Tag Archives: relax

Wales’ First Minister blasts ‘utterly shambolic’ Tories for decisions over quarantine rules

Mark Drakeford: Wales’ First Minister described the Tory government in Westminster as “utterly shambolic”.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has described dealing with the UK Government on quarantine relaxation as “an utterly shambolic experience”.

His words follow the scrapping of the 14-day self-isolation policy for people returning to or visiting England from certain destinations.

Travellers returning from countries such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany will no longer need to self-isolate for two weeks.

The UK Government said, “We have been working with all devolved administrations on quarantine from the outset and we will continue to do so.”

But Mr Drakeford has a different view. Here it is:

“I’ve seen it as our responsibility to put onto the statute book here in Wales the regulations that allow that UK scheme to operate here in Wales,” Mr Drakeford said.

“But dealing with the UK Government over the last few days has been an utterly shambolic experience.

“If ever there was an example of making an announcement first and then trying to work out what you meant by it – that is what we have seen since this announcement was first trailed in the press.

“And day after day we have attempted to get a sensible answer from the UK Government on how they intend to make these changes, which countries they intend to extend the arrangements to, and I just have to say it’s been an impossible experience to follow.”

Asked about the issue of air bridges and border quarantine, Mr Drakeford told a press conference in Cardiff that they were matters for the UK Government because the Welsh Government is not in charge of border security.

Source: Mark Drakeford blasts UK Government for ‘utterly shambolic’ decisions over quarantine rules | ITV News

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Tories announce lockdown relaxation – but will UK citizens forget they led us into tragedy?

Who thinks Boris Johnson is going to try to claim that the UK has won a huge victory, after announcing more easements of the Covid-19 lockdown?

And how many UK citizens are gullible enough to believe them?

Covid-19 has been a national disaster because of the Conservative government we’ve had since 2010.

Over the 10 years they have been in office, the Tories dismantled every defence we had against the rise of a pandemic of the kind that Covid-19 represents.

They cut off supplies of medical equipment that could be used to treat it, and they reduced the number of NHS beds and staff available.

When the virus arrived in the UK, they initially allowed it to rampage uncontrolled through the population. Johnson himself said on TV that we should “take it on the chin”.

His chief adviser – the rule-flouting Dominic Cummings – is said to have asked, “If a few old people die, who cares?”

They ensured that the disease had open routes to attack racial minorities and people in care homes – both groups that Tory policy indicates their government considers undesirable.

And they rigged the system of benefits they set up to keep the population on its feet during the lockdown they (eventually) imposed, to put people in their preferred classes and occupations at an advantage over others.

Now, they say pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers in England can reopen, as long as people maintain the 2m social distancing rule where possible, or a new (vague) rule of 1m+.

Two households in England will also be able to meet indoors and stay overnight – with social distancing. So we can all visit our parents but we still can’t hug them.

According to the BBC, here’s the list of businesses in England that can reopen from July 4:

The venues listed as being able to reopen include:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants but only with a table service indoors, and owners will be asked to keep contact details of customers to help with contact tracing
  • Hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks but shared facilities must be cleaned properly
  • Theatres and music halls but they will not be allowed to hold live performances
  • In other changes weddings will be allowed to have 30 attendees, and places of worship will be allowed to hold services but singing will be banned
  • Hair salons and barbers will be able to reopen but must put protective measures, such as visors, in place
  • Libraries, community centres and bingo halls
  • Cinemasmuseums and galleries
  • Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks, amusement arcades, skating rinks and model villages
  • Indoor attractions where animals are exhibited, such as at zoosaquariumsfarms, safari parks and wildlife centres

But…

The following places will remain closed by law

  • Nightclubs and casinos
  • Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor play areas including soft-play
  • Spas
  • Nail bars and beauty salons
  • Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
  • Swimming pools and water parks
  • Exhibition or conference centres – other than for those who work for that venue.

None of the other three UK countries are relaxing their lockdown rules.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue as they are.

They’ll be watching England very carefully to see whether Johnson has acted too soon.

Source: Coronavirus: Lockdown to be relaxed in England as 2m rule eased – BBC News

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Coronavirus: Wales starts easing the lockdown – one rule at a time

The Welsh government has announced that it is easing lockdown restrictions – but only one part of them, and for a very good reason.

From Monday, people from two different households in the same local area will be able to meet up outdoors. They must continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene.

As a general rule, people will not be allowed to travel more than five miles for these meetings – which comes hard for those of us in rural areas who have friends more than five miles away that we haven’t seen in nearly three months.

There will be exceptions including travelling to work, shopping for essentials that aren’t available locally, and to seek care.

That last exception seems to be an attempt to legitimise behaviour like Dominic Cummings’s trip from London to Durham, which caused a hugely embarrassing scandal that the Tory government has been trying to silence for the last week.

The reason for lifting just one rule at a time is simple, as First Minister Mark Drakeford was told:

“Making more than one significant relaxation was too dangerous because if the infection rate went up, it would not be clear what had caused it.”

Contrast that with Boris Johnson’s idiotic rush to get everybody back to work as soon as possible, and damn the consequences!

Is it any wonder that this decision has been followed by another one – to stop showing the daily number of Covid-19-related deaths?

Source: Why the Welsh Government is only making one major lockdown change | Wales – ITV News

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Coronavirus: here comes the second wave as first UK hospital closes A&E due to overloading

The snake: this image was probably created to denote Donald Trump but it works equally well for Boris Johnson, especially as we are no seeing a new spike in Covid-19 infections, exactly the expected time after Johnson relaxed lockdown rules. He must have known what would happen.

