Coronavirus: 'Confusion' over different lockdown approaches in England and Wales

·2-min read

In the stormy skies over Monmouth, a rainbow appeared as the Welsh first minister announced the 17-day "firebreak" lockdown would end as planned in Wales on 9 November.

Businesses were told they would be able to reopen while two households will be allowed to join together to form a bubble.

But although travel within Wales will be unrestricted when the lockdown ends, Mark Drakeford said travel would not be permitted to England unless people had a "reasonable excuse".

The first minister said he did not want Wales to become somewhere people from England could escape the lockdown restrictions there.

For people living near the borders, the difference in approach to tackling coronavirus being taken in England and Wales is causing confusion.

Shaun Davies lives in Monmouth and runs a locksmith business. Most of his customers are a short drive over the border in England.

"I should be able to travel across the border as I'm classed as a key worker, no pun intended," he smiles.

"I'll have to be extremely careful and pick the jobs I think will be safe."

He's been working for nine days with Wales in lockdown, but from next week most of his customers will be facing more restrictions than him.

"It gets too muddled and too confused," he says. "Even if it was a blanket rule that was unpopular, at least people know what the rule is and know where they stand.

"It's just so confusing for people who live on the border."

His feelings are shared by Craig Jones, who lives in Wales but works for a security business in England.

He's waiting to hear if he'll be allowed to travel when England goes into lockdown.

"Personally, I think it should all be under one roof and England and Wales have the same rules," he says.

"Especially for a border town like Monmouth. I'm lucky because I can work from home, but lots of people round here are affected."

Neighbours Diane Evans and Joan Gwatkin were out shopping for essentials in Monmouth as the first minister made his announcement.

Diane, 75, has two sons who live a short drive away in Gloucestershire. She usually sees them regularly, but not since Wales went into lockdown - and now England is locking down, she doesn't know when she'll next see them.

"I think they should let us all get on because it's been around a long time. As long as we're careful," she says.

Joan, 85, takes the view "we've got to do what we've got to do" but her view on the devolved decision-making is clear.

"I don't know why they don't all get together and decide the rules," she says. "It's so confusing."