in Wales if they’re unable to do that. Because those individuals can act in ways that keep themselves safe and keeps other people safe at the same time.

“So we are very keen to welcome people to Wales. It’s the most beautiful day here today. And we know people will want to visit Wales. They’re very welcome. We ask them to be careful. To take all the precautions you would expect them to take. To keep themselves and other people safe.”

‘Safe’

Mark Drakeford was then asked by Naga Munchetty whether it was a “big thing to reply on trust”.

“Because the reason we’ve seen these hotspots is because the behaviour of certain groups, certain individuals, hadn’t been in line with what we’ve been asked to do,” she said.

Mark Drakeford answered: “Well, look, we’ve got to take some optimism about the way people are prepared to behave. We faced this in Wales last summer when borders were open and visitors came to Wales in large numbers.

“And all the reports I saw at the time were that visitors to Wales were keen to play their part in keeping those local communities safe. That people did behave responsibly, that they did behave in ways that demonstrated that they were aware of risks and were taking actions themselves to mitigate them.

“That is what we expect will happen again this year. And provided people do all of that, they will have played their part in keeping Wales safe.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago

So you have researched this on your whistle stop tour of seaside resorts have you
Mr Drakeford?

Have you asked Mr Gething his thoughts after his spell on the Llyn?

Locals are prisoners in their own homes unless they have to work for the tourist quid!
Get real man!

Rapsgaliwn
Rapsgaliwn
12 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Absolutely correct! I live on the Llyn myself and it is completely overcrowded with visitors, There is no possibility of being able to move freely. As you say, we are prisoners in our own homes, I dread to think what it will be like during the summer “season”. Yes, under normal circumstances, tourists would be an essential part of the local economy and welcome to come and enjoy the natural beauty etc that this area has to offer. However, given the current situation, it’s a total nightmare, a prime example of overtourism. Streets so packed, there is no chance of… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago
Reply to  Rapsgaliwn

True, every word. I’m not hearing from our local elected representatives at all…Mabon

Rapsgaliwn
Rapsgaliwn
12 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Exactly, very noticeable by his silence. Another example of talking a good story prior to the election? … Perish the thought!

Rapsgaliwn
Rapsgaliwn
12 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Just seen thus comment, in “The News In Brief” section of this paper …

Gwynedd, which is also covered by Betsi Cadwaladr, had nine positive tests in the last 24 hours and recorded the highest number of new cases in Wales for the second day in a row.”

I am finding it more and more difficult to give credence to Mr Jones’ from the Tourist Board, belief that tourism doesn’t increase transmission of Covid 19. Handy things, blinkers!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago
Reply to  Rapsgaliwn

Well, my reply just vanished in a blink of an eye Rapsgaliwn…Pob lwc

Rapsgaliwn
Rapsgaliwn
12 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Strange indeed!
I suppose we will just have to see how this all pans out … fingers crossed huh.
Cadwch yn saf.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 days ago
Reply to  Rapsgaliwn

A chwithau

Quornby
Quornby
12 days ago

This is weak. You weren’t given 30 seats to rely on selfish people “doing the right thing”. It’s time for YOU to do the right thing and defend the people who elected you.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
12 days ago

I’m sure the First Minister receives very good scientific advice, but this seems a crazy decision. This is either pure fatalism or a decision to put the tourism economy above public safety. Drakeford risks squandering the goodwill he has garnered in this country, and for little apparent gain, since we’re not talking about a ban on the whole of England but only a few areas of the North of that country.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Is it the allotment he looks forward to or Ennoblement?

Get too close to Fat Shanks and London and we know what happens.

I believe the former in this case but…

Maybe Mr Gething was sidelined because he feels as we do?

hdavies15
hdavies15
12 days ago

To ask a moron from a hot spot area to behave with care is like asking a kid to leave a sweet shop empty handed. No mention made of what constitutes “not behaving” or what the penalties might be in such cases.

No wonder the mouthy Naga was looking pleased with herself. Those journos are like a pendulum – one day it’s “why aren’t you stricter” then next day it’s “why can’t we go out to play” and I’ve seen them manage to combine both extremes in one sentence. MSM is a curse, best only watch it in small doses.

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