Skip to main content

Travel Advice for Wales

Information correct as of 13.10.2021

Written Statement: International Travel Changes (07.10.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

We have consistently urged the UK Government to take a more precautionary approach towards international travel to prevent coronavirus being re-imported into the UK, especially new and emerging variants, which may not respond to the vaccines.

As most people travelling overseas will do so from English airports and ports and, as Wales shares an open border with England, although we are concerned about the risks related to travel, it is not practical develop its own border health policy in isolation from the other nations of the UK.

I have therefore agreed that Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela should remain on the red list with a further 47 countries removed*.

I have also agreed to expand the number of countries we recognise as part of the fully vaccinated definition by further 38 countries**, together with those fully- vaccinated under the United Nations vaccination programme.

These changes will come into effect from 4am on Monday 11 October 2021.   

These changes are not without risk. They increase opportunities for new infections and new variants, which could escape the vaccines to enter the UK and Wales.  We look to the UK Government to provide reassurances that it will be maintaining consistent and robust surveillance systems that can detect dangerous variants early and that measures to relax restrictions can be swiftly reversed should the international position worsen.

We are concerned about the cumulative impact of the risk being carried in relation to opening up travel particularly from higher risk countries.

This includes the radical reduction in the number of red list countries and the suggestion the UK Government is contemplating considerably relaxing the rules around quarantine from red list countries* and introducing the use lateral flow tests for returning travellers.

All of these measures, when taken together considerably increase the risk new variant being introduced into Wales and the UK.

*Countries Removed from the Red List  - Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Congo (Democratic Republic), Costa Rica, Cuba, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Georgia, Guyana, Indonesia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mayotte, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Reunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Zambia, Zimbabwe

**List of Additional Recognised Vaccinations programmes - Albania, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Egypt, Ghana, Georgia, Grenada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Maldives, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Serbia, South Africa, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Thailand, The Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, United Nations and Vietnam.


Written Statement: International Travel Changes (27.09.2021)

The Welsh Government, together with others, have consistently urged the UK Government to take a more precautionary approach towards international travel to prevent coronavirus being re-imported into the UK, especially new and emerging variants, which may not respond to the vaccines.

Last week, the UK Government decided to merge the green and amber travel lists into one and to remove the requirement for pre-departure testing. We will align with the other UK nations and intend to make these changes by 4 October. We will also consider which countries to expand the vaccine certification recognition system to, over the coming weeks.

However, we continue to be concerned about the UK Government’s decision to move away from PCR tests for returning travellers on day two – this is because we have real concerns about the possibility of the introduction from other parts of the world of a new more aggressive variant of Covid which may be able to get around the protection we currently have as a result of our vaccination programme.

The day two PCR test, combined with genetic sequencing of all positive tests, continues to be a key plank in our surveillance for coronavirus, and should be retained. Sequencing enables skilled scientists to identify new variations in coronavirus. Without a PCR test, it is very difficult to see how the UK Government will be able to do that.

Having different testing requirements in the four nations of the UK does create communication and enforcement challenges, particularly as so many Welsh travellers return to the UK via an English port or airport.

The real answer is to retain day two PCR testing throughout the UK – we will continue to press the UK Government to reinstate UK-wide testing, while we continue to thoroughly examine the evidence for a Wales-only testing regime.


Written Statement: International Travel Changes (17.09.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

International travel continues to represent a risk of importing coronavirus infections to Wales, especially new and emerging variants of concern. Our advice continues to be that people should only travel abroad for essential reasons.

The border health measures in place across the UK go some way to protect against the importation of infection and the introduction of new variants.

A four-nation collaborative approach is critical to evaluate and implement effective border control arrangements. As Wales shares an open border with England, and most travellers arriving in Wales enter through ports outside Wales, it is not effective to have separate border health policy arrangements for Wales.

Today, I have agreed to remove Kenya, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Egypt from the red list. The changes will come into effect from 4am on Wednesday 22 September.   

We will carefully consider the UK Government’s proposed changes to the border health measures, which include the removal of pre-departure testing and introducing lateral flow tests instead of PCR tests on day two of people’s return to the UK. 

