Welsh Government to ban travel to Wales from UK Covid Hotspots

It will come into force by the end of this week

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has announced that he will enforce a travel restriction to those in England who are currently living in Covid Hotspot areas.

Mr Drakeford had already asked Boris Johnson to impose his own rules on these areas to stop them from travelling into Wales but the Prime Minister had failed to respond to these letters repeatedly, showing no intention to establish such guidelines.

Mr Drakeford has said he is giving Boris Johnson until Friday 16th October to respond to his letter and then, if he does not, the Welsh Government will bring in the new rules of restriction to legislation on that day.

While it’s clear from the five-mile-rule restriction that was in place over summer – which limited travel into and within Wales – that the Welsh Government do have the power to impose this new restriction, the First Minister thought it would be a more effective and imperative message if it came from the UK Government.

While the Welsh Government had politely but urgently asked for the Prime Minister’s help, they have been “deeply disappointed” – as Health minister Vaughan Getting stated – and they believe that Johnson has been, “deeply disrespectful” not only to the Senedd, but also the people of Wales.

The new measure is due to the fact that, according to Drakeford, “Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving east to west across the UK and across Wales.” This is the reason that the Welsh Government 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 areas that this now will apply to are those that are considered to be ‘high’ and ‘very high’ risk levels. These areas currently  include:

Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Leicester, North East, Nottingham, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tees Valley, Warrington, West Midlands, and Liverpool.

The following areas will be entering the ‘high’ risk levels on 17th October:

London, Essex, Elmbridge (Surrey), Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash (Derbyshire), and Chesterfield

For those of us living in Cardiff, we can feel better knowing that Mr Drakeford is, “determined to keep Wales Safe.”

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