People of Wales 'not looking at England with envy' despite continued lockdown restrictions

First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that people across Wales are not looking enviously at England. Credit: ITV Wales.

People in Wales are not looking "with envy" at those in England as lockdown restrictions continue across the country, the First Minister has said.

Mr Drakeford refused to give any dates on when restrictions could be lifted during a virtual Senedd meeting today saying

"They would rather be here with a government that puts their health at the front of what we are doing and they do not look enviously at what is happening across the border," Drakeford continued.

His comments come after hecalled for there to be more meetings between ministers of the countries in the UK to discuss the decisions being made on key topics such as the lockdown restrictions.

Mark Drakeford answered questions on the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic during the virtual meeting Credit: Senedd TV

He also explained that the new 'traffic-light' policy, adopted by the Welsh Government to try and lift the country out of lockdown, had been "widely welcomed" despite the fact there were no timescales included.

"The roadmap was widely welcomed, the government has set out a clear direction of travel," he continued.

"There is a genuine debate to be had as to whether time scales are helpful for the future we feel it is more of a distraction from things that really need our attention."

There had been claims of an increase in tension between the Welsh and the UK Government over the traffic-light policy, but he insisted that he encouraged a "strict four-nation approach" to the problem.

Senedd Members in the virtual meeting earlier today Credit: Senedd TV

The First Minister also outlined plans to increase the budget by 10%, with extra funding to be spent on the COVID-19 response as he denied delaying a decision on whether to change the official symptoms of the virus in the country.

This comes after recent findings showed that loss of taste and smell are now considered key symptoms.

He also hit back at the suggestion that coronavirus has highlighted some of the issues with the devolution of power across the UK.

"I think devolution has been brought home to people during this crisis in a way that it hasn't been over the last 20 years, I think it is true that people outside of Wales have woken up from a 20-year sleep on the devolution agenda," he explained.

"We have policed the line consciously, we may come to different views on where this line should be drawn - but we are not making any decisions arbitrarily."