Our considerations will be underpinned by robust evidence and our main focus will continue to be on reducing the risk to public health in Wales. 

These changes are not without risk – they weaken the line of defence on importing infection and increase opportunities for new infections and new variants to enter the UK and Wales. Vaccines can help reduce this risk but only if they are effective against new and emerging variants of concern and high-risk variants under investigation.


Written Statement: Testing Requirements for International Travel (12.09.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

Following the resumption of non-essential international travel on 17 May, to help protect public health, all travellers arriving in the UK have been required to undergo a PCR test on their return.

Under our current rules, Welsh residents have had to purchase an NHS test. This is different from the rules for people living in other parts of the UK – they are able to buy tests from other private providers.

We have been concerned about the lack of consumer and public health safeguards in respect of the wider list of private test providers on the GOV.UK website. There have been a number of issues identified, including inaccurate and misleading advertised prices, slow delivery and processing of tests and results not flowing into Welsh systems.

Over the summer we have been working closely with the UK Government and other devolved governments to address these concerns and make progress towards establishing a list of private test providers, which meet mutually-agreed standards and are subject to appropriate oversight and monitoring.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has carried out a review of the market for PCR travel tests, commissioned by UK Government. A report with recommendations for consideration by UK Government was published by the CMA on 10 September. It found that “competition alone will not deliver the right outcomes for consumers” from the PCR testing market and that “a combination of regulation and enforcement is needed”. The report also notes the potential public health risk of an under-regulated PCR testing market and that “few markets have developed so rapidly and had such an impact on people’s lives”.  

The CMA has made a series of recommendations to the UK Government, including enhanced requirements for providers to appear on the GOV.UK website list, comprehensive monitoring and enforcement and sanctions for those which fail to comply.

A UK Government rapid review, carried out at the same time, has resulted in 91 companies being removed from the website and action taken against a further 135. The UK Government has said it plans to carry out regular spot checks and validation checks on prices and publish improved guidance both for consumers and private test providers.

It will also be implementing new legislative standards for private test providers from 21 September, to ensure test results and genome sequencing are processed and reported quickly and within a comparable time period to NHS tests. Providers which fail to comply with the new requirements will be subject to financial penalties.

I welcome the progress that has been made in addressing the significant concerns we have raised with UK Government, especially with the introduction of new regulatory standards on 21 September.

I expect further improvements following the publication of the CMA report and the acceptance and implementation of the recommendations will further improve outcomes.

In light of the new regulations and the impact on standards for private tests, we will make changes to the rules to enable people travelling to Wales to book tests with private sector providers, if they wish, alongside NHS tests. These changes will come into effect from 21 September to coincide with the new standards coming into force in England.

Our strong advice continues to be that people should not travel overseas unless the trip is essential because of the risk of contracting coronavirus, especially new and emerging variants of the virus which may not respond to vaccines.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so. 


Written Statement: Changes to International Travel on 26 August (26.08.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

I continue to call for caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer. There remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel and of importing cases and variants of concern from abroad including vaccine escape variants.

As Wales shares an open border with England, despite the fact that we are concerned about the risks related to travel, we believe that there is no practical way the Welsh Government can develop its own border health policy in isolation from the other nations of the UK.

I have therefore, in line with changes being made in the other UK nations, agreed to add Montenegro and Thailand to the red list and to add Denmark, Lithuania, Finland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the Azores, and Canada to the green list.

These changes will come into effect at 4am on Monday 30 August.

I continue to press the UK Government for reassurances that it will be maintaining consistent and robust surveillance - including pre-departure tests, PCR testing on day 2 and the genomic sequencing of results as one mitigation against importing vaccine escape variants.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.


Written Statement: International travel changes from 8 August 2021 (05.08.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

The UK Government has announced changes to the red, amber and green country lists for international travel in England. Despite our continued efforts to press for UK-wide decision-making in this area, decisions for England have once again been made without engagement with the Welsh Government or the other Devolved Governments.

