Mark Drakeford blasts UK Government for 'utterly shambolic' decisions over quarantine rules

The First Minister launched a scathing attack on No.10 during his daily press conference Credit: PA

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has described dealing with the UK Government over the last few days as "an utterly shambolic experience".

When asked about the issue of air bridges and border quarantine, Mr Drakeford told a press conference in Cardiff that they were matters for the UK Government because the Welsh Government is not in charge of border security.

"I've seen it as our responsibility to put onto the statute book here in Wales the regulations that allow that UK scheme to operate here in Wales," Mr Drakeford said.

"But dealing with the UK Government over the last few days has been an utterly shambolic experience."

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He continued, "If ever there was an example of making an announcement first and then trying to work out what you meant by it - that is what we have seen since this announcement was first trailed in the press.

"And day after day we have attempted to get a sensible answer from the UK Government on how they intend to make these changes, which countries they intend to extend the arrangements to, and I just have to say it's been an impossible experience to follow."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also weighed in criticising the UK government's "shambolic" handling of quarantine rules for travellers returning to the country.

It follows the scrapping of the 14-day self-isolation policy for people returning to or visiting England from certain destinations.

Under the changed proposals, travellers returning from countries such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany will no longer need to self-isolate for two weeks.

In response, the UK Government said, "We have been working with all devolved administrations on quarantine from the outset and we will continue to do so."

It comes as Mr Drakeford announced the five-mile rule in Wales will be lifted on Monday, allowing people to travel outside of their local area to visit family and friends.

The five-mile rule will be lifted in Wales on Monday Credit: PA

Mark Drakeford said: “The number of coronavirus cases is declining, thanks to the efforts we have all taken together to reduce the spread of the virus. This means we can continue to make changes to the coronavirus regulations.

“From Monday, we will lift the requirement to stay local and introduce new changes to the rules to enable people from two separate households to join together to form one extended household"