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Wales to introduce travel restrictions to stop people travelling from areas of the UK with high Coronavirus infection rates

Wales to introduce travel restrictions to stop people travelling from areas of the UK with high Coronavirus infection rates

The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has confirmed that the Welsh Government is preparing 'urgent action' to prevent people who live in areas with high coronavirus infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales.

The move comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not respond to requests by the First Minister to make advisory travel guidance in English coronavirus hotspots mandatory.

New restrictions are currently being planned and are expected to come into force at 6pm on Friday (16 October).

Under new regulations, people living in areas with a high-prevalence of COVID-19 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would not be able to travel to Wales.

Announcing the action, Mr Drakeford said;

“Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving from east to west across the UK and across Wales. As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling.  

“Much of Wales is now subject to local restriction measures because levels of the virus have risen and people living in those areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundary without a reasonable excuse. This is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.  

“We are preparing to take this action to prevent people who live in areas where there are higher covid infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales and bringing the virus with them.

The First Minister added that he is "determined to keep Wales safe".

The measures are designed to prevent the virus from moving from areas with a high number of virus cases, to areas with a relatively low number of virus cases. Exactly how the new regulations will work or be enforced is not yet completely clear, but it is understood that people in areas of England with an alert level of 'High' or 'Very High' will not be permitted to visit Wales.

For a period earlier in the pandemic, people in Wales were told to 'stay local' and were only allowed to travel up to 5 miles from their home, unless they had a reasonable excuse. Under current local lockdown rules in parts of Wales, people cannot enter or leave local lockdown areas without a reasonable excuse, such as for travel to work or school.

 

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