'Our advice has not changed in Wales', FM reiterates message following Boris Johnson address

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has reacted to Boris Johnson's announcement on easing some lockdown restrictions in England.

Lockdown rules in England are to be eased on Wednesday to allow "unlimited" outdoor exercise and anyone who cannot work from home will be “actively encouraged” to return to their workplaces, Boris Johnson has said.

In a video message, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford reiterated his government's framework to lead Wales out of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Welsh Government also said its lockdown message to 'stay home, save lives' will not change.

He said, "Wherever you can you should stay at home. If you need to leave home for work, exercise or shopping, you should stay local and stay alert. Coronavirus has not gone away. The way we behave over the weeks ahead will continue to have a profound impact on our NHS and our ability to save lives.

"The Prime Minister set out his roadmap for the future. This is at an early stage because it depends on how the virus behaves over the coming weeks and months. Two weeks ago, I published a framework to lead Wales out of the pandemic.

"This has helped us decide that schools will not return to normal on June 1.We will continue to make decisions, which are right for Wales, using information and expert advice about how coronavirus is circulating here to keep us safe.

"This evening, the Prime Minister has set out the minor changes, which are proposed to the lockdown rules in England over the next three weeks.

"I set out the modest changes to the stay-at-home regulations we are making in Wales on Friday. These will come into force tomorrow afternoon."

Read what those minor changes are to the lockdown in Wales here.

Ahead of his announcement, Boris Johnson sought to clarify the meaning of the Government's new "Stay alert, control the virus, save lives" coronavirus slogan.

Many have criticised the change from "Stay home, save lives, protect the NHS", which has been the message thus far during the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: PA

Plaid Cymru criticised Boris Johnson following the television address calling his message "confusing and dangerous" adding he "claims to be the Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom but he has acted tonight as England’s Prime Minister - not a responsible one either."

Its leader, Adam Price said, "His message is confusing and dangerous. You cannot stay alert to something you can’t see.

"The UK Government has cut itself adrift of the 3 nation approach which now exists between Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is no clearer and simpler message than ‘stay at home’.

"Raising expectations of an early lifting of lockdown in England will lower people’s levels of patience, and moving too fast could be catastrophic for Wales. That is why we need the powers to pass legislation on travel and residency restrictions so that Welsh policy isn’t undermined by Westminster.

"Too many mistakes were made in entering lockdown too late. The UK Government cannot afford to make any more by lifting it too early.”