This is unacceptable – international travel policy affects all parts of the UK and Welsh interests need to be part of the decision-making process.

We are extremely disappointed with the unilateral approach taken and believe there remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel while the virus is circulating globally. For these reasons, we continue to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.

However, as we share an open border with England, it would not be practical or viable to introduce a separate border health policy.

Therefore, we will replicate the changes being made in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to maintain the same traffic-light system as the rest of the UK. 

This means that:

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will move from the amber list to the green list.

Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will move from the amber list to the red list.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will move from the red list to the amber list.

People fully vaccinated in the UK, in Europe or the USA with approved vaccines will no longer be required to self-isolate and take a day-eight PCR test on arrival from France.

These changes will come into effect at 4am on Sunday 8 August.  

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.


Written statement: International travel changes from 2 August 2021 (28.07.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

Today the UK Government has decided to permit travellers from the EU and US who have been fully vaccinated to visit the UK without having to self-isolate on arrival.

There remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel and removing quarantine restrictions to US and EU fully vaccinated amber arrivals at this time. Without self-isolation requirements upon arrival there is a higher risk of importing cases and variants of concern (VoCs) from abroad. Vaccines will reduce this risk, but only if they are effective against VoCs. This is why we continue to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.

We regret the UK Government’s proposals to further remove quarantine requirements. However, as we share an open border with England it would be ineffective to introduce separate arrangements for Wales. Therefore, we will be aligning with the other UK administrations and implementing this decision for Wales.  We look to the UK Government to provide assurances that processes will be in place to ensure those travelling into the UK have been fully vaccinated. Also, in doing so, we will continue to press the UK Government for reassurances that it will be maintaining consistent and robust PCR surveillance - including pre-departure tests, PCR testing on day 2 and the genomic sequencing of results as one mitigation against importing vaccine escape variants. 

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.


Written Statement: International travel changes (03.06.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

Following the three week review of the restrictions on international travel we are following the same traffic-light approach to international travel as the rest of the UK.

Portugal has been moved from green to the amber list to safeguard public health against variants of concern. 

Seven countries – Afghanistan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica and Egypt – have also been added to the red list. All changes to the lists will come into effect at 4am on Tuesday 8 June.  

The decision to move Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) to the amber list follows increased concern in the spread of variants of coronavirus, including a mutation of the Delta variant, and the risk that is posed of bringing these back to the UK if people are not required to quarantine.  

Our message is clear – this is the year to holiday at home. We’re calling on people to only travel overseas for essential reasons. We have all sacrificed so much to control the pandemic in Wales, we do not want to see the virus re-imported – or new variants come into the country - as a result of overseas travel.


Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 (28.05.2021)

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (“the International Travel Regulations”) to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 10 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

The International Travel Regulations are kept under review, and on 18 January the travel corridors were suspended.  The current arrangements for travel within the Common Travel Area (CTA) (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) are unchanged so travel without isolation is still permitted.

The Regulations being made today extend the expiry date of the International Travel Regulations, the Operator Liability Regulations and the Passenger Information Regulations to 31 May 2022.  They also amend the exemption from the prohibition on entry for red list travellers for masters and seamen and inspectors and surveyors of ships arriving in Wales from red list countries.  The amendment excludes from the exemption, such persons arriving in Wales to work on, or having worked on cruise vessels.

The changes being made by these Regulations come into force from 04:00 hours Saturday 29 May.


Written Statement: LLwybr Newydd – the Wales Transport Strategy 2021 (19.03.2021)

Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales
Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport

Today we are launching Llwybr Newydd – the Wales Transport Strategy 2021 that will shape our transport system in Wales over the next 20 years.

In Wales, we are literally taking a “llwybr newydd", a new path. This Strategy places people and climate change at the front and centre of our transport system.

The climate emergency is one of the biggest defining issues of our time. To meet our net zero emission target by 2050, we must act now. Not doing so will leave a greater problem to future generations.

Responding to climate change requires a change in the way we travel. We need fewer cars on our roads, more people using public transport and more walking or cycling. We won’t achieve that level of change unless we take people with us, listening to users and involving people in designing a transport system that works for everyone. The Strategy commits to engaging users in the planning and delivery of our transport system.

