First Minister Mark Drakeford

News bulletin: Coronavirus restrictions relaxed further to support tourism and leisure sectors in Wales

This is a very Important E-mail update about Coronavirus restrictions in Wales. It made me decide with the tourism industry in mind, but it is relevant to ALL citizens in Wales at this concerning time.



Coronavirus restrictions relaxed further to support tourism and leisure sectors in Wales 

Following the latest 21-day review of the coronavirus regulations, the First Minister has set out a phased timetable to ease restrictions for large parts of Wales’ visitor, hospitality, and leisure and tourism sectors. Read in detail on the Welsh Government website.

The current proposals at the review on 10 July, which are subject to change, envisage re-opening the visitor economy as follows:

6 July 2020

Outdoor visitor attractions

On 6 July the Welsh Government lifted the requirement to stay local allowing people to travel around Wales and to visit outdoor visitor attractions, subject to strict social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines.

11 July 2020

Reopening self-contained holiday accommodation

Self-catering accommodation can only be let to members of the same or extended household. This also includes serviced accommodation where bedroom occupancy can only be let to the same or extended household and not, for example, friends booking a twin bedroom or a family bedroom, etc.

This includes any accommodation that is entirely self-contained, e.g. holiday cottages, holiday caravans including touring caravans, motorhomes, boats and some glamping accommodation with their own kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use.

Also in this category:

  • Hotels and other serviced accommodation (e.g. B&Bs, hostels, etc.) that do provide en-suite rooms and can provide room service meals.
  • Caravan parks where accommodation is entirely self-contained – but shared facilities on the premises will remain closed, such as swimming pools, leisure facilities, shared shower and toilets blocks, shared laundry, etc, and public areas in other accommodation types. This means any caravan or touring site where individual accommodation has its own supply of water for on board shower, WC and cooking with strict application of guidance on shared waste disposal and water points.

All shared facilities, aside from water and disposal points, should remain closed including toilets, shower blocks, laundry, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, cafes, etc.

13 July 2020

Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants re-open outdoors

Indoor visitor attractions excluding any part of a visitor attraction which is underground.

25 July 2020

Camping and caravanning with shared facilities prepare for re-opening

3 August

Indoor hospitality prepare for re-opening

Check back later for more information.

To be confirmed

Re-opening of remaining visitor attractions subject to further scientific advice and discussions with the industry

Check back later for more information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for safely re-opening your business 

Visitor Economy Guidance is available to help tourism and hospitality businesses safely re-open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Additional guidance has also been produced in consultation with the Hospitality sector for Pubs, Bars, Cafes and Restaurants re-opening outdoors, which can be viewed on the UK Hospitality website.

As each premises is different, businesses should read all guidance to understand the measures to be considered to re-open the business safely.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions in relation to Coronavirus (COVID19) is also updated regularly on Gov.Wales – please check back regularly.

Important New Policy Guidance – Maintaining Records of Staff, Customers & Visitors

Coronavirus will be with us until an effective vaccine is available or there is enough immunity among the population. As lockdown restrictions ease, general rules around social distancing and handwashing will remain important in reducing the risk of transmission. Our Test, Trace, Protect strategy will be key in controlling the spread of new outbreaks, particularly as public spaces start to re-open.

As people increasingly come into greater contact with others, there is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in some sectors. This is because customers and visitors will spend a longer time on these premises than in other surroundings, and will potentially come into close contact with people outside of their household. These sectors include:

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.
  • Tourism and leisure, including theme parks, museums and cinemas.
  • Close contact services including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.
  • Facilities provided by local authorities, such as libraries and leisure centres.

For businesses operating in these sectors, important new policy guidance from Welsh Government has now been published. This describes the important role these businesses play in supporting contact tracing and keeping Wales safe. As a business operating in one of these sectors, you now need to start collecting details and maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to your premises. This guidance is not a legal requirement, but it is strongly advised that you follow this advice to support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Large tourism companies welcome Economic Resilience Fund support of £2m from Welsh Government

As restrictions begin to be gradually eased at tourism sites and attractions across Wales, the Welsh Government’s bespoke Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) has provided vital support of more than £2 million to some of our largest key tourism companies.

Today, Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, visited one of the fund recipients, Zip World, which re-opened two of its three sites earlier this week, offering thrill-seekers six of the Zip World adventures.

Sean Taylor, founder of Zip World, said: “We’ve welcomed the support and hard work from all the team at the Welsh Government during this crisis.  We thank them for their continued effort to safely get the visitor economy back up and running again and for recognising the significance of our brand to the local North Wales economy.”

