'Confusion' in the border town with two different sets of lockdown restrictions

People living on the Wales-England border have spoken of their 'confusion' at contending with two different sets of lockdown measures.

Knighton is a small market town in Powys, Wales - but part of it falls in Shropshire, where English rules apply.

In Wales, non-essential shops and schools are currently closed, along with visitor attractions like zoos.

But it's a very different picture over the border in England. Non-essential shops reopened this week, along with zoos, safari parks and other outside attractions. Schools also began a phased reopening from June 1st.

There are also different rules regarding who you can meet socially, and around face masks, which are compulsory on public transport in England but only advised in Wales.

Resident Neil said the confusion in border towns like Knighton can be 'immense'.

Knighton resident Neil said: "The confusion that happens in towns like this is immense, because we're right on the border.

"A lot of people in Knighton travel east, which is into England, rather than go west - obviously the rules are considerably different.

"It is a bit disturbing that just over there - less than half a mile - people operate differently."

The situation in Wales:

  • Non-essential shops remain closed

  • Visitor attractions remain closed

  • Schools closed until June 29th

  • Face masks recommended on public transport - but not compulsory

The situation in England:

  • Non-essential shops can reopen

  • Outside attractions can reopen

  • Schools reopened from June 1st in a phased return

  • Face masks compulsory on public transport - or a fine could be issued

Christine Branford is the deputy mayor of Knighton Town Council.

Christine Branford is the deputy mayor of Knighton Town Council and also owns a coffee shop, which has been closed for months.

Christine told ITV News that it's 'strange' to have two different sets of rules in place and is aware that locals are travelling over the border to England.

She said: "People are sort of moving about, trying to get out a bit, because everyone's been stuck in for so long - so they are taking a little bit of advantage of that."

Christine said many locals feel there should be a more uniform approach to decisions such as businesses reopening.

"I'm desperate to get back to work. I miss my customers and the visitors that come from all over the world," she added.

Knighton residents share their thoughts on the differing lockdown measures in this report by Hannah Thomas:

The Welsh Government is not obliged to follow decisions made in other parts of the UK and has insisted it will make its own decisions in its own time, based on scientific advice and on what ministers believe is in the interests of Wales.

Earlier this week, the First Minister insisted the Welsh economy is "not falling behind" compared to England.

Mark Drakeford told journalists that restrictions in Wales are being lifted in a 'careful, sequenced way' because coronavirus is still present.

Mr Drakeford pointed out that some countries have reintroduced their restrictions because cases of the virus have increased.

"A stop-start reopening of the economy because coronavirus is out of control... nothing could be worse," he added.

The First Minister has insisted Wales is not being left behind.

The Welsh Government also says the safe reopening of the tourism economy is “at the forefront of our minds”.

The First Minister said he hopes to provide some clarity for the tourism sector at the end of this week.

Like all four of the UK Governments, ministers in Cardiff are legally obliged to review the restrictions every three weeks.

The next decision day is Thursday 18th June and the First Minister is expected to announce any changes the following day.