News | Rhys Williams | Published: 14:56, Friday July 3rd, 2020.
Last updated: 14:56, Friday July 3rd, 2020
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that the five-mile travel guidance will be lifted from Monday (July 6).
Speaking at Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus press briefing on Friday (July 3), the First Minister said: “The conditions are right to enable us to lift the requirement for people to stay local.
“If all goes well over the next week, this will signal the phased reopening of the important visitor and tourism sector in Wales.”
However, Mr Drakeford asked the public to continue following the “golden rules”, which include working from home if possible, washing hands regularly and avoiding unnecessary travel.
He also confirmed that the two-metre social distancing requirement would remain in place.
Plaid Cymru’s shadow health minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said: “We have supported the stay local rule, but wanted Welsh Government to give more flexibility, in particular in rural areas. They responded positively to that.
“Now that guidelines on limits are to be lifted altogether, what’s important is what people do at their destination. Distancing, handwashing and the wearing of face coverings now becomes more, not less, important.”
Senedd Member Darren Millar,who is the Welsh Conservatives’ shadow Covid recovery minister, welcomed the news but urged the First Minister to introduce it today, and not wait until Monday.
Mr Millar said: “This Labour-led administration is currently fixated with introducing changes to its coronavirus restrictions on Mondays, but in doing so opportunities for contact, business income, and travel are being lost for yet another weekend.
“Ministers listened to our calls on winding back the date for the reopening of tourism in Wales, they must now listen to our calls to bring this change forward too.”
Ben Francis, Federation of Small Businesses Wales Policy Chair, urged people to “consider how they can support small firms that have either recently reopened, or will do so in the coming weeks”.
He said: “Businesses across Wales are facing a huge challenge as they begin to rebuild and provide their services again. So many small businesses in Wales stepped up during the pandemic and supported their communities at a time that our communities needed them most, and now businesses need our support in order to reopen successfully.
“We would urge everybody to think about how they can be a part of rebuilding Wales’ economy by supporting smaller firms.”
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