Wales bars travelers from UK COVID-19 hotspots

Woman walking in Glasgow

Woman walking in Glasgow

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.

Drakeford today explained to viewers that holiday providers in Wales should not accept half-term bookings from people in areas of the United Kingdom with high levels of coronavirus, and said that existing bookings will not be honoured.

Mr Drakeford told BBC Breakfast: "I believe the police will have a range of techniques that they will be able to use".

"Mr Davies also referred to a paper that accompanied the First Minister's letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, a paper - that was not peer-reviewed - that confirms the data "...does not constitute definitive proof" in favour of a travel ban".

National Police Chiefs' Council figures published after the five-mile rule ended in July showed that out of the 281 fines issues in north Wales, 81 involved local residents while 188 involved visitors from England.

Labour's Mark Drakeford has declared that he is "genuinely baffled" by the Prime Minister's refusal to put in place measures to stop people travelling to Wales and other areas from coronavirus hotspots in England.

Under the new three-tier system of alerts, areas of England will have different restrictions depending on their level of cases but there are no travel restrictions on those in the highest area (currently affecting Merseyside). It's a protective measure.

"It's a bit like barricading the front door", he said.

How would travel restrictions work?

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"Police were able to identify cars from outside the area, they were able to engage and educate those people, and the great majority turned back, those who refused did get issued with fixed penalty notices and if they stayed they got further fixed penalty notices".

"It can be enforced successfully.".

He said there should be a four-nation meeting of the government's emergency COBRA committee to "look at it together".

However hard it may be to enforce, the sad truth is that these measures are beginning to look necessary once more; at a press conference earlier today, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford revealed that the nation's caseload has reached 100 per 100,000 people.

The areas that this now will apply to are those that are considered to be "high" and "very high" risk levels.

Will Wales have a circuit breaker?

Northern Ireland is acting on its own by introducing some of the strictest lockdown measures, with the hospitality sector effectively closed for four weeks from Friday and all schools shut for two weeks from Monday.

Asked how can Wales prevent, for example, a family from Merseyside going on a half-term holiday to Llandudno.

"The disappointment is that we need to do this on an individual country basis rather than having a more collegiate approach".

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