The ERF, which is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7bn support package for business, is providing significant financial support to companies across Wales and complements the support provided by the UK Government. To date, it has provided more than 8,200 businesses with financial support worth more than £230m.

Other large tourism companies which have received ERF funding include Bourne Leisure; Bluestone and JH Leeke, which operates the Vale Resort. Read in full on the Welsh Government website.

Stay up to date with tourism industry news

We are committed to providing the support and assurance the business community needs during these unprecedented difficult times and have issued several Coronavirus (COVID-19) related bulletins which can be found on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page.

Business Wales is providing businesses with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. We would advise Tourism businesses and stakeholders in Wales wanting specific guidance to visit the Business Wales website or call Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000, and to regularly visit the Public Health Wales website for up-to-date public health information for you, your staff and your visitors.

Emergency on Planet Earth #39


 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.


With thanks to ROFA and John Pring for the following news articles. Anyone wondering about the progress of the #SaveWILG petition should scroll down as I have included a brief update, including footage of the petition being discussed by Welsh politicians.

I have also included a news report from Skwakbox below as I tried to highlight the relevant news of the day whilst struggling to find the time to formulate writing of my own. It is becoming evermore apparent that I am in dire need of my reassessment by ICS. This is part of the deal we struck with the Welsh Government to ensure that those unhappy with their Local Authority assessments could access an independent assessment.

The delays we have been facing due to the Coronavirus Crisis are unfortunate and can not be helped, but having said that I have written countless times to ICS and have to wait long periods without a reply.

I hope to have my reassessment by the end of the month, but I need time to organise such a meeting and I will be writing to ICS yet again on Monday to try to push things forward. The physical and mental strains of not receiving the support I need is exhausting, but in the meantime I you can enjoy the article below that I have managed to cobble together.



Unite Community are organising a National Day of Action on 15th July to highlight the injustices of Universal Credit.

Unite Community campaigns for a fairer social security system for all, which works to end poverty, and which allows claimants to live with dignity.

The three immediate demands are:

  • End the five-week wait for payment
  • Make the temporary £20 per week extra permanent and give to ALL existing benefit claimants
  • Stop Benefit Sanctions

For more details click here.


Government Reintroduces Benefit Sanctions During Pandemic

Disabled campaigners have described the government’s decision to reintroduce benefit sanctions – in the middle of a pandemic – as “barbaric” and “life threatening”.
The decision meant an end to the three-month suspension of benefit sanctions and conditionality* in England, Scotland and Wales, which had been introduced in March as part of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Jobcentres will start re-opening this week in England, but not in Scotland and Wales, where claimants will only receive services online and by phone.

This means that some claimants in England will now begin to have face-to-face discussions with work coaches in jobcentres.

For the full story from the Disability News Service click here. 



The petition that I originally submitted in October 2017 – to reconsider the closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant and support disabled people to live independently – was considered again by the Senedd Petitions Committee on Tuesday. The relevant section can be seen from the 48 minute mark via this link.

I am delighted that the Committee have agreed to keep the petition open until everything is finalised. There are still issues that need to be resolved and my determination to see disabled people receiving the support they deserve has only been strengthened by the passing of former WILG recipient and friend Tracy Pritchard…


A few years ago, I was very proud to be a member of the Corbyn-led Labour Party and disappointed with the direction Carwyn Jones was taking Welsh Labour. It is funny how things can change as now the exact opposite is true – Mark Drakeford has my full support as First Minister while Keir Starmer seems to be testing my loyalty to the Labour brand.

Video: Unite’s Beckett slams Tories for dumping austerity fall-out of pandemic on working class – and takes Labour to task for weak response

Coronavirus: Welsh pubs and cafes to reopen indoors on 3 August

Emergency on Planet Earth #34


 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.


I am just writing this blog very quickly after First Minister Mark Drakeford announced a series of changes to the lockdown requirements in Wales.

Drakeford remained cautious, but he is probably under huge pressure from the business community to relax many of the rules that are designed to keep us safe. I thought that he juggled the need to protect the vulnerable and provide hope to the private sector, really well.

A full report of the press conference can be found by clicking here. I have also copied a Tweet below which provides footage from this afternoon’s briefing. The most important thing we should all take from this update is that the Coronavirus crisis is not over and that it remains crucial that we all stay local and carry on practising social distancing and hand washing measures.

What l fear will happen is that a great many people will regard this relaxation of the lockdown as a cue to return to the pre-Covid 19 lives. We all want to be free and live our lives to the full, but the sensible ones amongst us will realise that we have to be patient a little while longer…


The football season has started again, with several crucial games being played out over the next few weeks.  The fact that the capitalist wheel of production is now back in motion underlies my distaste for the modern game and justifies my decision to relive season 1983/84.

