The five-mile travel guideline in Wales could remain in place all summer, with no plans to lift the limit until July at the earliest according to First Minister Mark Drakeford.

At the Welsh Government’s most recent coronavirus briefing earlier today, Mr Drakeford said that easing travel restrictions was “not on my list of things to change” in the current three-week review period, which ends on June 18.

This means that the travel guideline is likely to stay in place until July 10 at the earliest. The Welsh Government is instead looking at other lockdown restrictions next week – see the latest on that on our dedicated coronavirus blog.

“We have no immediate plans to lift the stay-local message in Wales,” said Mr Drakeford.

He added that how and when the five-mile travel limit is eased will rely on the progression of the coronavirus in Wales, and that he could not be certain if the limit would still be in place in “another six or nine or 12 weeks.”

However, he added that it is likely to remain in place if and when parts of Wales’ tourism industry reopens.

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At today’s briefing, Mr Drakeford said that there is potential for holiday cottages and self-catered flats to reopen for business later this summer, but that the situation regarding hotels and B&B rooms would be more difficult.

Mr Drakeford said: “It’s a difficult tightrope to walk because we want to lift lockdown measures further but we don’t people to run away with the idea that coronavirus is over.

“Even if we are down to 50 new cases every day, we have no idea who those 50 people might be, because coronavirus is a silent spreader. So it’s still very important to carry on with social distancing and with staying local.”

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Mr Drakeford said that the five mile mile limit would remain crucial if self-catered accommodation was able to reopen. He suggested that people staying in holiday accommodation would have to limit themselves to travelling within a five mile area and not meeting lots of people.

“There is, in a public health sense, I think, a distinction to be drawn between people who have their own kitchen, their own bathroom.” Mr Drakeford said.

“That will be different, I think, to someone travelling to stay somewhere where they are sharing kitchens, sharing showers, sharing toilets, where inevitably the level of risk would be great.”

Guests would not be “shooting around everywhere, meeting lots of different people,” he said.

The Welsh Government will need to first “secure community consent” before tourism is reopened, he said, adding that there will be a “very strong reaction at the community level” in North West and South West Wales where there have been very low levels of the virus.

As of yet, there are no plans in Wales to re-open pubs and restaurants, as has been discussed in England, and mass gatherings such as sports fixtures and concerts are not expected to resume until 2021.

The next lockdown announcements in Wales are expected on June 19, a day after ministers are legally required to review the restrictions.



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