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‘Confusion in Wales’ and a ‘reckless move’ – reactions to Johnson’s speech

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THERE have been outcries of confusion from the people of Wales, following Boris Johnson’s television broadcast tonight (Sun, May 10).

The stay-at-home message in Wales has not changed, the First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

This is despite Boris Johnson having announced a change to the UK government’s advice in England – calling on people to “stay alert, control the virus” and “save lives”.

But the slogan has been rejected by Welsh ministers.

Mr Drakeford said people should stay home “wherever you can”, The Herald can confirm.

“Our advice has not changed in Wales,” he said.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price says Boris Johnson has made a “reckless move”.

Boris Johnson has relaxed the exercise rules in England saying can people “drive to other destinations” for a walk.

But the Welsh Government’s Counsel General Jeremy Miles has said this is not the case in Wales.

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement begs “many more questions than it answers.”

“What a mess!” he said on Twitter

Speaking to the BBC earlier this evening he said: “Our regulations do not permit people to get in their car and drive to destinations in Wales,” said Mr Miles.

“And that also means people getting in their cars in England.”

Mr Miles says the police in Wales “absolutely have the power to fine” people for making non-essential journeys and not exercising near their homes.

UK labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, told the press that the prime minister’s statement lacked “clarity and consensus”.

He told reporters: “This statement raises as many questions as it answers. We see the prospect of England, Scotland and Wales pulling in different directions, so there’s a big gap here for the government to make up.”

He says that if he were PM, he would have “tried to build a consensus” and would have made sure – if possible – that the devolved administrations, trade unions, and community groups were “on board” and knew “exactly what was required of them.”

Sir Keir later added: “I accept a plan had to be set out, but to lack that basic clarity and consensus is a real problem.”

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Drug drive arrest following routine check

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A MALE has been arrested following a positive roadside test.

The vehicle, which was stopped this morning, June 6, by the Pembrokeshire Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) was part of a routine check.

Traffic officers suspected the driver may be under the influence after smelling cannabis coming from the vehicle.

A roadside drug test was performed with a positive result with the drugswab provided. A small quantity of cannabis was also found inside the vehicle.

The cannabis was seized and the driver was arrested, later released under investigation, pending the male’s blood test result for the drug drive offence, out of court disposal for the possession.

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing

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PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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