The only good thing about having the prima donna’s back on the football field is that l can now resume my betting habit. This is something that l keep under control by only betting what l can afford to lose.



This is the latest spam email that l have received this morning. My heart goes out to those who think this is a genuine email.  They are obviously sadly deluded or are so arrogant and big headed that they can believe such far fetched  stories:


I am Jenna and I will be helping you with your account.

Thank you so much for choosing us to help you find beautiful women searching for casual sex encounters. I am also a member of the site and I live really close by.

I am so happy that you were assigned to me, because I think you are very attractive. Additionally, my friend Amber and I think it might be fun if we both got with you at the same time 🙂

We are both twenty seven years old and you can see our nudes and hot videos here [I have deleted the link for your safety – NLD].

I am the one with the huge tits and she is the one with the perfect a-s.

We can totally meet up tonight babe if you are looking to hook up with two really hot chicks at the same time.

There are also three other women that you should check out. They have already told me that they would like to get you in the sack.

Emergency on Planet Earth #31


 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.


I had thought about ending this series of blogs, but l wouldn’t want to be knee -jerk in my reaction like Boris Johnson and company. I prefer the more cautious and pragmatic approach of first Minister Mark Drakeford.


I have copied the article below from the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) website. The original  piece can be viewed by clicking on this link. I am happy to promote this virtual festival that l hope becomes a regular feature of our calendar, to remind everyone about the importance of independent living to disabled people.

11 July WILD will launch with an online festival by & for disabled people – the likes of which you haven’t seen before! Celebrating who we are & coming together to redefine what it means to be a disabled person in the 21st century. Sign Up. Share & RT



Event Page:

Twitter @WILD_CripsaY8jFs41

Wild is a long-term initiative to re-imagine the transformation to an inclusive society with independent living being a central part in that transformation.



As a disabled person l can tell you a lot about loneliness. Thankfully, l am mentally strong and resilient. This is fortunate as l have many fights to win before l can reach that elusive state of happiness.

I realise that not everyone is as lucky as me and l would therefore encourage everyone to pick up the telephone or send a message to friends or family  that are alone and isolated at his time.

Having said all that, there is something about ITV’s campaign to Get Britain Talking that l find really nauseating. If people to pour their heart out then they will find the appropriate time to do so and do not need to be guided by pebble-brained celebrities during bubblegum TV.

I cannot think of anything more awkward than negotiating a manufactured silence and the only thing that Ant and Dec’s mini break would have achieved, was a mass electricity surge as the nation twiddled their thumbs and put the kettle on. It really was cringe worthy stuff.

While ITV’s message is a positive one that should be applauded, l do think there are better ways to encourage people to look after their mental health and well-being.

If they are watching Britain’s Got Talent , then it is probably too late…

Emergency on Planet Earth #28


 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 



Below, I have copied a letter from the DPAC Steering Group to Jonathan Reynolds MP – the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. It refers to comments from Reynolds relating to welfare payments. 

It is deeply troubling that so early in to the Keir Starmer regime, our social democratic party seems to be reversing at full pelt back to the dark days of Blair.

I am still a member of the Labour Party because of the work being done by Mark Drakeford in Wales, and it is sad to see the party in Westminster drifting back towards the centre-right. The fact that this is happening at a time when the Conservative Party are making such a hash of the Coronavirus crisis, is agonising.

It will be extremely interesting to see how Jonathan Reynolds replies to the letter below. Only a complete backtrack will suffice in this case, or my membership of the party will be in serious doubt.

I wish I could only be a member of Welsh Labour. I will remain a member of the party while Mark Drakeford is First Minister. He has earned my loyalty. It will be interesting to see which way Starmer steers his ship in the next few weeks and months.


Dear Mr Reynolds


Regarding your statement that “Welfare should reflect ‘what you put in’ to tackle public mistrust”

In a comment to the Morning Star, our spokesperson described your comments as “Toxic idiocy”.

Toxic, because, as (too few) wise and responsible senior politicians are well aware, we live in a dangerously fractured, highly unequal society.

They are aware that making statements that will only increase those fault lines and set social group against social group (“them and us”) is highly irresponsible, can only lead to further social division and stoke hate, which at worst can lead to hate crime against “them”, and that includes disabled people.

As you have seem so keen to demonstrate, you are neither a wise nor responsible politician

Idiotic, because you only need to spend a moment considering the implications of your statement to see that it is palpably idiotic.

