WALES' economy minister Vaughan Gething criticised the UK Government for "ambushing" the Welsh Government over an announcement on changes to self-isolation rules in England.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Mr Gething spoke of his surprise at the announcement from Boris Johnson that he intends to remove self isolation rules for people in England.

Mr Gething was stepping in for Mark Drakeford at the briefing as the first minister is currently self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.

At the press briefing, Mr Gething spoke of the Welsh Government's wish to work closely with the other countries in the UK, but said this is made more difficult when they are not made aware of rule changes in advance.

Mr Gething said: "We can hardly align and work more closely together when we are ambushed by surprise changes.

"The prime minister didn't speak to the first minister before going into the preamble for Prime Minister's Questions and announcing a move that took many people by surprise."

He went on to say that there is normally a conversation between the four chief medical officers in the UK and that they didn't discuss and agree the rule changes in England in advance.

He questioned the timing of the announcement from Mr Johnson.

Mr Gething said: "Why is England doing this on their own and why has the prime minister chosen to go it alone in a surprise announcement?"

Mr Gething went on to say that the Welsh Government take a scientific approach to rule changes and that they were not prepared to follow the prime minister's lead if they do not have the scientific evidence to back it up.


On reports that the UK Government may stop providing free lateral flow tests, Mr Gething said would leave a "significant" dent in the Welsh budget if the Welsh Government were to continue providing free tests.

He said that charging for lateral flow tests would be a "really signifcant mistake".

He said: "Coronavirus is still in circulation, so it doesn't feel like a sensible thing to be doing it at this point."