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Welsh easing of 2021 lockdown restrictions

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RomeoCharlie71

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Mark Drakeford is expected to announce a relaxation of national restrictions in Wales tomorrow, the main headlines being:
  • March 12th - scrapping "stay at home", replaced with "stay local";
  • March 12th - four people from two households allowed to meet outdoors, and outdoor sport can restart;
  • March 15th - hairdressers/barbers to reopen;
  • March 22nd - the controversial "non-essential" item restrictions in "essential" stores to be revoked, garden centres also to reopen;
  • April 12th - reopening of non-essential retail.
Welsh Government lockdown update on hairdressers, shops, garden centres and non-essential sales
Mark Drakeford will announce 'stay local' advice while golf clubs will also get to reopen from Saturday

Non-essential shops will have to wait until April to reopen but hairdressers and barbers can re-start trading on Monday.

Business Live revealed yesterday that Welsh Government was going for a staggered approach to reopening retail.

It has now been confirmed First Minister Mark Drakeford will lift the “stay at home” requirement in Wales from tomorrow, and replace it with “stay local”.
  • From tomorrow, four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors to socialise, including in gardens.
  • In addition, outdoor sports facilities, including basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses, can reopen, and indoor care home visits will restart, for single designated visitors.
  • Hairdressers and barbers will re-open for appointments from Monday.
  • From March 22 restrictions will be lifted on what can be sold in shops which are currently open - ending the controversial non-essential sales ban. Garden centres will also be able to open.
  • All shops, including all close contact services, will be able to open from 12 April – the same date as in England.
This final date will be a major disappointment to the retail sector who had hoped they could open in the coming days.

The First Minister will also announce an additional £150m to support businesses affected by ongoing restrictions with grants of up to £5,000 for rates paying firms.

The First Minister will say: “We are taking a phased approach to unlocking each sector – starting with schools. We will make step-by-step changes each week to gradually restore freedoms. We will monitor each change we make, so we know what impact each change has had on Wales’ public health situation.”
 
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Huntergreed

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On the same day that he announced he doesn’t envisage normality returning in 2021 and probably destroyed the mental health of a nation?

I have lost all respect for this man (not that I had any!)
 

duncanp

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I think this announcement leaves more things out than it includes.

What about pubs and restaurants, both indoor and outdoor?

Is there any date for scrapping all social distancing, as there is in England?

I think further easing of restrictions in Wales and Scotland will broadly follow the pattern and timings in England, even though the respective first ministers would never admit it.
 

Mintona

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Not looking very hopefully for my brother’s wedding in August, even though if it was in England it would probably be fine in late June. Madness.
 

AlterEgo

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Will “stay local” be guidance or law?
When will the dreaded English be allowed in?
I can’t see any detail on that.
 

Jamesrob637

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I think this announcement leaves more things out than it includes.

What about pubs and restaurants, both indoor and outdoor?

Is there any date for scrapping all social distancing, as there is in England?

I think further easing of restrictions in Wales and Scotland will broadly follow the pattern and timings in England, even though the respective first ministers would never admit it.

Pubs probably on the 12th of April. I can't see the English rushing to Welsh pubs then seeing as English pubs reopen that date too albeit only in outdoor settings. Social distancing will probably be abolished in the summer.
 

joncombe

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Will “stay local” be guidance or law?

Guidance it seems.

When will the dreaded English be allowed in?

Of course not. See the latest comments from Drakeford (quoting from here).

As we reported earlier, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford told the BBC that people from England would be barred from travelling to Wales when the nation reopens holiday accommodation - because the Westminster government will not have approved overnight stays outside the home at that point.

Now Drakeford says he could bring the reopening of "self-contained" holiday homes from 27 March to a halt if they are found to be taking bookings from people in England.

“If the industry were to act irresponsibly, the penalty would be we wouldn’t be able to carry on reopening," he tells the PA news agency.

He says there are "rogues in any part of life" but he hopes the tourism industry will comply so it can open up further. "We want the tourism industry in Wales to have a longer and better season this year than we managed last year.”In England, domestic holidays away from home will only be permitted from 12 April at the earliest, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household.

So there you are. He will ban the Welsh from going on holiday in Wales if the toxic English dare to cross the "border".
 

DB

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Guidance it seems.



Of course not. See the latest comments from Drakeford (quoting from here).



So there you are. He will ban the Welsh from going on holiday in Wales if the toxic English dare to cross the "border".

