PRIME MINISTER Mark Drakeford has said the decision to end ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England next week is not part of a ‘prudent long-term plan’ but is a “headline to divert people’s attention from the Prime Minister’s failures.”
Wales will complete the move to alert level zero on January 28, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed, unless the public health situation worsens.
He said the phased plan to gradually relax alert level two measures and return to alert level zero will continue.
Welsh Tories have called for the immediate scrapping of the vaccine passport system, restrictions on businesses such as the rule of six in pubs, the abandonment of all social distancing and the scrapping of compulsory masks in schools.
Critics have questioned the Welsh government’s policy of easing restrictions at a slower pace than England.
Boris Johnson announced earlier this week that England’s Plan B measures were due to end from next Thursday, with face coverings compulsory in public places and Covid passports both dropped.
But the announcement came as the Prime Minister faced growing pressure to step down amid allegations of parties held at Number 10 during lockdown.
Mark Drakeford said the decision in England to drop those restrictions was not part of a carefully considered plan, speaking to BBC Radio Wales he said:
“I don’t think anyone objectively observing what happened in England would imagine that their decisions were made with due regard to public health advice and with some sort of long-term plan in place.”
“Their announcements this week are entirely due to the amazing mess they find themselves in and an effort to find another title to distract people from the Prime Minister’s failures.”
Drakeford said: “Here in Wales we are in a very different position, we have a government that can make decisions in accordance with advice, do things the way we have done throughout the pandemic, step following the science step by step, ensuring that we keep people safe in Wales.
Speaking to Sky News this morning, Mark Drakeford said it was ‘very difficult to see how the Prime Minister is surviving’.
“Even if he were to survive, he would limp because he will never escape the damage this week has done to his reputation.”
“From my perspective, what worries me most is the fact that the UK government is frozen by the impact of what has happened to it.” He said.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WALES?
The Welsh Government said the latest public health data “suggests Wales has passed the peak of the omicron wave and coronavirus cases are falling back to levels similar to those seen earlier in the autumn”, adding “There have also been reductions in the number of Covid-19 hospitalized patients.”
From Friday January 21, Wales will move to alert level zero for all outdoor activities.
- Crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events.
- There will be no limit to the number of people who can participate in outdoor activities and events.
- Outdoor hospitality will be able to operate without additional required measures introduced in December, such as the rule of six and 2m social distancing
- The Covid Pass will continue to be required for entry to larger outdoor events attended by more than 4,000 people, if not seated, or 10,000 people when seated.
- The Covid Pass is mandatory in all cinemas, theaters and concert halls currently open.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The latest figures show we are past the omicron peak and can continue to lift Alert Level Two protections as part of our careful and phased plan.
“We will lift limits on the number of people who can gather for outdoor events. We remain cautiously confident that the public health situation is heading in the right direction and next week we will be able to complete the move to the zero alert level unless the situation worsens.
“We are in this position thanks to the efforts of everyone in Wales and our fantastic vaccination programme. It is important that everyone continues to follow the rules and advice to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including accepting the offer of a booster shot if they have not already done so. »
On Friday January 28, Wales will complete the move to the zero alert level.
- Nightclubs will reopen.
- Businesses, employers and other organizations should continue to undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable steps to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
- The general social distancing requirement of 2m in all premises open to the public and workplaces will be removed.
- The rule of six will no longer apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hotels, cinemas and theatres.
- Approved establishments will no longer need to only provide table service and collect contact details.
- Working from home will remain part of Welsh Government advice, but it will no longer be a legal requirement.
- The Covid Pass will continue to be required to enter major indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters and concert halls.
Self-isolation rules for anyone who tests positive for Covid and face covering rules, which apply in most indoor public places, will remain in effect after January 28. The next tri-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will take place by February 10, when the Welsh Government reviews all measures at the zero alert level.