Wales introduces travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus
New regulations to prevent people who live in areas with high coronavirus infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales will come into force later today, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
The new restrictions will take effect from 6pm today (Friday October 16 2020).
The action is being taken after the Prime Minister declined the First Minister’s requests to make advisory travel guidance in English coronavirus hotspots mandatory.
Under the regulations, people living in areas with a high-prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will not be able to travel to Wales for the time being.
They are being introduced to help prevent the virus spreading from high-prevalence areas to lower-prevalence communities.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The number of coronavirus cases across Wales is growing and our health service is coming under pressure as more people fall ill.
“Much of Wales is now subject to local restrictions, which mean people living in these local health protection areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundaries without a reasonable excuse. These rules are designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.
“To keep Wales safe, we are introducing these new, wider travel regulations to make it clear that people living in areas with a high prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland cannot travel to parts of Wales where there is low prevalence.
“It is vital we do all we can to keep communities, which have low levels of infection as safe as possible, and this sensible and necessary restriction will help prevent the virus moving from more urban, highly populated areas to more sparsely populated areas.”
The new travel regulations will enable people to travel for a limited number of reasons, such as for work.
Local restrictions in place in Wales already mean people living in a local health protection area – usually a local authority area – are not able to enter of leave their area without a reasonable excuse. This is to prevent the spread of coronavirus to other parts of Wales and the UK.
Notes to editors
The Welsh Government has published a paper about the genetic makeup of the virus, which causes covid-19, jointly authored by the Bioinformatics team at Public Health Wales and the Pathogen Genomics Unit from the Cardiff University School of Biosciences: https://gov.wales/genomic-analysis-covid-19-lineages-wales