LONDON | Prince William and his wife Kate have drawn criticism for a train tour that took them to Scotland and Wales in the midst of the second wave of the new coronavirus.
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Local governments gave the couple a mixed reception, with Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething saying on Tuesday he would prefer “no one made unnecessary visits”.
“Their visit should not be used as an excuse for people to say that they do not understand what they are asked to do,” he also warned on the BBC.
Travel between different nations in the UK is being restricted to avoid an upsurge in cases in the country, which has recorded more than 61,000 deaths from COVID-19, the highest death toll in Europe.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began their journey on Monday on the ‘royal train’, reserved for the British royal family, starting with a trip to Scotland, where they met paramedics in Newbridge, near Edinburgh.
During their three-day trek across the country, they planned to travel more than 2,000 kilometers, meeting frontline workers in the face of the pandemic and residents.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted that the couple undertook the trip despite restrictions on travel between England and Scotland, which were banned with a few exceptions, including for professional reasons.
‘The Scottish Government has been advised of their intention to come, and we have made sure that the restrictions in place in Scotland are known, so that this is factored into their decision and preparations for the visit,’ said Nicola Sturgeon Monday.
The move of William, second in line to the throne, and his wife, however, was welcomed by the British government.
“The Prime Minister is delighted to see the warm welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received on their extremely important train journey through England, Scotland and Wales,” Boris spokesperson said Johnson. “The tour will lift the spirits of those who have been on the front lines and done so much during the pandemic.”