Wales is the least impressed part of Britain with the UK Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 51% saying they have handled it well and 45% saying they have handled it badly.
The figures contrast with England where 61% say the UK Government have done a good job compared to only 33% who disagree, according to a YouGov poll for the Times newspaper.
Across the UK backing for the official UK approach remains high, with 60% saying that it is responding well, but this is down from 72% in the days after the lockdown came into force.
Health is devolved to Wales but the governments of the UK have so far largely followed a ‘four nations’ approach to handling the coronavirus.
However, Wales and Scotland have this week set out their own approaches to lifting the lockdown, raising the prospect that different nations in the UK could do so at different times.
Today Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford set out a ‘traffic light’ system for lifting the lockdown in Wales, saying that while the country was currently in a ‘red phase’ it could move to ‘amber’ with some restrictions lifted if the situation improved.
To move to ‘amber’ new hospital admissions would need to have fallen for two weeks and there would need to be evidence that hospitals could cope for at least 14 days if the virus started spreading more widely.
“We will have to have had hospital admissions falling consistently for 14 days,” Mark Drakeford told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast with Oliver Hides.
“They have been falling over the last week so it’s not impossible that we will get to that point and in that case we can move into the red zone.”
Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, published a 26-page “framework” for easing the lockdown and discussed plans for reopening schools, businesses and allowing small gatherings.
However today the UK Government said that they “don’t recognise” the Welsh traffic light plan and don’t want to set out lifting measures.
When asked about the Scottish plan Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told Good Morning Britain on ITV: “I know some people are looking in this space but the truth is it is too soon to make changes to the social-distancing rules safely. People should follow the social distancing rules because that is what is needed to keep this virus under control.
“It now looks like we are at the peak and the curve has flattened but it wouldn’t take much to lose that grip that we have on it, and that is why we are being very cautious in this space.”