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Wales to introduce travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Cymru’n paratoi i gyflwyno cyfyngiadau teithio i atal y coronafeirws rhag lledaenu

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, First Minister Mark Drakeford today confirmed.

The action is being taken after the Prime Minister did not respond to the First Minister’s requests to make advisory travel guidance in English coronavirus hotspots mandatory.

Under new regulations being prepared by Welsh Ministers, people living in areas with a high-prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would not be able to travel to Wales for the time being.

They will help prevent the virus moving from such high-prevalence areas to lower-prevalence communities.

First Minister Mark 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.

“I am determined to keep Wales safe.”

The Welsh Government is finalising its regulatory approach to the travel restrictions. 

The new restrictions are planned to come into force on Friday October 16 at 6pm.

Notes to editors

  • The Welsh Government has today 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