Published by BBC NEWS - 12th March 2024

Miles is
grilled about the controversial “stay local” guidance which came in
to replace “stay at home” messaging as infections eased in May 2020.

The inquiry
hears the Welsh government felt “it was not possible to legislate to define
local, as it would mean different things in different parts of Wales”, for
example in rural areas versus urban.

Miles is
asked why a five-mile travel guide was brought in, in what he describes
as a “rule of thumb”.

Tom Poole KC puts to him that it was “confusing”.

Miles says ministers
had previously seen confusion when they had not put a number on the distance for
daily exercise, adding: “breadth can be confusing and specificity can be

Miles says
giving a five-mile guide was an “intuitive way of communicating” with the

“In a rapidly changing regulatory environment, when you’re legislating in a novel way, in ways which touch all aspects of people’s lives, I think the term we had here – it’s a rule of thumb – it seemed to me this was an intuitive way of communicating, then five miles is a pretty good guide.”

Asked if the
Welsh government was simply copying Scotland, he adds: “Elsewhere, there were
calls for governments not to choose regulations, distances and measurements
that were different to other governments just for the sake of it.”

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