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Wales won’t be able to keep funding Covid measures if UK Government has ‘turned off the tap’ says Mark Drakeford

25 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left). Mark Drakeford (right), picture by the Welsh Government.

Wales won’t be able to keep funding Covid measures if the UK Government have “turned off the tap” of funding, Mark Drakeford has said.

He said that using their own budget the Welsh Government had been able to pay for some measures such as free testing kits and self-isolation payments longer than they were available in England.

But if no more money was forthcoming from the UK Government they would not be able to keep on doing so, he said, adding that the Welsh Government “still don’t have that clarity” about how much funding they will receive despite the next financial year starting in only a week’s time.

“Using the money we have ourselves, we have been able to stretch self-isolation payments in Wales into the first quarter of the next financial year,” he said.

“If circumstances of Coronavirus are such that people are having to self isolate on the scale that we see at the moment, of course, we would wish to keep those self-isolation payments available for longer.

“While we wait for final details of funding we will have for Coronavirus purposes, we’re not able to plan beyond that first quarter.

“And it may be we won’t be able to do it despite recognising by the pressure that that will create.

“But if a tap has been turned off across the whole of the United Kingdom and our funding tap has been turned off here in Wales and there is a limit in the end to how far we are able to go on doing the things that we regard as important and necessary while we’ve no help to do it.”

‘Cautious’

The First Minister was speaking after announcing that face masks will no longer be legally required in shops and on public transport and the requirement to self-isolate with Covid will also move into guidance.

However, two key legal protections will remain in place as coronavirus cases have risen sharply in recent weeks, driven by the BA.2 sub-type of the omicron variant.

Face coverings will remain a legal requirement in health and social care settings and coronavirus risk assessments must continue to be carried out by businesses, with reasonable measures put in place in light of those assessments.

Face masks and self-isolation will continue to be recommended in public health advice. A £500 self-isolation payment to support people will continue to be available until June.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We have seen an unwelcome rise in coronavirus cases across Wales, mirroring the position in most of the UK.

“We have carefully considered the very latest scientific and medical evidence and we need to keep some legal protections in place for a little while longer, to help keep Wales safe.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have taken a gradual and cautious approach as we have relaxed protections.

“We are firmly on the path towards leaving the emergency response to the pandemic behind us and learning to live with coronavirus safely.”

The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 14 April, when the remaining legal measures will be reviewed.


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Nigel Callaghan
Nigel Callaghan
1 month ago

And how many millions does it cost Llywodraeth Cymru to require people to wear a mask ina shop or public transport?

What’s that Sooty? Sweet FA?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

My friend is a shopkeeper and is pregnant but yesterday when I was in there, wearing a mask, there were several women in there without masks and my comment went right over their heads.

Mr Drakeford be a Bale and play the game…it cost nothing to wear a mask but your word has been above the law for two years now, please change your advice…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

It is the wrong moment to take off your mask in shops in Gwynedd…

Kurt C
Kurt C
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Wrong time in Rhondda Cynon Taf also. My household finally hit with covid and kids schools having issues of infection causing staff problems for lessons and catering, not just number of kids off.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

In a independent Wales a Welsh govt. wouldnt be reliant on the govt of another country to finance measures to protect people during a pandemic. Whether he knows it or not Mark Drakeford has just made a great argument for Welsh independence

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Yes the FM continues to point out the abuse levelled against our nation, not least by the jackal London press, while telling us in his next breath how wonderful it is to be a colony. Make your mind up Mark…. are you with us or them?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Manchester schools break-up this weekend so for north Gwynedd it is going to cost health and money wise, so many just don’t give a damn unless pushed. this is an insult to our last two years of doing the right thing…

Llefain
Llefain
1 month ago

More pointless winging when he still thinks we are better off with a begging bowl than a central bank and control of our own economy and laws.

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