As predicted two weeks ago, when Boris Johnson blithely told us all to go back to work, here comes the second wave of Covid-19 infections that he caused:

An NHS hospital has been forced to close its accident and emergency department to new admissions as a result of high numbers of patients with coronavirus.

Weston General Hospital, in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, stopped accepting A&E patients at 8am on Monday morning.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director said: “This is a clinically led decision and we are being supported by our system partners to ensure that new patients receive the care and treatment they need in the appropriate setting, and we are continuing to provide high quality care to existing patients who are being treated in the hospital.”

So there you have it.

We know that Covid-19 takes around 14 days to gestate inside human beings and, right on time, 14 days after Boris Johnson relaxed the lockdown, here it is back again.

He still wants to reopen schools to Reception-age pupils who won’t have any understanding of social distancing rules, next Monday.

So if you’re a parent being told to send your child back, you now know that it will be to bring Covid-19 home to you.

I would urge you to rely on your instincts as a parent (as Boris Johnson described the actions of Dominic Cummings recently) and protect your child by ignoring the demand.

Of course the social media are full of this latest development:

Source: Coronavirus: UK hospital closes A&E and no longer accepting new patients | The Independent

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Coronavirus: Countries that relaxed lockdown are suffering second spikes – and Johnson’s talking about copying them


What a timing malfunction: on the day Boris Johnson tried to talk the UK into accepting his plan to relax lockdown restrictions, countries that have already made this choice reported increased infections and reimposed them.

Strangely enough, This Writer was only discussing the issue last week – with a guy who was saying that places like Germany have relaxed restrictions and nothing bad happened:

https://twitter.com/ricoforest30/status/1258431809135808513

https://twitter.com/ricoforest30/status/1258433256267137025

Well, I don’t know about Austria and Denmark, but as for Germany

New coronavirus infections are accelerating again in Germany just days after its leaders loosened social restrictions, raising concerns that the pandemic could once again slip out of control. The Robert Koch Institute for disease control said in a daily bulletin the number of people each sick person now infects – known as the reproduction rate, or R – had risen to 1.1.

Germany isn’t the only country having difficulties.

In South Korea

The South Korean government issued an emergency order on Friday for the closure of all bars in Seoul after a single clubber infected at least 40 people and exposed over 1,900 more to the coronavirus. The closure is indefinite.

The authorities were forced to trace the contacts of the 29-year-old man, who has not been named, after his night out in the Itaewon district of Seoul – and have so far found at least forty people confirmed with the infection. The country had previously been free of domestic transmission of the virus after an extensive and rigorous programme of testing, tracing and isolating as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

And in China

An untraced coronavirus outbreak in a Chinese city near the Russian border and a spate of new cases in Wuhan has prompted fears of a fresh wave of infections in China.

On Sunday, Chinese authorities reclassified Shulan, a city near the Russian and North Korean borders, as high risk, after a cluster of cases connected to a woman with no known history of travel or exposure to the virus.

It came just a week after China designated all regions in the country as low or medium risk. On Sunday the country’s national health commission reported 17 new cases, its second day of a double-digit rise and its highest number in nearly two weeks.

These are all countries that were thought to have got their Covid-19 outbreaks under control – only to see them flare up again.

Now Boris Johnson is telling the UK everything is under control – just as the leaders of those other countries probably said to their citizens.

Considering what happened there, what do you think is going to happen here?

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Cameron outfoxed by SNP over Hunting Act change

Cameron on the run: The only hunt that the public is likely to support.

Cameron on the run: The only hunt that the public is likely to support.

UPDATE: David Cameron has withdrawn the planned vote on fox hunting from tomorrow’s (Wednesday) Parliamentary schedule. So much for it being a ‘free’ vote – if he can’t win, he’s not going to let it happen. In fact, his tactic deserves further scrutiny so expect another article shortly.

The Scottish National Party will vote against a bid to relax the fox hunting ban in England and Wales, according to their Westminster leader, Angus Robertson.

David Cameron has been hoping that his announcement of changes, to bring the law in England and Wales in line with that in Scotland, would make it impossible for the SNP’s 56 MPs to oppose them in a debate and free vote tomorrow (Wednesday).

But the Scottish Nationalists, currently in charge of the Scottish Parliament, said they are considering a review of the existing ban north of the border, amid concerns that it is not strong enough.

In that context, Mr Robertson said, it would be in Scotland’s interest for the existing ban in England and Wales to be maintained.

The current version of the proposals, contained in a Statutory Instrument, would relax the law to allow foxes to be hunted by packs of dogs in England and Wales to protect livestock, game birds and wild birds, while “having regard to the terrain” and provided it is “carried out as efficiently as possible”.

Supporters have claimed it would also allow the removal of diseased or wounded foxes – an assertion that provoked anti-hunt supporter Dr Brian May to denounce them as “lying bastards” on the BBC’s Newsnight programme last week.

Mr Robertson said: “The Tory government are refusing to agree to any amendments to improve the Scotland Bill – and imposing English Votes for English Laws to make Scotland’s representation at Westminster second class.

“In these circumstances, it is right and proper that we assert the Scottish interest on fox hunting by voting with Labour against the Tories’ proposals to relax the ban – in the process, reminding an arrogant UK government of just how slender their majority is.”

This is the kind of opposition to the Conservative Government that we need to see.

If the SNP continues in this manner throughout the remainder of the current Parliament, then many of its critics (including This Writer) will be forced to revise their opinion.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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