Wales will follow data rather than UK Government politics on reopening says Health Minister
Wales’ Health Minister has said that Wales will “follow the data rather than the politics”, as the UK Government push for a full reopening by 19 July.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm that almost all Covid restrictions in England will be lifted in two weeks – including making face masks voluntary and ending the 1m-plus social distancing rule.
Robert Jenrick, Boris Johnson’s Communities Secretary, meanwhile, had said that he hoped the UK should “move as one” out of Covid-19 restrictions.
But Health Minister Eluned Morgan said that they will “follow the data rather than the politics” as it was “very clear that we are still in a very difficult situation because case numbers are increasing exponentially in Wales”.
“Boris Johnson will do what is right for England and we will do what is right for Wales,” she said. She added that “time and time again deadlines have been set in England and missed”.
“In an ideal world we would like to move together,” she added. “But here we’ve been following the data and will continue to do that.”
She said that they would be considering the situation over the next few days for an announcement next week.
Eluned Morgan added however that “we’re very happy to see that there’s not as much of a connection between Covid and the number entering our hospitals”.
“We will have to learn to live with the illness and learn to adapt as a society to a situation where we will be exposed to this new variant and to coronavirus more generally,” she said.
Eluned Morgan added that she was “confident this wave will not cause the same amount of harm as previous waves”.
“We believe that vaccine has weakened the link between the virus and hospitalisation even with the new variant. However, it’s very important that people complete the course. One dose is not enough.”
She added that there will likely be “huge winter pressures” in coming months.
Yesterday Robert Jenrick, Boris Johnson’s Communities Secretary, told The Andrew Marr Show that the UK Government wants the other nations of the UK to follow England and lift all legal coronavirus rules on July 19.
He said the Westminster government was going to “work with” Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to “try and be as coordinated as possible”.
Jenrick said: “We would like the whole of the Union to move as one. We are going to work with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to try and be as coordinated as possible.
“Cases are slightly different in each of the four nations but certainly in England, our view is that things are looking positive for July 19.”
“We now have to move into a different period where we learn to live with the virus, we take precautions and we as individuals take personal responsibility.”