The Strategy sets a vision for an accessible, sustainable and efficient transport system that is supported by 20 year ambitions that are good for people and communities, good for the environment, good for the economy and places and supports a thriving Welsh language and culture.

The Strategy will focus on three priorities. The first priority is about how we manage travel demand and to bring services to people in order to reduce the need to travel. This is not about preventing travel altogether, it is about planning ahead for better physical and digital connectivity to support access to more local services, more home and remote working. If more people can walk and cycle for everyday trips, we will reduce our dependency on cars.

Second priority is about more sustainable services and infrastructure The Strategy explains how we will allow people and goods to move easily from door-to-door by sustainable transport and how we will invest in reliable, efficient and affordable transport services that people want to use, can use and do use and in the transport infrastructure to support those services.   

The third and final priority is about encouraging people to make the change to more sustainable transport. Meeting our climate change targets will need people to travel differently. This means making it easier to do the right thing by making low carbon sustainable transport more attractive and more affordable, and by adopting innovations that make it easier to use. 

Together, these three priorities will improve our health, tackle poverty, achieve equality and open our transport system to all, particularly for those without access to a car and those living in rural areas. 

A major commitment in the strategy is to move people away from using their cars to walking and cycling and to use public transport. To support our shift from the current 32% share to 45% by 2040 we will need to increase our investment in these areas.

As a clear example of our commitment to achieving our modal shift target we are making available an interest free loan of £70m to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. This is to take forward in conjunction with Network Rail and Transport for Wales the infrastructure on the Ebbw Vale line which will secure the additional service between Newport and Ebbw Vale, and help unlock our jointly held aspirations to re-open the spur to Abertillery ultimately increasing services to 4 trains per hour. Lord Burns identified the need for a rail led solution in South Wales, and in providing this funding Welsh Government is demonstrating its commitment.

Local authorities will play a key role in delivering the commitments we are making in Llwybr Newydd. This is why we are allocating over £116m to local authorities across Wales to spend in 2021/22 financial year with further allocations to follow. This funding will support improvements to public transport and take forward our metro vision for an integrated transport system. Local authorities in the South West Metro area will receive over £8.7million and Transport for Wales will have a further £3million to support the South Wales Metro initiatives. To encourage walking and cycling, we have allocated nearly £47m to enhance the network and additional funding will be made available to support local authorities to improve and upgrade existing walking and cycling routes.

To address climate change, we have allocated over £17m to adapt our infrastructure to be resilient to the flooding events that are having a huge impact on people and communities.

Aligned with the Wales Transport Strategy is our Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy which we will publish next week. The strategy recognises that electric vehicles will play an important part in the future of transport. Access to chargepoints for all users, and in all parts of Wales, is essential if we are to fully decarbonise and improve the quality of our air. By setting a vision for the future charging requirement we are facilitating consumer confidence in making the switch to electric vehicles. This will also help to pull together actions to deliver a significant increase in charging facilities over a crucial decade. To begin to deliver the commitments in this Strategy we are allocating £9m next financial year to local authorities to move to zero emission vehicles and to roll-out charging infrastructure 

Where we need new transport infrastructure, we will take a new approach. We will use the Sustainable Transport Planning Hierarchy to give priority to meeting the demand for travel by walking, cycling and public transport ahead of private motor vehicles. To make sure this approach is fully embedded in our investment decisions and those taken by other delivery partners, we will be reviewing the Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance to be consistent with Llwybr Newydd. We will also look towards developing a criteria to assist users of WelTAG to decide when to invest in new infrastructure. Projects that receive transport funding from Welsh Government will need to demonstrate alignment with Llwybr Newydd.

Llwybr Newydd is the beginning of a journey – not an end. A new journey that future generations can be proud of.

