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Decision-making process for travel restrictions branded 'unacceptable' by Welsh Health Minister

Decision-making process for travel restrictions branded 'unacceptable' by Welsh Health Minister

Wales' Health Minister Eluned Morgan has described the decision-making process behind the latest changes to coronavirus travel rules as 'unacceptable'.

In a written statement to the Senedd, Morgan said that Wales would replicate the changes being made to travel rules in England to maintain the same traffic-light system as the rest of the UK, saying "it would not be practical or viable to introduce a separate border health policy."

Ms Morgan said;

"The UK Government has announced changes to the red, amber and green country lists for international travel in England. Despite our continued efforts to press for UK-wide decision-making in this area, decisions for England have once again been made without engagement with the Welsh Government or the other Devolved Governments.

"This is unacceptable – international travel policy affects all parts of the UK and Welsh interests need to be part of the decision-making process.

"We are extremely disappointed with the unilateral approach taken and believe there remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel while the virus is circulating globally. For these reasons, we continue to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer."

The latest changes to the UK's coronavirus travel rules will come into effect at 4am on Sunday 8 August. The changes, announced in England by the UK Government's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will see Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway move to the green list from Sunday.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will move from the red to amber list and, France will move from the amber-plus list to the amber list.

Meanwhile, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will move from the amber list to the red list.

As well as the changes to the destinations on each list, there will be an increase in the cost of stays in hotel quarantine on return from red list destinations. According to Mr Shapps, the price for single adult travellers staying in hotel quarantine will rise from £1,750 to £2,285 from 12 August in order to better reflect the costs involved.

 

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