If you take your statement to its conclusions in terms of policy, these are the outcomes that you get:

1) Higher Rate Taxpayers should have higher benefit entitlements

2) Women, who, as is well established, not only earn less (“the Gender Pay Gap”), but through their caring responsibilities both for children and family members save the government many millions of pounds. In simplistic terms therefore they pay less tax, so should have lower benefit entitlements.

3) BAME people, who earn less (“the BAME Pay Gap”), and therefore pay less tax, should have lower benefit entitlements

4) Young adults who have had less time to accrue tax payments, and therefore should have even lower benefit entitlements than they do already

5) Disabled people who face huge barriers in terms of discrimination and lack of access, who have great difficulty in accessing any work at all (“the Disability Employment Gap”) , and therefore pay much less tax, should receive much lower benefit entitlements

6) Disabled People who, due to their impairments, do not have the capacity for paid work ( however much they want to work, they simply can’t), and who pay very little tax should receive no benefit entitlements

Please would you confirm that the 6 statements above are the logical results of your statement to the  House of Commons, and could you  please let us know if you intend them to become Labour Policy

If you do not intend for these to be Labour’s benefit policies, could you please tell us, why you made that statement, and please tell us, precisely what your policies will be in the light of your comments

We have long been used to toxic and dangerously idiotic statements from the Tory Party, and have lowered our expectations accordingly. Now it seems we need to lower our expectations of Labour.

You should be under no illusion that this will also lower our intentions to engage positively with the  Labour Party, and will certainly lower disabled peoples’ motivation to vote for Labour at election time.

As is our normal practice, we are publishing our letter to you on our website, and will publish your response to us (or state that there has been no response on our site) in order to give you a public right of reply.

We are sure that DPAC’s supporters will await your response with great interest


The DPAC Steering Group


Emergency on Planet Earth #24


 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 


First Minister Mark Drakeford has seemingly justified #SaveWILG campaigners for having such faith in him and supporting his campaign to become leader of Welsh Labour with his pragmatic and sensible approach to coming out of lockdown.

I am proud to be a member of Welsh Labour and continue to be concerned for my friends and comrades in England under the leadership of a clown.


The following two articles sum up the differences between the Welsh Government approach and the one being rolled out by the Tories across the border in England.

Hospital admissions on day Johnson relaxed lock-down are double what they were when he imposed it – and deaths FIVE times higher  

Why the Welsh Government is only making one major lockdown change


There was some exciting news this week with the announcement that the Premier League is due to resume on June 17th.   This is good news for anyone who follows football, but as l have fallen out of love with modern game, l am actually more excited for the start of the 1983/84 campaign, which l am due to relive starting at the end of August. I am busy collecting materials – such as programmes and Panini stickers – to give myself an authentic experience. I will also be turning back the cultural clock and enjoying music food and drink from this era. I will be blogging about my experiences, of course.


We cannot forget or forgive the Dominic Cummings scandal. Below, Jonathan Pie gives a brilliant analysis of the whole episode that I recommend to everyone.

Welsh Government Urged to Recognise ALL Support Staff

I was very excited on May 1st, to read that the Welsh Government were planning on rewarding those working in social care with a £500 bonus.  This is the very least that such hardworking and patient people deserve. Disabled people throughout Wales would not be able to function without the support of this crucial army of front line workers.


I employ about 8 staff to provide me with the 24/7 support that I need, through the Direct Payment scheme. Straight away, I was wondering if my staff would qualify for such a bonus. There is no doubt that they deserve it. My support workers assist me in every aspect of personal care – such as washing, showering, toileting, dressing, eating and drinking. Without such staff members I would be lost and they help me to achieve so much.

However, four days ago the First Minister further clarified which staff would receive the £500 bonus.  I have since been told that only those people on the care register will be eligible for the bonus. I do not think that my staff are registered to this, but this should not mean that they miss out as the work they do is just as dangerous and valued. All personal assistants that are employed through Direct Payments should be granted access to this bonus.

I decided to write about this issue as it is something I believe passionately in, and having received an email this morning from Plaid Cymru. This can be read below. I fully support this petition, but in my opinion it does not go quite far enough to promote the work and sacrifice of domiciliary staff, employed using Direct Payments. 

It goes without saying, that unpaid carers – often family members looking after those they love – should also receive this important payment. The same applies to cooks and cleaners who are an important part of any team in a residential setting.



Everyone working in our care sector deserves the government’s £500 bonus.

At the moment, only those on the care register are eligible to receive the £500 bonus payment from our government. Plaid Cymru wants to ensure that all unpaid carers and those not on the care register receive the £500 bonus too.

