Drakeford issues stern warning on ‘avoidable’ risks amid new Covid wave fears ‘Stay home!’

Mark Drakeford advises Welsh people to holiday at home

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Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford pleaded with citizens to take their holidays at home rather than abroad this year. While speaking on the Today Programme on Thursday, he said that Wales risks having the coronavirus imported back into the country. He also warned that too many people travelling abroad for holidays could result in coronavirus variants being brought into the country. 

He reiterated that Wales had this issue last September, where Welsh citizens returned with coronavirus and it drove up cases in the country. 

He said: “Our advice to people in Wales hasn’t changed, this is the year to take your holiday at home.

“Visiting other countries, even on the amber list, will pose risks to you and others.

“This will be risk of reimporting the virus into Wales, risks of other variants in other parts of the world could make their way back to the UK.

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“Unless you have a compelling reason to travel abroad, surely this year is the year to enjoy everything that Wales has to offer, that has been our message to people in Wales throughout. 

The radio host Nick Robinson then questioned the logistics of this advice as some nations have lower covid levels. 

He said: “You say the risk of bringing the virus back into this country,  quite a few places on the amber list have less instances of Covid than we have here in the UK.”

Mr Drakeford replied: “Yes, but when people are on holiday, they will behave the way in which people on holiday behave.

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“They will be mixing with more people, they will doing the sorts of things that bring them into contact with one another.” 

Mr Drakeford then highlighted the difficulties Wales faced last year in September with people coming back from holiday.

He said: “Here in Wales in September last year we ended up with considerable difficulties caused by the reimportation of the virus.

“We had many people going on holiday to many other parts of the world and when they came back to Wales they were already infected.

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“That drove a new rise in infections in Wales.

“We can avoid that, it is a risk we don’t need to run.

“That is why we have been advising people this year, for one year, take your holiday at home and enjoy everything that there is to enjoy of being here.” 

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