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‘Don’t follow Boris Johnson’s example’ – health minister’s Covid advice in Wales

The health minister in Wales has told people to follow the lead of Mark Drakeford, rather than Boris Johnson.

Speaking at the Welsh Government’s coronavirus briefing, health minister Eluned Morgan said the public have understood the leadership of the first minister during the pandemic.

Ms Morgan said he had been “sure and secure” during the coronavirus crisis, and called on people to follow his example, rather than that of Boris Johnson.

‘Boris Johnson is a bad example’

The health minister was asked how the Welsh Government would ensure compliance from the public if new restrictions are introduced.

“In Wales I think what you need to do is look at the example set by the First Minister, rather than the example set in the UK Government by Boris Johnson.

“I think the public have understood the leadership of Mark Drakeford during this pandemic – it has been sure, secure and it has been very cautious, and the people of Wales seem to have responded very positively to that.

“I would ask people to retain their faith in the First Minister as he navigates us all through a very difficult time over this coming Christmas.”

The prime minister has been embroiled in controversies this week, with talk of Christmas parties at Downing Street, and images showing Mr Johnson hosting a virtual Christmas quiz last year.

New Covid restriction in Wales likely

Eluned Morgan was asked about the possibility of future restrictions, including another lockdown.

Political leaders in Wales and across the UK are preparing for an expected wave of Covid infections caused by the new Omicron variant.

Ms Morgan said: “The Welsh Government will do what we need to do to keep the people of Wales safe – that is our primary responsibility.”

She added: “It will be more difficult for us to instigate a full lockdown without the support of the UK Government, and conversations are always ongoing with the UK Government in terms of what is possible.

“We are still assessing the situation but there is a likelihood that we will see some additional restrictions being introduced at the next review”.

On future restrictions, Ms Morgan said “the last thing we want to do is to cancel Christmas… [but] we are not taking anything off the table either”.

She added: “The best thing for everyone to do… is to take precautions now. The more you mix now, the more likely you are to contract Covid and this form of Covid.”

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