My oh my… A little power certainly is a dangerous thing… I’m going to comment fully on this article, first published in Wales Online. My comments will be in black type and italicised.
MINISTER MARK DRAKEFORD EXPLAINS THE STEPS BEING TAKEN BY NHS WALES TO PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE SECOND SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS THIS YEAR. What possible second spike – I’ll use caps too – NO OTHER COUNTRY CURRENTLY EASING RESTRICTIONS HAS HAD A SECOND SPIKE!
The five-mile travel guideline in Wales could remain in place all summer, with no plans to lift the limit until July at the earliest according to First Minister Mark Drakeford. This will make Wales over two months behind England in this and seriously damages business and so the people of Wales’ ability to thrive.
At the Welsh Government’s most recent coronavirus briefing earlier today, Mr Drakeford said that easing travel restrictions was “not on my list of things to change” in the current three-week review period, which ends on June 18. Why not?
This means that the travel guideline is likely to stay in place until July 10 at the earliest. The Welsh Government is instead looking at other lockdown restrictions next week. As I have said, by then over two months behind England…
“We have no immediate plans to lift the stay-local message in Wales,” said Mr Drakeford.
He added that how and when the five-mile travel limit is eased will rely on the progression of the coronavirus in Wales, and that he could not be certain if the limit would still be in place in “another six or nine or 12 weeks.”
However, he added that it is likely to remain in place if and when parts of Wales’ tourism industry reopens. Seriously, how does that work? You can go to an attraction or stay in a holiday cottage so long as it is five miles or closer to your home? I have previously explained that the five mile rule is just that, a rule of thumb that is not law. Also it is not based in science. If two people meet who live five miles away from each other then that means a ten mile bubble has been created. Hundreds of thousands of people are travelling hundreds of miles up and down the UK and in and out of Wales in the course of their employment. And what about animals who respect no five mile bubbles or again what about cyclists who have been told they have a 40 mile bubble to play with?
At today’s briefing, Mr Drakeford said that there is potential for holiday cottages and self-catered flats to reopen for business later this summer, but that the situation regarding hotels and B&B rooms would be more difficult.
Mr Drakeford said: “It’s a difficult tightrope to walk because we want to lift lockdown measures further but we don’t people to run away with the idea that coronavirus is over.
“Even if we are down to 50 new cases every day, we have no idea who those 50 people might be, because coronavirus is a silent spreader. So it’s still very important to carry on with social distancing and with staying local.” This off the back of news that, on the 8th June, there were only 15 new cases. Where does Drakeford get his news from?
Mr Drakeford said that the five mile mile limit would remain crucial if self-catered accommodation was able to reopen. He suggested that people staying in holiday accommodation would have to limit themselves to travelling within a five mile area and not meeting lots of people. I’m not even going to comment on this – it is utter insanity. If you understand the logic please help me to understand it too…
The Welsh Government will need to first “secure community consent” before tourism is reopened, he said, adding that there will be a “very strong reaction at the community level” in North West and South West Wales where there have been very low levels of the virus. I say tell the NIMBY’s that are shouting loudest to shut up and to consider others. Their communities survive only because of tourism AND through public purse subsidies and the devastating and poorly developed plans for lifting of restrictions this summer will impact the young people who are employed in tourism and the business owners who are being placed in an impossible position.
As of yet, there are no plans in Wales to re-open pubs and restaurants, as has been discussed in England, and mass gatherings such as sports fixtures and concerts are not expected to resume until 2021. Shall I just cancel all walks through to January 2021?
The next lockdown announcements in Wales are expected on June 19, a day after ministers are legally required to review the restrictions. Why a day after – really, nothing that this administration is doing makes any sense… Apart from Drakeford looking presidential. Is that what we have now?