Mark Drakeford is slammed for not wearing a mask at Diwali celebration

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is slammed for not wearing a mask while dancing at packed indoor Diwali celebration

  • Mark Drakeford seen dancing with other maskless revellers at Cardiff University
  • Coronavirus rules in Wales mean masks must be worn at indoor public places
  • But guidelines state that masks are not required where food or drink is served
  • It comes after PM was criticised for not wearing mask at a hospital last week 

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has been slammed for not wearing a face mask while dancing at a packed indoor Diwali celebration.

The politician was filmed surrounded by other maskless revellers and dignitaries including the Indian High Commissioner at Cardiff University in South Wales.

Footage shows the Welsh Labour leader dancing joyfully with his arms in the air while in close proximity to others despite the country’s coronavirus regulations.

Rules in Wales mean masks must be worn at all indoor public places, including supermarkets and on public transport, with social distancing also recommended.

But the Welsh Government insisted Mr Drakeford had not breached the rules because the celebration was on a premises where food and drink were being served.

The row comes after Boris Johnson was criticised for not wearing a face mask while greeting nurses at Hexham General Hospital last week. 

Footage shows Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford (circled) dancing joyfully with his arms in the air while in close proximity to others despite the country’s coronavirus regulations

Coronavirus statistician Lloyd Warburton accused Mr Drakeford of ‘hypocrisy’ over the footage.

He said on Sunday: ‘He went to some sort of Diwali event last week, just as his colleagues were telling us to wear masks and behave responsibly to avoid more restrictions. 

‘Today, this video has come out showing that he himself is not following the advice.’

One social media user said: ‘More hypocrisy’, while another added: ‘Do what we say, not what we do.’

And a third tweeted: ‘Not a single mask in evidence anywhere.’ 

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government told Nation.Cymru: ‘Face coverings are not required in premises where food and drink is served’.

The advice says: ‘This is because the purpose of attending those places is to eat and drink, for which a face covering is not practical and, therefore, not required.’ 

Last week it emerged that the Prime Minister had to be reminded by NHS staff to put on a mask after posing with nurses in a hospital without his face covered. 

The politician was filmed surrounded by other maskless revellers and dignitaries including the Indian High Commissioner at Cardiff University in South Wales

But the Welsh Government insisted Mr Drakeford had not breached the rules because the celebration was on a premises where food and drink were being served

He is believed to have taken off his mask to do television interviews before the pictures were taken, Chronicle Live reported.

Hospital management insisted that he had ‘followed strict measures, including wearing a mask, in each clinical area he visited.’

But rules for visitors posted on its website tells them to ‘wear a face covering when you enter the hospital until you leave’.

Labour’s shadow health secretary linked the maskless images to Mr Johnson’s decision not to return from the visit in time to take part in the debate on parliamentary standards, after his Government U-turned on its move to rip up the current probe system to investigate MP wrongdoing.

Jonathan Ashworth said on Twitter: ‘So not only is Boris Johnson too cowardly to turn up to Parliament to defend the sleazy corrupt government shenanigans of recent days.

Last week it emerged that the Prime Minister had to be reminded by NHS staff to put on a mask after posing with nurses in a hospital without his face covered

Hospital management insisted that he had ‘followed strict measures, including wearing a mask, in each clinical area he visited’

‘He’s now irresponsibly parading round a hospital without a mask. Patients and NHS staff deserve better than this.’

In photos where he is without a mask, Mr Johnson is seen elbow-bumping and greeting nurses who are wearing disposable face coverings. 

Matthew Taylor, the head of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service hospitals, told Sky: ‘The Prime Minister is an incredibly influential figure and what he does is important.

‘I think it was unfortunate that he was seen in a hospital setting not wearing a mask, because I think this hospital, like every hospital, encourages people to be wearing masks, not just in wards but in the hospital as a whole.’

However, Downing Street and the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hexham General, defended the Prime Minister following the visit.

Questioned by reporters on whether Mr Johnson had broken the rules, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘During a hospital visit, we always make sure we abide by the rules set out.

‘He will have been abiding by the rules in place.’     

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