THE First Minister has assured communities on the Wales-England border that the different coronavirus restrictions remain in place to protect Welsh communities from the threat of this ‘killer’ disease.

Mark Drakeford, at the Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, was asked for clarity due to frustrations over differing restrictions between England and Wales.

These are more apparent with towns and villages in Wales that border England who are faced with the bare reality that restrictions seem to differ greatly between the two countries.

He said: “For people on the border, of course I understand that they see things differently elsewhere. I still say to them that the way we are doing things is designed to protect you, your communities and your families from this disease which is a silent spreader and a killer.

“We do not want to take risks in Wales that would put you at risks that we need not run.”

In England, as of June 15, non-essential retail stores were able to reopen with safety measures in place to protect staff and the public from the coronavirus spreading – but also halt further drops in the local economy as trading has been disrupted for several months since the lockdown measures were brought into effect on March 23.

Households with just one member are also now permitted to form ‘social bubbles’ with one other family – which is also not permitted under current Welsh Government rules.

In Wales, families must follow much stricter set of rules in comparison to their neighbouring country – being urged to travel no less than five miles and only meet with another households in an outdoor space whilst maintaining the established two metre social distancing rule.

Speaking about the public opinion to the lockdown approach in Wales, Mr Drakeford said: “All the tests of public opinion that we see, including tests that are paid for every week by the UK Government, tell us that the vast bulk of the population in Wales continue to support the way in which we have gone about lifting lockdown. A careful, gradual and step-by-step approach that we are taking, and will continue to take at the end of this week.

“People in Wales remain nervous of doing too much too soon because of the way that could just throw away all the efforts that we have made. We want to use whatever headroom we have to return to people the freedoms that we used to have.

“To return our economy to more fuller running and, as we go through this week, that will be the aim that I have - and my cabinet colleagues - and by the time we come to Friday, whatever headroom there is, we want to deploy it.

“We will not go beyond that headroom, we will not do things that we believe will create risk that can be avoided again. The way we are doing things will remain intact.”