Wales brings in travel ban for United Kingdom virus hotspots

Sign on motorway

Sign on motorway

Today Mr Drakeford said none of the areas would be taken out of local lockdown as the trend across Wales was "worsening".

It said they are being introduced to help prevent the virus spreading from high-prevalence areas to lower-prevalence communities.

But Britons hoping to take a well-deserved break in Wales have been warned their bookings could soon be cancelled after First Minister Mark Drakeford introduced stricter control measures on travel.

"He has the power, he has the authority, what he lacks is the willingness".

He said the move was needed to "to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the United Kingdom".

"People will be able to come into Wales, if you're educated in Wales or and England and need to cross the border, if you need health services across the border if you work in an essential occupation where you can't work from home, you'll be allowed to travel".

'But this time, it will be for weeks and not months. A report released Tuesday showed that the government's science advisers had urged his government to install much tougher measures, including a two- to three-week national lockdown. The shorter the period, the sharper the measures will have to be'.

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

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".

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The ban is aimed at people living in areas of England, Scotland and the north of Ireland with high levels of Covid-19.

But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon voiced her support for Mr Drakeford's decision as she confirmed she will be writing to Mr Johnson seeking urgent talks on a UK-wide restriction.

The UK Government however have pushed back against the proposals, with Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday describing them as "unconstitutional".#.

The Welsh Government already restricted travel to and from 17 local lockdown areas which cover a majority of the population, and some areas require a reasonable excuse.

The restriction will prevent travel to Wales from areas in England in Tier 2 or 3, as well as the central belt of Scotland, the whole of Northern Ireland, and any other areas which are categorised as high prevalence in future.

The Welsh Government has introduced rules meaning people from high-risk coronavirus hotspots will be banned from entering the areas where there is a low incidence of Covid-19.

"I never wanted this to become an issue of the border and people travelling in and out of Wales", he told BBC Breakfast.

More than 330 people who tested positive for coronavirus are being treated in hospitals across Wales this week, up by more than 100 from the week before, according to the Welsh government. "We all need to act now to stop the spread of the virus and protect our NHS this winter", it said on Wednesday.

'There will also be plenty of individuals travelling legitimately from areas which are not high risk, and this will only add to the other difficulties officers face when policing the existing regulations'. In other locations provisions are more relaxed, so this proposed travel ban adds yet another level of complexity to policing'.

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