Right, so a holiday home in Welshpool or Llangollen accepting bookings from someone over the border is a "rogue". Honestly, this constant trying to find people to demonise is pathetic (and all UK governments are at it).
 

WelshBluebird

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Despite the rhetoric above, I don't see the problem with what has been announced. Given that people in England won't be allowed to travel for overnight stays for tourism purposes until April 12th, at least to me it makes sense if Wales are opening up tourism earlier than that then that will be restricted to people in Wales. And to be honest, come on its only what, two weeks? Anyone finding the energy to whinge about that really needs to divert that energy elsewhere.
 

Huntergreed

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This combined with Sturgeon shows exactly why public health should not be a devolved issue. Petty political games end up messing around with the livelihoods of real people and we end up in this game of 'who can be safest', resulting in politicians trashing their respective economies and the mental wellbeing of their collective nations in a bid to outdo each other for their own political gain.
 

WelshBluebird

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This combined with Sturgeon shows exactly why public health should not be a devolved issue. Petty political games end up messing around with the livelihoods of real people and we end up in this game of 'who can be safest', resulting in politicians trashing their respective economies and the mental wellbeing of their collective nations in a bid to outdo each other for their own political gain.
I mean, this is Wales deciding they want to open tourism up earlier than England. If you want to complain about English people being essentially banned, surely that is a problem with the way it is being handled in England, which is restricting overnight trips away from home until April 12th. The reasoning for this is basically so people living in England don't break the English rules whilst travelling from England to somewhere in Wales.
 

Bishopstone

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The early re-opening of barbers and hairdressers is an interesting move, and will lead to pressure for Johnson to do the same, before Easter.

I don’t underestimate the morale boost provided by a professional haircut.

Mind you - the Welsh haven’t got all of their children back to school yet, which many would say is a higher priority than a trim.
 

bramling

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Right, so a holiday home in Welshpool or Llangollen accepting bookings from someone over the border is a "rogue". Honestly, this constant trying to find people to demonise is pathetic (and all UK governments are at it).

Agreed. As well as being ridiculous, it’s also rather unpleasant.
 

AlterEgo

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Despite the rhetoric above, I don't see the problem with what has been announced. Given that people in England won't be allowed to travel for overnight stays for tourism purposes until April 12th, at least to me it makes sense if Wales are opening up tourism earlier than that then that will be restricted to people in Wales. And to be honest, come on its only what, two weeks? Anyone finding the energy to whinge about that really needs to divert that energy elsewhere.
It does seem that Drakeford was only saying the English can’t come because of Westminster’s own restrictions, I agree.
 

PHILIPE

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The early re-opening of barbers and hairdressers is an interesting move, and will lead to pressure for Johnson to do the same, before Easter.

I don’t underestimate the morale boost provided by a professional haircut.

Mind you - the Welsh haven’t got all of their children back to school yet, which many would say is a higher priority than a trim.


Boris would be able to get his own hair cut then before birds start laying their eggs in it :D:D
 

Randomer

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The statement about maintaining social distancing measures and no return to normality until 2022 has at a stroke made the rest of the changes seem a bit pointless to me. If by the middle of this year we have vaccinated enough of the population to establish a decent pool of immunity to the spread of the virus what reason can there be to maintain any measures?
 

kristiang85

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Drakeford is the same person 'considering' male curfews. The man is sick.

The Baroness who said it was making a tongue in cheek point that women are asked not to go out alone at night, and she was highlighting how ridiculous that actually is when she flips it onto men. Given the outrage from various quarters, it was a point well made.

Of course idiot politicians (predictably Labour ones) saw it as a virtue signalling bandwagon to jump on and take it as a serious suggestion for policy!
 

takno

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Would you say the same thing if it was a government you liked at Holyrood and one you didn't like at Westminster?
Personally I don't think normal public health should be a devolved matter. It's fairly clear that all three governments (probably all four, but I have very little idea of what's going on in NI) have wildly overstepped the powers that they should have under public health laws. If what we are doing at the moment is necessary, then it should constitute a state of emergency, and the declaration of states of emergency should not be a devolved matter.

For the record I hate the actions of all the governments. I just think that turning it into a bunfight about devolution plays right into Nicola's hands - it's not an independence issue, it's a criminally bad government issue.
 

bramling

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Despite the rhetoric above, I don't see the problem with what has been announced. Given that people in England won't be allowed to travel for overnight stays for tourism purposes until April 12th, at least to me it makes sense if Wales are opening up tourism earlier than that then that will be restricted to people in Wales. And to be honest, come on its only what, two weeks? Anyone finding the energy to whinge about that really needs to divert that energy elsewhere.

