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People in Wales will 'look enviously' at English lockdown changes

By Dominic Robertson | Newtown | Coronavirus | Published:

Some of Wales' residents will be looking enviously across the border after lockdown restrictions were substantially lifted, according to a councillor.

Councillor Joy Jones

Councillor Joy Jones, who lives in Newtown, said that the difference in regulations between Wales and England had left people confused, and called for both governments to come together on one plan.

The latest English changes have seen pubs, hospitality, hairdressers, all told that they can reopen from July 4, while two households will also be allowed to meet indoors for the first time.

In Wales that will not be the case, with restrictions remaining in place, and people asked to travel no further than five miles for exercise, and to only meet relatives and friends outdoors from one household at a time.

Councillor Jones, who has been unable to hold her eight-week-old grandson due to the restrictions, said: "We went into this as the UK and then we are separated and living under different rules all the time."

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She said opinions in Wales have been split on whether the stricter lockdown rules were the right approach.

"I think there is quite a divide," she said. "I have got some people that are quite scared, that appreciate the Welsh First Minister being very cautious, but there are other people who want to see Wales following England's rules."

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She added: "Some people will be looking enviously at the border. I have spoken to a lot of people who said they will need to go shopping in Shrewsbury now because they will need things for back to school, so they are looking to go there because that is where they know they can get things."

Councillor Jones said that people had also questioned why grandparents could not see their grandchildren, particularly with schools now returning.

She said many grandparents had wanted the Welsh Government to follow the English 'bubble' system for households.

"I desperately would like to be under English rules because then I could be in one of these bubbles and I could feel part of my grandchildren's lives again," she added.

"My grandson who is three years old will be going back to school but he can't come and see his nan. It is hurtful and it is causing mental damage to people."

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