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Wales to reopen its borders for holidays from July, First Minister announces

You’ll be able to go on holiday to Wales again!

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Wales is set to ease lockdown and reopen its borders to English holidaymakers from July 6th. 

If the science permits, the ‘stay local’ guidance currently in place in Wales will be scrapped, says First Minister Mark Drakeford. 

This means people, including those from England, will be allowed to stay in self-contained accommodation such as second homes, holiday cottages, static caravans and a limited number of hotels.

From Monday 13th July tourism businesses will be allowed to take bookings.

This announcement comes after months of Wales’ borders being effectively closed and shows Mr Drakeford’s preparation to announce the latest stage of lockdown easing today. 

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From July 13th, people will also be able to go on holidays to static caravans (with kitchen and toilet), rent a cottage, or to a hotel that has turned itself into self-contained accommodation.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Mr Drakeford said: “The visitor economy in Wales needs to use the coming three weeks to prepare to re-open self-contained accommodation in Wales during the month of July.

“Self-contained is very important. Stay local remains for two weeks because coronavirus spreads where people come together where they share facilities.

“If you have in Wales a static caravan that has got its own kitchen and bathroom, if you are renting a cottage, if you are going to a hotel that has turned itself into self-contained accommodation there will be a clear signal for me today to use the next three weeks to get everything you need in place.”

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He continued: “You will be able to start taking bookings for after July 13. I am aware how important these businesses are for so many communities in Wales and planning ahead will let that industry work with the local communities

“We also have to be able to secure community consent for people travelling back into areas that have seen very few visitors and very little coronavirus.

“The people who work in the industry are the local people and they live in these places so the industry is well-placed to have those conversations. People outside Wales know that Wales will be open provided that the virus is under control.”

Mr Drakeford is ready to announce during the Welsh Government briefing on Friday that shops can reopen providing they can ‘take all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law’.

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Labour pledges to renationalise railways and hire thousands of doctors and nurses

The party’s shadow transport secretary said the conservative’s ‘disastrous rail system’ has ‘catastrophically failed us all’

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The Labour Party

The Labour party has pledged to bring the nation’s railways back into state ownership if it wins the next general election.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool today, Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said putting ‘failing private operators in the hands of the public’ would ‘improve services and lower fares’. 

Haigh added that the government’s ‘disastrous rail system’ has ‘catastrophically failed us all’ and turned railways into a ‘cash machine for companies and foreign governments’.

She cited the recent Avanti West Coast disruption as an example, slamming it as ‘the worst performing operator in the country’ over its long delays and service disruptions.

During its conference, the party also promised a recruitment drive for thousands more NHS doctors, nurses and midwives by reversing the Conservative party’s abolition of the 45p tax rate for top earners.

The scrapping of the 45p tax rate – which is paid for by those who earn over £150,000 a year – has received huge backlash from both Labour and Conservative MPs, many of whom say the move is only set to benefit the wealthy.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said the billions of pounds saved on reversing this cap would deliver ‘one of the biggest expansions of the NHS workforce in history’, instead of handing financial rewards to the UK’s top earners.

She announced that under Labour’s plan, the money saved would pay to double the number of district nurses qualifying every year, train 5,000 more health visitors, and create an extra 10,000 nursing and midwifery each year.

She also said that the number of medical school places would be doubled from 7,500 to 15,000 to ‘make sure that everyone who wants to train as a doctor in Britain can’.

Reeves said: “Our priority is not tax cuts for the wealthiest few – it is securing our public finances and investing in our public service.

“I can tell you: with a Labour government, those at the top will pay their fair share. The 45p top rate of income tax is coming back.”

 

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Boy, 15, arrested after teenage boy stabbed to death outside school

He’s the second person to be arrested

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West Yorkshire Police

A teenage boy has been arrested following the murder of a 15-year-old on Wednesday.

The suspect, also 15, was picked up by police after student Khayri McLean was stabbed to death in Huddersfield.

He has now been arrested in connection with the murder.

He’s the second person to be arrested as police investigate Khayri’s death outside his school.

West Yorkshire Police said: “Police investigating the murder of 15-year-old Khayri McLean in Huddersfield have arrested a second youth in connection with the incident.

“The 15-year-old male was arrested yesterday and is currently in custody. A 16-year-old male who was arrested yesterday also remains in custody.

“Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) are continuing to conduct enquiries into the death of Khayri, who died after being stabbed on Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, on Wednesday.”

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Kwasi Kwarteng scraps cap on bankers’ bonuses in first mini-budget as Chancellor

NEWS JUST IN

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Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng gave his first mini-budget in the House of Commons this morning.

He began by discussing the government’s plan to support people with the cost of energy, including freezing domestic bills at £2,500 and giving out the £400 rebate.

There’s also unit price limits for companies.

Kwarteng said he believes the UK needs a ‘new approach for a new era’ to achieve growth of 2.5%, saying the three important parts of his mini-budget are reforming the economy’s supply side, tax cuts and a responsible approach when it comes to public finances.

As part of this, the Chancellor announced a new bill to overhaul planning restrictions, saying this will ‘unpick the complex patchwork of planning restrictions and EU-derived laws’.

He revealed that benefit claimants will see their benefits reduced if they do not fulfil their job searching commitments.

Kwarteng also confirmed that the cap on bankers’ bonuses will be scrapped, following reports that he would make this one of his first moves.

As well as that, the planned corporation tax increase has been cancelled, and will remain at 19%, with the Chancellor also setting out a series of tax cuts for businesses.

This includes tax cuts for businesses in designated tax sites for 10 years, accelerated tax reliefs for buildings, and no business rates to pay for newly occupied business residences.

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