The problem with the Drakeford announcement is it’s very non-committal. We really should be at the point where dates should be set in stone.

Drakeford is the same person 'considering' male curfews. The man is sick.

Yes, it would appear so. Male curfews have no place in any civilised society. And in any case such a policy would be deeply misguided, as it’s still very much the case that most people are harmed by people they know, not by random people on the streets after dark.
 

WelshBluebird

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Drakeford is the same person 'considering' male curfews. The man is sick.
Personally I don't think normal public health should be a devolved matter. It's fairly clear that all three governments (probably all four, but I have very little idea of what's going on in NI) have wildly overstepped the powers that they should have under public health laws. If what we are doing at the moment is necessary, then it should constitute a state of emergency, and the declaration of states of emergency should not be a devolved matter.
I think we are in a weird position right now because there isn't really any clear reason why some things are devolved matters and why some other things aren't.
On some topics like the armed forces and international trade, those matters being in Westminster makes sense.
But as soon as you start moving away from the obvious, it gets pretty blurry (unless you of either extremes of opposing all devolution full stop, or wanting full independence for all constituent nations of the UK - in which case you probably think the situation is pretty clear regardless).

So based on the above, I'm curious - why should public health not be a devolved matter but say education can be?
The problem with the Drakeford announcement is it’s very non-committal. We really should be at the point where dates should be set in stone.
But we aren't at the place in England yet either. So to criticise Wales / Drakeford for one thing but not England / Boris for the same thing seems odd to me.
Especially if Wales are trying to open some parts of the economy up earlier than England are!

Yes, it would appear so. Male curfews have no place in any civilised society. And in any case such a policy would be deeply misguided, as it’s still very much the case that most people are harmed by people they know, not by random people on the streets after dark.
As above - https://twitter.com/fmwales/status/1370333991056850955
 

Carlisle

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And to be honest, come on its only what, two weeks? Anyone finding the energy to whinge about that really needs to divert that energy elsewhere.
As many scientists & politicians recommended cancelling Christmas but strongly hinted at the opportunities of celebrating at Easter instead, is it any surprise some aren’t too happy that’s cancelled too
 
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WelshBluebird

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As many scientists & politicians recommended cancelling Christmas but strongly hinted at the opportunities of celebrating at Easter instead, is it any surprise some aren’t too happy that’s been cancelled too
I think it can't be ignored that many people did travel for Christmas anyway (especially those living in London who have family elsewhere) and really we had the worst of both worlds - people officially not being able to see family for Christmas, but also still having much of the travelling and mixing indoors which would have spread the virus to a lot of places / people.

From what I remember, the scientists (and many other people) were saying the decision should have been made much earlier, arguably before Boris even announced the break in restrictions for Christmas. That way you wouldn't have got people's hopes up for nothing.

Anyway - I don't see what any of that has to do with the Welsh decision to allow some limited tourism for Easter. If you don't like the fact the England isn't allowing that, shout at Boris not Drakeford!
 

DB

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So based on the above, I'm curious - why should public health not be a devolved matter but say education can be?

Because it is completely incompatible with open borders over which the devolved administrations have no control, and given the way in which the borders are fairly meaningless in everyday life it just causes problems. This is particualrly so in the case of Wales where a lot of mid and north Wales will see Hereford / Shrewsbury / Chester as their regional centres, and England and Wales form one single legal jurisdiction.

He should have outright denied it at the time of questioning then. The fact that he didn't is what is most concerning.

Looks like frantic back-pedalling there! His point about a woman being killed by a man every 3 days is also very misleading - in a very large proportion of cases they will be killed by a man they know well - what relevance is a curfew in all those cases?
 

WelshBluebird

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Because it is completely incompatible with open borders over which the devolved administrations have no control, and given the way in which the borders are fairly meaningless in everyday life it just causes problems. This is particualrly so in the case of Wales where a lot of mid and north Wales will see Hereford / Shrewsbury / Chester as their regional centres, and England and Wales form one single legal jurisdiction.
Would you make the same argument for parts of continental Europe where borders are equally meaningless?
Take some of the borders between Belgium and the Netherlands which have also seen some of the same issues as the Welsh / English border has done during the pandemic.
The issues of complex border behaviour is not unique to the UK - far from it. Yet other countries manage just fine with having different rules on either side of "open" borders.
In terms of legal systems - that has literally no relevance here.
 
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