Welsh Government prepared to diverge from Westminster over relaxing social distancing measures

Mark Drakeford. Picture by Christopher Jones / Alamy Stock Photo

First Minister Mark Drakeford has defended the announcement by the Welsh Government on Wednesday that the coronavirus lockdown would be extended in Wales and rejected allegations the move was made simply to “get in ahead of Westminster.”

The lockdown restrictions were due to end next week, but the First Minister confirmed “these restrictions will not end then. We will not throw away the gains we have made and the lives we can save by abandoning our efforts just as they begin to bear fruit.”

The UK government has said a decision on the approach in England would not come until “the end of next week” although an extension of the lockdown looks a certainty.

 

‘Right thing’

Drakeford said in a press briefing on Friday: “I wanted to be honest with people here in Wales and did not want them going into Easter believing they were on the final stretch and come next week the restrictions would be all over.”

In the briefing he also indicated the government are prepared to diverge from Westminster with regard to relaxing social distancing measures in future: “We will do the right thing for Wales at the time that it is right for Wales and we won’t be doing that by looking over our shoulders at what others are doing.”

His comments came as Public Health Wales confirmed that 502 new cases have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wales in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 4,591. 29 further deaths have been reported taking the total number of deaths to 315.

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Simon Gruffydd
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First Minister Mark Darkeford says “We will do the right thing for Wales at the time that it is right for Wales …”. But where is he getting his ideas and opinions about what is the right thing? Where is he getting his advice? International and highly regarded experts in virology, disease control, and pandemics are questioning the wisdom of lock-down, period, let alone extending them. Here in Wales the demand for scientic proof behind these decisions, not just fear-driven reactions, has already begun. See: https://wethepeople.wales/

Dai Rob
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Dai Rob

Utter Rubbish Gruffydd!

Kerry Davies
Guest
Kerry Davies

This is a wind-up, isn’t it? Nobody can get so much wrong in one letter without working really hard at it. It needs to be a tad more realistic though to actually take anyone in especially when what you link to disproves the very thing you linked it for.

JGHE
Guest
JGHE

I suggest you try to understand the underlying science. Covid 19 has quite different qualities to most influenza ‘The current reported mortality ratio for Covid-19, which is taken from the number of reported deaths and the number of reported infections, is between 3-4%. For hospitalised people, mortality rates average 12%, from 4% in the under 50s and to 20% of over 80s. For those who require invasive ventilation, mortality rates average 50% across all ages. Influenza has a mortality rate of below 0.1%. Roughly one billion people catch flu every year, and it is estimated that between 290 000 and… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Covid19 isnt even an influenza.. It’s proper name is SARS-CoV-2. Covid19 is the name of the dissese it causes. sorry no spellcheck. And it’s a lot more deadly than they like to let on. They said Boris wasnt on a ventilator – yet said it could go either way. Ive seen a video of a doctor saying that 50% of his intensive care patients have died.. not all on invasive ventilation. Anything to mess up their insane plan for herd imunity without a vaccine is good with me.. and i liked the Sod Westminster : ) your spot on there… Read more »

Mark Price
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Mark Price

At last our Government is acting unilaterally in something and not at either the behest or in mimicry of Westminster. In addition, Mr Drakeford is trying to safeguard communities already culturally diluted by incomers from secondhomers who need to understand that their own prime residential healthcare is geared to serve them, not the one where they will overload the a level of service geared to its permanent population. Full marks to him.

John
Guest
John

He got the thumbs up for it in LLandudno..

Gruff Williams
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Gruff Williams

If Westminster relaxes restrictions there is NO WAY Wales will not follow suit. Even if it did, do you honestly imagine that the hundreds of thousands of English people newly resident in Wales would take any notice? Not to mention the thousands of Anglo-Brit natives who despise the Senedd.

Mark Price
Guest
Mark Price

Sadly you are so right, Gruff. However if the Senedd does develop its own voice it could carry a groundswell and overcome the opposition o fthose who see it as weak. Many would disagree, but I for one hope it can.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

I think you make the crucial point here. Even when the Welsh government has been led by rather more charismatic figures than it currently is – Rhodri Morgan, or even Carwyn Jones – it’s generally failed to get the attention or arouse the interest of large numbers of ordinary Welsh voters, for whom it seems to have rather the status of an elevated county council! And in honesty how many of us outside the ranks of municipal political anoraks know who leads our local county or county borough council and carefully follows its debates? Mark Drakeford isn’t remotely charismatic; if… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Please Let It Be, and all power to Drakeford on this one!

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Yes, credit where it’s due. In fact, am I not right in saying that this is the second time that ‘Ole Dogged’ has strapped on a pair? I cite the moment when he rebuffed Westminster’s pressure to sanction the M4 tart-up?

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Indeed.

max wallis
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max wallis

The English Government has over-reacted to the mass hysteria, fuelled by the press. There is much in Simon Gruffydd’s https://wethepeople.wales/ . The experts are now admitting the lockdown has been stronger and better observed than expected, and that more businesses have closed down too, harming our economy. Vaughan Gething as Welsh Minister should disclose how many more deaths are caused by urgent cancer treatments being frozen, and how many deaths caused by closing down vital organ transplants. How many deaths in care-homes being pressurised to take hospital patients untested for the virus and having to care-for coronavirus victims spreading the… Read more »

David Roberts
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David Roberts

Absolute crap!!!

Jonathan Edwards
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Jonathan Edwards

Why, exactly, is this crap? Because his view, which a lot of shrewd observers (and doctors) share, is not your view? Do you really welcome the predictable Cardiff Bay virtue-signalling which goes like this – whatever x says, we will be even better! From now on, being better ie stricter or more risk-averse leads to a very bad result. The cure being worse than the disease. Wales has a very weak economy – the least we can do is get it going again now. Show’s over.

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

Good points well made. The hysterical metropolitan leftist elite wont like it at all.

Jonesy
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Jonesy

See New Zealand. Results

Kerry Davies
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Kerry Davies

They cannot make transplants while half the staff are infectious. The virus peak has far from flattened, more are dying than even in Italy and nobody has a clue how many new infections there are because we haven’t got mass testing. You don’t even seem to realise that the UK Coronavirus Act 2020 suspended the normal “death management system” so we won’t have details you request for many months yet. As for the economy it was flat-lining anyway before all this and now the entire world is in recession heading for a depression so nothing we do will save us.… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
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Ernie The Smallholder

It means that Wales will have to leave the UK before we can fight the coming depression and build up a good trading relationship with the rest of the world.

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Do you mean like the rest of the world? Even looney Trump has had to shut his big mouth.

Craig Ab Iago
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Craig Ab Iago

Well looky here. Our Welsh Labour government is finally ready to “diverge from Westminster”! 20 years!

G Horton-Jones
Guest
G Horton-Jones

Look at Howard Horton-Jones timeline on Facebook

JGHE
Guest
JGHE

why? I looked and saw nothing.

John
Guest
John

1 month and from 53 dead to over 13,000 dead and anyone questions the lockdown.. or it length.. Im very glad he went ahead and ignored them because they certainly havnt got anything right so far.. As for Simon Gruffydd – Where is he getting his advice? International and highly regarded experts in virology, disease control, and pandemics are questioning the wisdom of lock-down, period, let alone extending them. Here in Wales the demand for scientic proof behind these decisions, not just fear-driven reactions, has already begun. Westminsters own main advisors have now turned and siad there will be even… Read more »