Wales not going to ‘blow the doors off’ on Covid restrictions like UK Government, Vaughan Gething says
The Welsh Government have no plans to “blow the doors off” and scrap most Covid restrictions in two weeks’ time as the UK Government are set to do in England, Vaughan Gething has said.
The Economy Minister said that the Welsh Government would not feel under pressure to get rid of restrictions “at the same time as other parts of the United Kingdom”.
He was responding in the Senedd to Conservative MS Gareth Davies who said that businesses in Wales were “going to find it hard to compete with their English counterparts” after social distancing rules are eased over the border.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that almost all restrictions in England will be scrapped on 19 July, just following Wales’ next three-week announcement on the 16th.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford has previously said that some restrictions would likely remain into the autumn and perhaps beyond.
It was a message backed by Vaughan Gething in the Senefd yesterday who suggested that any wholesale scrapping of restrictions to follow England was not on the cards.
“I’m optimistic about the choices that we’ll get to make, but we’ll do so in a manner that is responsible and not driven by demands to simply blow the doors off and allow everything to happen at the same time as other parts of the United Kingdom,” he said.
“We’ll provide dates and data when the time is right, and the Member shouldn’t have to wait very long for the Cabinet to make those choices.”
Conservative MS Gareth Davies had earlier said that if social distancing rules are scrapped in England hospitality in Wales would struggle to compete for customers.
“Minister, tourism businesses in Denbighshire, particularly those in my constituency in the Vale of Clwyd, have been decimated by the pandemic,” he said.
“The sector’s recovery is going to be long and slow, particularly as there appears to be very little detail in terms of opening up from Covid over the summer, which is essentially the peak time for the trade. Minister, without a relaxation of Covid restrictions, the likes of Rhyl, Prestatyn, Bodelwyddan and St Asaph are going to find it hard to compete with their English counterparts, who will face little to no social distancing rules.
“Even Scotland have plans to fully relax their restrictions. How will the Welsh Government ensure tourism businesses in my constituency aren’t disadvantaged as a result of ongoing restrictions, and will you publish a road map for recovery?”