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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Labour politicians make statement to "clarify" PM's lockdown announcement

* Clwyd South MS Ken Skates is amongst those who have signed the statement.

Six North Wales Labour politicians have put out a joint statement "clarifying" what they say is confusion caused by the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday about the easing of lockdown.

The statement has come from Ken Skates MS, Hannah Blythyn MS, Lesley Griffiths MS, Ann Jones MS, Jack Sargeant MS and Mark Tami MP.

It says: "As elected members for constituencies close to the border with England, we recognise that the Prime Minister's statement regarding the UK Government’s easing of the lockdown (Sunday) created confusion for many of our constituents following the First Minister’s statement last Friday.
"Firstly, we would like to clarify the position for people who live in Wales but work in England.​​ The regulations on employment have not changed. 

"You are able to go to work whether in England or Wales as long as you can’t work from home and it is safe to do so. 

"​​If your normal place of work is in Eng​land, you should discuss your working ​arrangements with your employer in the first instance. 

"If they ask you to go back to work, they should be able to demonstrate why you can’t work from home and what measures they have taken or are putting in place to help with hygiene and social distancing. If they are unable to do so, please do not hesitate to contact us or your trade union if you're a member of one.​"

It goes on: "The Covid-19 situation remains extremely serious. The over-arching advice in Wales has NOT changed. It remains that you should stay at home wherever possible. 

"Please only travel when necessary and continue to follow the Welsh Government guidance.​ Measures including staying at home and social distancing are in place to continue to protect you, and our NHS, from the transmission and spread of coronavirus. ​​
"We un​derstand that having slightly different rules in W​ales and England may cause some ​confusion. However, the Welsh Government is working hard to ​make sure people are aware that, in Wales, our rules apply. 

"Travelling to Wales to ​spend​ time in the countryside or at the coast is not allowed ​under Welsh law​. We are in regular contact with North Wales Police and traffic flow on all main routes ​into Wales is being monitored.​
"In Wales, we have been able to make the very small changes the First Minister announced last week - such as allowing people to go out locally for exercise more than once a day - because of the impact the regulations have had in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Wales and ​people’s ​compliance and the sacrifices they have made.​ 

"This ​has helped control t​he situation in Wales - reducing ​the number of people who are admitted to hospital with coronavirus,​ the ​number of people who are seriously ill in intensive care​ and ​the number of people ​who are, sadly, dying from coronavirus.​​
"Exercising outdoors is an ​important exception, but the main aim of all Welsh Government regulations is to reduce the speed and spread of coronavirus. ​Preventing unnecessary travel helps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading further ​and imposing additional burdens on health services. ​So please stick with it - stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.​
"Last but by no means least, we would like to thank everyone in North Wales who is playing their part in helping get us through this extremely difficult and challenging period.​"

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