Welsh Tory leader says Wales should follow England’s end date for Covid rules

Adam Hale, PA Wales Correspondent
·2-min read

A Welsh Conservative government would end all social distancing measures on June 21 if the decision was backed up by the science, the party’s leader in the Senedd has said.

Andrew RT Davies said it would be “sensible” to align Wales’ easing of restrictions with England’s were he to lead the country after the May 6 Welsh Parliament election.

Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford’s road map goes as far as “late May” with the potential reopening of indoor hospitality and holiday accommodation, but no date has been given for the potential ending of social distancing rules.

On Sunday Mr Davies told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show he would follow Boris Johnson’s lead in committing to a June 21 date for ending restrictions in England “if the science proves that to be the case”.

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“In the absence of the Welsh Government having a road map that is coherent and delivers for the people of Wales wherever you live, we believe it’s sensible to align those priorities to other parts of the United Kingdom where the science stacks up,” he said.

“So it’s led by science, it’s led by data, and if that proves to be the case on June 21, that’s what we’d like to do.”

Mr Davies said the Welsh Government had taken “different approaches for the sake of being different, rather than where the science points to have commonality” with the rest of the UK when it came to coronavirus restrictions.

He pointed to hospitality, where rules in England have allowed pubs, restaurants and cafes to reopen for outdoor services on April 12, while people in Wales have to wait until April 26.

Mr Davies also criticised the decision not to resume face-to-face teaching for years 7, 8 and 9 in Wales until April 12, despite all age groups in England returning to schools from March 8.