The First Minister of Wales -people in Wales to only make journeys that are “really necessary”.
Written by Gavin on 22nd September 2020
Mark Drakeford said “one of the central dilemmas” faced in Wales was the differing rates of Covid-19 across the country, with rates of the virus still falling in 10 local authority areas.
He said discussions would take place throughout Tuesday with local government, the health service, public health officials and the police about “additional measures that we might be able to take”.
The First Minister’s comments came hours before four more areas of south Wales are set to enter a local lockdown.
Newport, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent will all face added restrictions from 6pm on Tuesday, with nearby Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly having already had a lockdown imposed.
The restrictions mean people will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education, will only be able to meet outdoors, and will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household for the time being.
Mr Drakeford told the Senedd: “I will want to say something later today about trying to encourage people in Wales only to make those journeys that are really necessary.
“In Caerphilly and the other authorities where local lockdown measures are concerned, you can’t leave the county borough without a good reason for doing so.
“But beyond that, I think every one of us should be asking ourselves ‘is that journey really essential?’.
“Because the fewer people you meet, and the fewer journeys you make, the less danger you are posing to yourself and others.”
Mr Drakeford said this would be a message “to people everywhere about minimising travel and staying close to home as much as you are able to”.
He also said the Welsh Government’s approach to lifting previous lockdown measures had been “at a different pace and in a different way to that across our border”.
Mr Drakeford told the Welsh Parliament this meant Wales now starts “in a very different place”.
“Many of the things the Prime Minister is talking about doing today, we have already done in Wales,” he said.
People in Wales have been encouraged to work from home throughout the pandemic and that message will be “reinforced” today.
“Very early on, we put the two-metre distance in the workplace into our regulations – it’s not been in guidance in Wales, it’s been a legal obligation on employers,” Mr Drakeford said.
“The Prime Minister is going to tighten the rule of six. Well, our rule of six has been tighter all along – you can only meet somebody from your extended household.”