Two-metre rule will only be reduced if it is 'right for Wales' - First Minister Mark Drakeford

22 June 2020, 16:31

Shops in Wales were reopening today with social distancing measures in place
Shops in Wales were reopening today with social distancing measures in place. Picture: LBC News
Daniel Bevan

By Daniel Bevan

The First Minister of Wales today said that he will only change the two-metre social distancing rule if it is the right thing to do for the country.

Boris Johnson is in consultation with his Cabinet today over the guidelines in England, with an announcement expected tomorrow.

The Welsh Government has previously changed advice for people who are shielding and for face masks to be used on public transport, after the UK Government amended its policy.

But Mark Drakeford has insisted the two-metre rule will only be reduced in Wales if it can be done so safely.

Speaking to LBC during today’s Daily Welsh Government Coronavirus Briefing, he said: “In Wales we put the health of the public first.

“Of course we will follow the advice the Prime Minister will be relying upon for any announcement that he makes.

“If the advice we get through our scientific networks and the Chief Medical Officer for Wales says that it is possible to amend the advice we give and things can open safely - of course that is what we would want to do.

“But we will assess that for ourselves and we will make decisions that are right for Wales.

"The lens in which we will continue to make decisions in future is whether we can provide the safety of the public”

It comes on the day some non-essential retailers opened up for the first time in more than three months in Wales.

Shops in Wales are now allowed to open to the public if they can adhere to two-metre social distancing and many have added hand sanitiser and screens to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

On Queen Street, Cardiff’s main high street, shoppers flocked to the stores to beat the queues only to find there was very little waiting time.

Only around 50-60% of shops opened in Cardiff City Centre today, with more expected to be welcoming customers by the end of the week.