Coronavirus: Wales bans travellers from rest of UK's COVID hotspots

Mark Drakeford

Under the new regulations people living in England's Tier Two - "high" alert level areas which include Chester and Cheshire West and Tier Three - "very" high level - which includes the Liverpool City Region will be banned from travelling into Wales.

The new travel restrictions are expected to affect tourists from England's tier two and tier three areas as well as Scotland's central belt and Northern Ireland.

"As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling. That meant you weren't able to travel more than five miles or so from your own home and, of course, we have people coming across the border into Wales".

Police in Wales have already been monitoring traffic for Welsh local lockdown areas, where travel is restricted to and from.

"We also recognise that this is a particularly hard time for children and young people and we will also amend the regulations to allow children to leave their local health protection areas to play sport or participate in other activities such as drama or dance classes which are so important to their mental and physical health and wellbeing".

On behalf of the four Welsh police forces, temporary assistant chief constable Nigel Harrison of North Wales police said: 'As we move into a critical stage of the virus progression, policing across Wales will continue to support the Welsh Government to help limit the spread of the virus'.

Mr Drakeford said his government will look at the COVID-19 figures in Wales during the rest of the week before deciding whether such a step is required. These rules are created to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.

However, Paul Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, called on the Welsh Government to publish supporting evidence to justify a ban on people from areas of the United Kingdom with high levels of coronavirus from coming into Wales.

"There is evidence in all parts of Wales that these restrictions, and the efforts of local people and local services are making a positive difference".

The Welsh Government is looking "very carefully" at introducing a time-limited circuit-breaker lockdown in Wales, the First Minister has confirmed.

"Earlier in the year, we had a ruling Wales that said you have to stay local".

But the Police Federation of England and Wales said "policing in Wales is already over-stretched due to the pandemic" and the new measures would add "yet another level of complexity to policing".

"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 can not travel to parts of Wales where there is low prevalence. He could have helped people in Wales and elsewhere to protect themselves against the flow of virus into areas where the virus is still effectively suppressed".

"There were a small number of people who weren't willing to do so and fixed penalty notices had to be applied".

It will also affect those living in areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland with a high prevalence of Covid-19.

He added that police officers will also carry out extra patrols on main roads.



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