Wales to BAN English people from Covid hotspots visiting from Friday

Wales to BAN English people from Covid hotspots visiting from Friday

October 14, 2020

WALES will BAN people living in coronavirus hotspots in England from crossing the border from Friday, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford has told Boris Johnson he will close the border to England after issuing an ultimatum to the PM that he would take matters into his own hands if the Government didn't roll out their own travel restrictions.

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After writing to Mr Johnson twice this week demanding people living in areas with the worst infection rates be banned from leaving, the First Minister announced he would bring in his own regulations.

Mr Drakeford said: "There has been no formal response from @BorisJohnson to my requests to restrict travel into Wales from coronavirus hotspots.

"I am preparing new regulations to protect the health of people in Wales that will come into force on Friday."

He said yesterday the point of a ban is to "ban people from high prevalence areas entering areas with low prevalence, wherever they may be in the UK."

Mr Drakeford told Sky News this morning: "I simply want the Prime Minister to (ban people in high-risk areas from leaving) for England, so that people in Liverpool, where the virus is in far, far higher circulation than the rest of Wales, can't travel to holiday destinations in Wales, or to low-circulation areas in England.

"It is a simple, straightforward, practical action that prevents the flow of virus out of areas where there is a great deal of it, into areas where there is very little of it.

"I'm baffled why the Prime Minister continues to resist this idea."

Mr Drakeford said people who live in high-risk areas such as Cardiff are banned from moving around to areas where coronavirus infections are much lower.

He added: "All I'm asking is for what is fair, for people in high volume areas outside Wales not being able to do things that people in Wales who live in high coronavirus areas are already prevented from doing."

It comes as:

  • Boris Johnson again refused to call for a national "circuit breaker" lockdown
  • Manchester and Lancashire could be given order to go into a Tier 3 lockdown
  • Northern Ireland will go into a "circuit breaker" lockdown from Friday, with all pubs and restaurants to close for FOUR weeks
  • A new study has said England and Wales suffered one of the highest excess death tolls in the world in the first wave

In his letter to Mr Johnson yesterday, the First Minister said the UK's "voluntary guidance approach" advising people not to leave areas had failed, and "firmer action is required."

He said: “Our efforts are being undermined by travellers from high-prevalence areas in other parts of the UK travelling to Wales.

"If you fail to introduce the sort of measures we have already introduced in Wales, it will make this an issue which will undermine rather than support the successful operation of the border region.

“It would be better if all four nations were to act in concert, but in the absence of an agreed way forward, I will act to keep Wales safe.”

Mr Drakeford stressed this was "not a border issue" about stopping people from England coming to Wales, but about stopping the virus spreading.

The infection rate in Cardiff, one of the worst in Wales, is 161.4 cases per 100,000.

That's compared to Liverpool's spiralling infection rate of 635.3 cases per 100,000.

Most people in Wales are unable to leave their county without a "reasonable excuse" such as work".

It means about two million people are unable to travel around to other parts of the UK.


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