Wales’ Covid-19 efforts ‘undermined’ by travellers from elsewhere in the UK, Drakeford tells Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) in yesterday’s speech broadcast on BBC One. Mark Drakeford (right), picture by the Welsh Government.

Wales’ efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 are being “undermined” by the movement of travellers from elsewhere in the UK, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford said that the voluntary guidance approach had proved “ineffective” and “firmer action” was urgently required to keep the virus under control.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson he said that it would be more straightforward to manage outbreaks if there is less movement of people across administrative boundaries.

“I have been clear throughout that this is not a matter of the border between Wales and England,” he said.

“This is a matter of preventing the circulation of the virus from areas of high prevalence to low-prevalence wherever they may be.

“If you fail to introduce the sort of measures we have already introduced in Wales, it will make this an issue which will undermine rather than support the successful operation of the border region.”

 

‘Evidence’

In his letter, Mark Drakeford said that he had also written to the First Minister of Scotland and the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland asking them to regulate travel in a similar way.

“It would be better if all four nations were to act in concert, but in the absence of an agreed way forward, I will act to keep Wales safe,” he said.

“The voluntary guidance approach has proved ineffective and firmer action is urgently required to keep the virus under control.

“The evidence against allowing travel from high-prevalence areas is clear. Examination shows the infection, as a general rule, concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of travel.

“Much of Wales is now under local restriction measures and people living in those areas are prohibited from travelling outside their county boundary without a reasonable excuse.

“This measure is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.”

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