As the lifting of lockdown restrictions are paused across England, and further restrictions have been imposed on a large area of northwest England, Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price MS has called on the First Minister of Wales to follow Scotland’s lead and limit non-essential travel between English Covid hotspots and Wales.

When localised lockdowns are imposed without travel restrictions, it means that residents only need to travel outside the area to be free of localised lockdown rules. Limiting all but essential travel between Wales and the locked-down areas of England, including the Greater Manchester area, will bring clarity to all, and help increase public safety.

Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, said:

“This is about the safety of our visitors and local communities. Restrictions have been imposed in the northwest of England to try to slow down transmission there, but with many of the 4 million affected people regularly travelling to the north of Wales for work or for holidays, this has a direct impact here, too. 

“The rules in Wales are now more relaxed than parts of England. Without a limit on non-essential travel between these two areas, we risk undoing all the good work to contain outbreaks in both countries. The example set by the Scottish Government to limit non-essential two-way travel is a sensible one, and lessons from elsewhere in Europe suggest similar precautionary steps should now be taken by the Welsh Government to prevent further spread of infection across Wales.”

Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth MS added,

“There are direct implications for areas like Ynys Môn and the north of Wales resulting from the new lockdown restrictions in place in the north of England. We need clear guidance and communication from Welsh Government about the behavioural changes that are needed on travel, socialising indoors, and masks for example.

“People must think very carefully about how necessary their journeys are between our two regions at the moment, in order to ensure that things are brought under control.”