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Welsh Gov defends Drakeford dancing without mask at Diwali celebration

15 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford dancing. Image by Dr Bela Arora / Twitter

The Welsh Government has defended Mark Drakeford after he danced without a mask at a Diwali celebration.

A video of the First Minister strutting his stuff went viral on social media, but he came in for heavy criticism in some quarters because he was not wearing a face covering while surrounded by people in an indoor area.

Face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport. But a spokesperson for the Welsh Government pointed to regulations that say that face coverings are not required in a premises where food and drink is served.

However critics, including Covid-19 stats whiz Lloyd Warburton, have accused Mark Drakeford of “hypocrisy” because he has encouraged the use of face coverings.

In response to the video Lloyd said: “He went to some sort of Diwali event last week, just as his colleagues were telling us to wear masks and behave responsibly to avoid more restrictions. Today, this video has come out showing that he himself is not following the advice.”

Meirion Thomas said: “The @PrifWeinidog is again no different to other leaders ‘do as I say not as I do’. What on earth is wrong with them.”

Eric Hall said: “Not a single mask in evidence anywhere.”

But Mike Bryant said: “I would imagine it was an organised event where you had to either have a covid passport or a negative test. The mask mandate is ‘for open to all’ areas where there isn’t any control.”

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government told Nation.Cymru: “Face coverings are not required in premises where food and drink is served”.

According to the Welsh Government advice: “This is because the purpose of attending those places is to eat and drink, for which a face covering is not practical and, therefore, not required.”

‘Festival of lights’ 

The festival of lights was marked last week at Cardiff University by Mark Drakeford and Gaitri Issar Kumar, Indian High Commissioner to the UK.

The annual Diwali celebrations are a must-go to event for many in the strong Indian diaspora community in Wales. According to the 2011 census, there were 24,000 Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs in Wales.

They also inaugurated the Ganga Connect exhibition which focuses on reversing environmental damage to the Ganga river eco-system in India.

In his keynote address, the First Minister said that borders are irrelevant in the climate crises and impacts cannot be mitigated by individual countries acting alone, with international collaboration being the only way forward.

The Indian High Commissioner to the UK highlighted how Indians revere the Ganges and shared the high priority which the Government of India places upon the Namami Gange mission.

She further commented how Namami Gange mission brings together public policy, technology intervention and community participation to revive and rejuvenate River Ganga.

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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
12 days ago

It’s safe to assume all the required safety protocols were in place for this event eg covid passes so it wouldn’t have been necessary for the first minister to wear a mask at this event. And he was correct when he said “that borders are irrelevant in the climate crises and impacts cannot be mitigated by individual countries acting alone, with international collaboration being the only way forward”. Which makes the efforts of India’s Modi govt at COP26 to block international agreements to tackle climate change all the more disappointing. I hope Mark Drakeford will be communicating his displeasure with… Read more »

Cerys Davies
Cerys Davies
11 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

Stop defending the indefensible….are you a politician? Because the slimy deflection in your comment makes you sound like one

Ann
Ann
12 days ago

I would like Llywodraeth Cymru to explain to me why I still have to wear a mask in church, a large building where we are all seated at 2 metres distance facing in more or less the same direction, then if I walk along the road to a busy pub or restaurant I can walk in and sit down without a mask and mingle with many others at close quarters.

Steve N
Steve N
11 days ago
Reply to  Ann

Because the whole agenda is about control. Nothing to do with health.

duggie
9 days ago
Reply to  Ann

Straight out of church into a pub. Hypocrite.

Steve George
Steve George
11 days ago

Whether he broke the rules or not, how is this acceptable when only 30/40 people are allowed to attend a funeral?

Penderyn
Penderyn
11 days ago

When has Drakeford ever come to do a Twmpath celebration? XD

ArgolFawr
ArgolFawr
11 days ago

Whether protocols were followed and the risks deemed low, not wearing a mask was a foolish own goal. Just how the anti cautious and considerate want a First Minister to behave to reinforce their selfish behaviour. Very Johnston like.

Twm Teth
11 days ago

Why do the majority of posters on the subject of this virus seem to vilify those that have decided not to take up the offer of vaccinations. Do they think they are immune and cannot carry and transmit because they have been vaccinated. The vast majority of the vaccinated think whoopee back to normal no precautions needed off we go.
This is my opinion but it looks like the vaccinated are contributing a lot to the spread of this virus.

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