Wales’ first minister has warned holiday lettings companies not to accept bookings from people in England over the Easter break as Cardiff makes early moves to ease the national lockdown.

Speaking on Friday, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the reopening of self-contained holiday accommodation in the country from March 27 must exclude people from England, despite London ending its own “stay home, stay local” order on March 29. 

“People who let accommodation should not be taking bookings from people who live outside Wales,” Drakeford noted.

“We will be talking with our local authority colleagues and with the police next week, just to see if there is anything we need to do to mobilise our own enforcement authorities.”

The first minister said it was important to stick to the Covid-induced rules created by the Welsh government to ensure that the holiday industry can “have a longer and better season” than 2020. “I know there are rogues in any part of life. But I think that the industry will absolutely recognise that we want to go beyond self-contained accommodation” Drakeford added. 

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The infection rate in Wales has fallen to the lowest in the UK, registering only 44.2 cases per 100,000 over the last week. The country, and particularly areas in the more populated south east, experienced worryingly high infection rates around Christmas. Merthyr Tydfil has fallen from a peak of 1,349 cases per 100,000 before Christmas to around 50. 

Meanwhile, in England, there was much disappointment in February when PM Boris Johnson said that self-contained holiday accommodation wouldn’t be able to reopen until April 12, meaning the tourism industry would lose a second Easter holiday in a row. 

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