’We can’t put a barrier on the border’: Welsh town fears influx from English Covid hotspots | UK news | The Guardian
Sharon and Tommy Gee, who run the Spar store in Montgomery, a picturesque town in mid-Wales a mile from the English border, admit they are worried. They operate a friendly shop and are keen both to serve their local community and give a warm welcome to the many visitors drawn by the town’s castle, cafes, pubs and good hiking and cycling routes.
But Covid-19 means the steady flow of tourists across the border into a rural area that has had few cases is seen as a mixed blessing.
“We’re so close to the border and not far from places that have high Covid rates,” said Sharon. “We are worried,” Tommy added. “It wouldn’t be such a concern if everyone took all the precautions. Most do, but there is a minority that don’t.”There has been growing anger within the Welsh government for weeks over Boris Johnson’s refusal to stop people travelling from areas in England that are subject to lockdown to places where there are few Covid cases.The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, made it clear on Friday that if the prime minister did not take action, his government would bring in rules that would effectively stop people from English hotspots crossing the border. Montgomery in Powys, where there is no lockdown, is the sort of place the Welsh government is keen to protect.The approach from Drakeford’s government means that a person from Wrexham in north Wales, which is in local lockdown, is not allowed to leave their area unless they have a “reasonable excuse”. A day out to Montgomery would not be allowed.