Welsh leader’s personal message to Liverpool as borders reopen

The head of the Welsh government today told Merseysiders: "Our country is back open to you from Monday."

In May, Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, issued a statement specifically for ECHO readers to explain the rules that we could not cross the border for a leisure visit.

With lockdown rules at the time different in the neighbouring countries, it meant people from our county had to stay away.

That affected many, particularly those living in parts of Wirral, a short distance from Wales.

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The pandemic rules had caused problems in the country with a series of lockdown breaches at Mount Snowdon when tourists travelled to climb the peak, strictly against laws.

Now, Mr Drakeford has issued a new message to ECHO readers welcoming back across the border in three days time.

First minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford

In a personal message, the First Minister said: "In May, I sent ECHO readers the message no First Minister of Wales would ever want to send – I had to ask people not to come to Wales.

"At that time, we were asking people to stay local and not travel more than five miles to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and to protect people’s health.

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"This meant that travel into Wales was not possible – we were asking people to visit Wales later.

"we have been using this time to get ready to welcome visitors again, safely.

"From Monday 6 July, we will be removing the requirement to stay local in Wales.

"This means there will be no restrictions on how far people can travel and outdoor attractions will be able to open again – although strict social distancing and hand hygiene measures will be in place.

Llandudno in North Wales is a popular destination

"We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back and we want everyone who visits Wales to do so safely.

"This doesn’t mean, of course, that coronavirus has gone away.

"We know people are still falling ill and sadly, some people are continuing to die after catching the virus.

"This is why it’s so important we all follow the gold rules to keep us all safe – wash our hands, keep two metres apart and if you or a member of your household has symptoms of coronavirus, please stay at home.

"Please avoid busy areas for your own safety and those around you.

"Our national parks and beaches will always be there, and while visiting your favourite spot may not be possible immediately, you will be able to return.

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"Remember too that the restrictions in Wales are different to England.

"Pubs, bars and restaurants are not yet open.

"They are preparing to open outdoors from 13 July, if the conditions allow.

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"Self-contained accommodation will open from 11 July.

"We look forward to warmly welcoming you back to Wales again safely."