We therefore call on the Welsh Government to give an equal payment to all staff who work in a care home setting – including cleaners and the catering staff at care homes who put their own safety at risk every day they go to work.

This pandemic has forced us to look at which jobs in our society are essential, and those who look after and support the most vulnerable in our society deserve to be recognised for the incredible contributions they make.

Delyth Jewell MS

Emergency on Planet Earth #19


 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society. 


I just wanted to use this blog to send a big thank you to First Minister Mark Drakeford, for the way in which he continues to handle the Coronavirus crisis. He has more than repaid the trust put in him by myself personally, and all the #SaveWILG campaigners who voted for his 21st Century socialism.

I feel safer under such dignified leadership, and can only sympathise with my English friends who are nervously awaiting tonight’s announcement from Boris the Butcher.

Our next aim is to ensure Welsh Labour win the 2021 Assembly elections. It seems obvious that Drakeford should win another term for his party, but we can take nothing for granted in the current political climate…


Thank you to Skwawkbox and Novara Media for the following jpegs. There is also a very interesting blog that sums up the UK Government’s handling of the COVID-19 situation, written by Skwawkbox. This can be read by clicking on the link below:

Government’s new slogan derided as meaningless as Johnson primes UK for lock-down downgrade – and thousands more deaths.






First Minister of Wales announces £500 extra payment for care staff

The following press release has been taken from the Welsh Government website. It seems like excellent news and much appreciated as my search for staff continues…


02_07-Mark-DrakeFord-_-Leaving-the-EU-4_min (1)

Speaking at the daily Welsh Government press conference, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the payment provides further recognition for an often “under-valued and overlooked” workforce.

The payment will be available to some 64,600 care home workers and domiciliary care workers throughout Wales.

It comes after the Welsh Government has provided an initial £40m extra funding for adult social care services to help meet the extra costs associated with responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

Tens of thousands of people work in social care in Wales, looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and are doing so with great dedication in often challenging circumstances.

They are undertaking tasks, which involve a high level of intimate personal care, often accepting a greater degree of risk and responsibility. Many of our social care workers are juggling their own personal caring responsibilities with their professional ones.

I want our social care workforce know their hard work is both appreciated and recognised. This payment is designed to provide some further recognition of the value we attach to everything they are doing to – it recognises this group of people are providing the invisible scaffolding of services, which support both our NHS and our wider society.

Further details about the extra payment will be announced shortly. The Welsh Government is working with local authorities, who commission social care services in Wales, and with trade unions and Care Forum Wales, to finalise details.

The First Minister has called on the UK Government not to tax the extra payment, enabling social care workers to keep the full amount. The Welsh Government is also working with the Department for Work and Pensions to make sure it does not impact on people’s benefit entitlements.

The First Minister added:

We are urging the UK Government and the HMRC to make an exception in these truly exceptional circumstances.

Today’s announcement follows the announcement of the death in service payment for the families of all NHS and social care staff made by Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething on Tuesday.

This scheme will provide eligible beneficiaries with a one-off sum of £60,000 and will apply to those working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who may have contracted coronavirus.


Reaction and more detail from Unite can be read here.

Update: Coronavirus and the Rights of Disabled People in Wales

A positive email to start the week from Rhian Davies of Disability Wales. I am really thankful that I live in Wales and have Mark Drakeford as First Minister, especially as blundering Boris is reportedly planning to prematurely lift the lockdown as early as this week. This will undoubtedly lead to more Coronavirus related deaths, but that’s the Tories for you…

I feel much safer in Wales with Drakeford’s traffic light system to come out of lockdown. This is a much more sensible approach that seems to be people centred rather than doing what is best for the economy. You can read more about Drakeford’s traffic light approach by clicking here.


Dear Members

I hope that you are keeping safe and well. Following publication of the Wales Disability Reference Group’s statement on 8 April regarding Coronavirus and the Rights of Disabled People in Wales, more than 1400 individuals and organisations joined Disability Wales, Learning Disability Wales, Wales Council of the Blind and Wales Council for Deaf People in supporting our Statement:

I am pleased to inform you that since publication, Welsh Government has implemented the following actions:

Many thanks for your vital support in ensuring that our voice is heard. We trust that members will find reassurance in this guidance given such worrying times. Please share widely with your friends, family and members. We will also upload these documents to our website for future reference.

I represent Disability Wales on the Covid 19 Moral and Ethical Advisory Group for Wales and welcome hearing about the experiences of members regarding these matters to help inform and influence the work of the Group.

Stay safe


Rhian Davies
Chief Executive/Prif Weithredydd