AN MP has been criticised after claiming differing lockdown advice is causing confusion for residents living close to the Wales-England border.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently relaxed restrictions designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus by allowing people in England to take day-trips anywhere in the country and for schools to reopen to more pupils.

However, the Welsh Government has taken a more cautious approach, advising that individuals from two households in the same local area can meet outdoors, but should generally not travel more than five miles from home.

Meanwhile, ministers have yet to set a date for when schools will return in the country.

Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton said the alternative stances taken by the two governments was causing uncertainty for people living in her constituency, as well as businesses.

Posting on Twitter on Sunday the Conservative politician said: “The different approaches have caused a great deal of confusion and uncertainty for people living in border constituencies, such as Wrexham – highlighting the need for a cohesive, one nation approach to tackling COVID-19.

The Leader:

Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper

“I have been approached by several local businesses concerned about what it means for them if their competitors over the border are allowed to open, whilst they must remain shut.”

Although her comments echoed those made last month by a community leader in neighbouring Flintshire, they have largely attracted a negative response.

It includes from Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper, who stood against Ms Atherton in December’s general election.

The Queensway representative said she feared the UK Government’s more relaxed stance could lead to a second wave of the virus.

She also pointed the finger firmly at the Conservatives for any problems caused.

Cllr Harper said: “If there has been confusion during this pandemic then the responsibility for that undoubtedly sits with her party and its leader.

“Boris Johnson has consistently been out of step with the devolved nations despite the best efforts by governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to work with him.

“Add to that the appalling handling of the Dominic Cummings fiasco, which sent out the message that there was one set of rules for the Tory elite and another set for the rest us, and it’s quite galling to see Sarah suggest we now need a ‘one nation’ approach.”

She added: “The whole Tory shambles from ‘herd immunity’ to ‘driving to test your eyesight’ and breaking lockdown rules has so far had a bitter Trumpian flavour to it.

“There is no doubt in my mind that communities like ours in Wrexham have so far been protected from the worst effects of Covid-19 because of devolution, I say that without any smugness given half of my family live in England and a number work on the frontline in hospitals there.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said it would always look to take a co-ordinated approach where possible, but added ministers would always “put the needs of Wales first”.

They said: “Public health is a devolved matter – the coronavirus regulations are therefore made by the governments in each of the four nations and reflect the unique circumstances of each of the countries.

“We are confident the people of Wales support our careful and cautious approach to dealing with coronavirus.”