Saturday, 3 October 2020

Covid rules in Wales must be obeyed , by those entering it.

 Boris Johnson has rejection  a call by First Minister Mark Drakeford to ban people travelling from Covid hotspots in England to Wales is a appalling kick in the teet for Welsh First Minster  Mark Drakeford.

The BBC report that

People living in locked down areas of Wales can only leave with a "reasonable excuse" but there is no equivalent rule elsewhere in the UK.

It means people from locked down areas of England can holiday anywhere in Wales not under local restrictions.

However the prime minister said he did not want to introduce limits on travel.

"I don't want to impose travel restrictions within the UK generally," he said.

"We are all one country, people should exercise their common sense.

"They should follow the guidance. And that's what we're going to do."

Mr Drakeford told Members of the Senedd on Monday he had written to the prime minister urging him to impose a ban on non-essential travel in local lockdown areas in England, in the same way the Welsh Government has in Wales.

He said it was only "fair" to have the same rules on either side of the border.

"As we act to prevent people who live in hot spots in Wales from travelling to England, and taking the risk of the virus with them, so the prime minister ought to do the same to prevent people from English hot spots from travelling elsewhere because of the risk that that undoubtedly poses," he said.

While people are unable to go on holiday to any areas of Wales under local lockdown, many of the country's popular tourist attractions are in places where prevalence of the virus remains relatively low.

The argument simple   if Wales imposes restrictions and lockdowns then this should apply to people from outside the local area visiting that area no matter where they are fromj.

In an interview for Politics Wales, Mr Johnson said he heard Mr Drakeford's concerns "loud and clear" but dismissed imposing travel restrictions in the immediate future.

Mr Johnson said he was open to taking further measures in the future "if it's necessary".

"Of course we will look at that and I hear what Mark Drakeford is saying loud and clear," he said.

"But what we want to do is drive down the virus across the whole country, but particularly in the hot spot areas, and that's why we've put in the measures that we have.

"We do want to make sure people are responsible and I urge people who are coming from areas where there is a high rate of infectivity not to thoughtlessly go and risk spreading it.

"The most important thing is to drive the virus down across the whole country and that's what we are doing together."

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts, had previously  pointed out that  the latest Welsh restrictions mean that those living in locked down areas of England – including parts of the north west,  the midlands and West Yorkshire – are permitted to travel through Wrexham, Flintshire, Conwy and/or Denbigshire into the non-locked down counties of Gwynedd or Anglesey.

While holidays do not qualify as a “reasonable excuse” in Wales, no equivalent rule applies in England, where residents continue to be allowed to go on holiday with people they live with.

Quizzed during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Boris Johnson accepted there were “seeming illogicalities” but offered no assurance that advice would be amended for the affected English areas.

Speaking in the Commons, Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts said:  “2.3 million people will not be able to travel in or out of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire or Wrexham without good reason.

“Yet people in locked down areas of England can still visit rural Wales.

“Travelling from Betws-y-Coed to Beddgelert can land you with a fine. But Rochdale to Rhosneigr? No problem.

In response the Prime Minister said: “There are different measures in place but overall the UK is proceeding with the same approach and I’m very grateful to Mark Drakeford and everyone else in the Welsh Government for the way we’re working together to defeat the virus.

“Yes there will be some differences and some seeming illogicalities which are inevitable in tackling a pandemic, but I’m grateful for the cooperation she is giving.

This is not a case of  illogicalties , but a case of disrespect and  the UK Prime Minister attempting to enforce his authority over Mark Drakeford and  Wales.

It is clear that although the Welsh Government have taken a a different approach to the de facto "English" government in Westminster. the latter has constantly tried to impose its disastrous  policy on not  only Wales but Scotland and Northern Ireland.

if this crisis has taught us anything, it is that we can not deal with it  whilst having our hands tied by Westminster.

Naturally an Independent Wales competence to effectively depends on who we elect, but it does mean no more begging letters to the English Prime Minister , but communications hopefully cordial reminding him that his Citizens on entering Wales must obey welsh laws and rules.

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