FIRST minister Mark Drakeford praised the ‘sensible’ response of the Welsh public to the reopening of the retail sector today.

Speaking at the Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Drakeford said that he was glad there had not been scenes like the ones over the border in cities such as Bristol.

Pictures of queues snaking out of stores such as Primark were, he said, disorderly.

“They will all have had an economic boost through the abolition of Non-Domestic Rates (NDRs) this year,” he said.

“We will now be in a position where people can return to these shops.

“When the stay local advice is lifted the people can travel further to these shops.

“We have not had the scenes we saw across the border with people congregating in disorderly ways.

“We have had a sensible restart to retail.

“It will build up after this and I very much hope that businesses will find themselves on a secure footing.”

Mr Drakeford also said that he was pleased to be celebrating National Windrush Day today.

He noted the “huge contribution” made by the Windrush Generation and their descendants, both in Wales and across the UK.

He also said that today there would be a report published regarding the disproportionate effect of coronavirus on BAME communities.

“By April the evidence already showed a higher frequency of people from BAME communities needing critical care,” he said.

“Black people, both men and women, are more at risk than any other group.

“We need to understand why this difference exists.

“The report shines a sobering light on the experiences of those from BAME communities”.

He said that early in March the Welsh Government had committed to developing a race equality plan for Wales.

“Despite the effect of the pandemic on the non-Covid work of the government, we will press on to tackle racial issues in Wales,” he said.

“We will work with Estyn to ensure it’s review of Welsh history takes wider account of BAME history.”

Asked whether there was an issue with BAME representation in the Welsh Government, and organisations across the county, he said: “There is certainly more to do.

“We have had a cross-party effort since devolution to tackle these issues.

“However, we need to do more to ensure that those who make decisions on behalf of those in Wales must reflect the society in which we live.”

Mr Drakeford said that advice on tourism was three weeks away, but any decision made must strike a balance with public safety.