Wales to challenge PM to push forward ‘unworkable’ plan to close border to travelers in UK COVID hotspots TONIGHT – as PM Mark Drakeford says he is considering a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown ‘in the days
- Wales currently has 17 areas under higher local lockdowns than the country
- But companies have asked for more details on the future direction of the restrictions
- Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said visits to high-level Covid areas were banned
Wales today vowed to move forward with an ‘unenforceable’ ban on travelers from UK coronavirus hotspots.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that the rules will go into effect from 6 p.m. tonight after accusing Boris Johnson of ignoring his calls to impose equivalent restrictions.
However, the idea of border restrictions has already been ridiculed as impractical and anti-British by critics.
The move comes as Mr Drakeford said he was ‘watching very carefully’ whether or not to lock a ‘circuit breaker’ in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
If he went ahead with the proposals for the temporary closure of bars and restaurants, it would leave England as the only UK country not to have such blanket measures in place.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh government was considering a ‘circuit breaker’ lockout
Breaker would see all of Wales put on strict lockdowns, with hotel businesses likely to shut down
Welsh government to ban people from Covid hotspots in England from entering the country
Deaths in Wales have started to rise since the summer months which saw the plateau of infections
Mr Drakeford said: ‘The number of cases in Wales is increasing and our health service is under pressure.
‘To keep Wales safe, the Welsh government is therefore amending the regulations to make it clear that people living in areas with high coronavirus prevalence in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would not be able to travel to parts of Wales where there is low prevalence.
“It is vital that we keep communities that have low levels of infection as safe as possible and this sensible and necessary restriction will help prevent the virus from moving from more urban and densely populated areas to less populated areas.”
What laws can be used to prevent the English from coming to Wales?
Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford yesterday announced an extraordinary offer to ban people from coronavirus hotspots in England from entering the country.
In Wales, health protection legislation – a decentralized power – falls under the Public Health (Disease Control) Act 1984.
It was updated in 2010 to give public authorities “more extensive powers and duties to prevent and control risks to human health due to infection or contamination”.
In its basic form, the act allows Welsh ministers to legislate ‘for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection or contamination in Wales ”.
Laws that may be proposed include “restrictions or requirements on or in relation to persons, things or premises in the event of a threat to or in response to public health”.
While the law does not specifically mention movement restrictions, the travel ban will likely be enacted using the powers it grants.
However, the unprecedented nature of Mr Drakeford’s proposals – and the prospect of the ANPR being used to catch rule-breakers – could lead to a legal challenge.
It is not believed that a strict lockdown decision will be made until the weekend.
The main problem facing the Welsh government is how it could support people who could no longer go to work.
Minister Eluned Morgan told BBC Radio Cymru: “We have to think about several factors when we consider this because people are worried about their work, and we should make sure that an economic package is in place.”
Yesterday the Welsh Prime Minister said number plate recognition cameras would be used to impose fines on English drivers entering the country from sensitive areas, as police said the travel ban was’ “ inapplicable ”.
Mr Drakeford announced yesterday that he intends to ban entry to English regions with high levels of Covid-19 from Friday evening if Mr Johnson fails to impose travel restrictions throughout the United Kingdom.
But the England and Wales Police Federation said ‘policing in Wales is already overburdened due to the pandemic’ and the new measures would add ‘another level of complexity in maintaining order ”.
Mr Drakeford defended his proposals Thursday morning, arguing that police could use ANPR technology to catch visitors crossing the border.
The Labor leader also said holiday providers in Wales should not accept bookings from people in sensitive areas of the UK as he warned that existing getaway plans’ will no longer be able to be honored ”.
In Wales, 17 areas are subject to higher local lockdowns, which include rules prohibiting entering or leaving the area without a reasonable excuse such as work or education.
However, currently people living in Covid-19 hotspots elsewhere in the UK are free to enter unrestricted areas of Wales where virus levels are low.
Under pending regulations, people living in areas with high coronavirus rates in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will not be able to travel to Wales.
Welsh NHS chief executive Dr Andrew Goodall said he would also welcome any actions that help us control levels of community transmission ‘when asked if he is in favor of the ban on travel.
WHAT ARE THE THREE THIRD PARTIES?
LEVEL 1 / MEDIUM: This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place.
- you should not socialize in groups of more than 6 people, indoors or outdoors
- some businesses are required to ensure that customers only consume food and drink when they are seated and must close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- businesses and places selling food for consumption off premises may continue to do so after 10 p.m., provided it is a take-out service
- places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
- weddings and funerals can take place with restrictions on the number of participants
- exercise classes and organized sport can continue to take place outdoors or indoors with the rule of 6
LEVEL 2 / HIGH: In addition to the restrictions in the medium alert level:
- you should not socialize with anyone outside your household or support the bubble in an indoor environment
- you should not socialize in a group of more than 6 outdoors, including in a garden
- exercise classes and organized sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be allowed indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mingling with people they do not live with or sharing a bubble of support, or for the sport of young people or children. People with Disabilities.
- you can continue to go to open places or facilities, for work or for education, but you should seek to reduce the number of trips you take when possible
LEVEL 3 / VERY HIGH: At a minimum, this means:
- you should not socialize with someone you don’t live with or with whom you have formed a supportive bubble, in an indoor setting or in a private garden
- you should not socialize in a group of more than 6 people in an outdoor public space such as a park
- pubs and bars must close and can only stay open where they operate as if it were a restaurant, which means serving hearty meals
- places of worship remain open, but domestic mixing is not allowed
- weddings (but not receptions) and funerals may take place with restrictions on the number of participants
- you should avoid spending the night in another part of the UK if you live in a very high alert area
The government will also seek to agree on additional interventions in consultation with local authorities.