The Link to the strategy can be found here: https://gov.wales/llwybr-newydd-wales-transport-strategy-2021


Written Statement: Amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) and (Operator Liability)(Wales) Regulations 2020 (12.03.2021)

Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 10 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

The International Travel Regulations are kept under review, and on 18 January the travel corridors were suspended.  The current arrangements for travel within the Common Travel Area (CTA) (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) are unchanged so travel without isolation is still permitted.

From 15 February the UK Government introduced a managed quarantine regime for those returning from red list countries into England.  5 ports of entry in England were designated for such arrivals who are required to complete a period of managed quarantine in a hotel.  There are a limited number of exemptions for categories, such as diplomats, armed forces personnel and hauliers.

From 15 February the Welsh Government introduced a ban on travellers arriving into Wales if they had been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.  They must arrive at one of the designated ports of entry in England (or Scotland) and remain there in managed isolation for 10 days before travelling on to Wales.  This means that such arrivals are not allowed entry in to Wales (except very limited exemptions) and to enter contrary to that provision will be a criminal offence with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £10,000.

For arrivals from “amber list countries” sectoral exemptions applied for certain categories of workers for which no isolation is required.  From 15 February these were made more restrictive and became sectoral exceptions so that isolation for 10 days is required but a person may leave isolation for a limited period for work purposes.

Since that time a number of inconsistencies have been identified between the regulatory regimes for England and for Wales and these Regulations seek to address those differences to ensure continuing alignment.  In addition these Regulations amend the list of sporting events in the International Travel Regulations to cover upcoming events expected to take place over the next four months.

The regulations come into force from 04:00 hours Saturday 13 March.


Written Statement: Amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (28.01.2021)

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 10 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended these Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.

Since then these Regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made, most recently to remove all countries and territories from this list on 18 January 2021.

Members will also be aware that enhanced isolation requirements have been introduced in relation to persons arriving into Wales from countries where public health concerns have identified in relation to the transmission of variant strains of coronavirus

Today I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that the enhanced isolation requirements applying to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius, Seychelles, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania should be maintained and reviewed in a further three weeks.  In addition, I have decided that a precautionary approach should be taken and that the Republic of Burundi, Republic of Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates will be added to the list of countries subject to enhanced isolation requirements.

All travellers arriving into Wales who have been in the Republic of Burundi, Republic of Rwanda or the United Arab Emirates in the previous 10 days will be required to isolate for 10 days and will only be able to leave isolation in very limited circumstances.  The same isolation requirements will also apply to all members of their household.  These enhanced isolation requirements will also apply to persons already in Wales who have been in these countries in the last 10 days and members of their households.

New exceptions have also been introduced to the ban on the arrival in Wales of aircrafts and vessels travelling directly from a country or territory subject to enhanced isolation measures, so that their arrival is permitted in the following circumstances:

(1) aircraft which are landing for the purpose of refuelling or maintenance where no passengers board or disembark,

(2) aircraft which are an air ambulance and landing for the purpose if transporting a person for medical treatment, and

(3) vessels are required to moor pursuant to a safety direction issued as the result of an accident (under Schedule 3A to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995).

The necessary regulations will be made today and the additional measures applying to the Republic of Burundi, Republic of Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates will come into force at 04:00 on Friday 29 January 2021.


Written Statement: Amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 10 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended these Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.

Since then these Regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made, most recently to remove all countries and territories from this list on 18 January 2021.

Members will also be aware that enhanced isolation requirements have been introduced in relation to persons arriving into Wales from countries where public health concerns have identified in relation to the transmission of variant strains of coronavirus

Today I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that the enhanced isolation requirements applying to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Seychelles should be maintained and reviewed in a further three weeks.  In addition, due to the absence of data from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania and the fact that they both share borders with Zambia, I have decided that a precautionary approach should be taken and that these countries will be added to the list of countries subject to enhanced isolation requirements.

All travellers arriving into Wales who have been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania in the previous 10 days will be required to isolate for 10 days and will only be able to leave isolation in very limited circumstances.  The same isolation requirements will also apply to all members of their household.  These enhanced isolation requirements will also apply to persons already in Wales who have been in these countries in the last 10 days and members of their households.

New exceptions have also been introduced to the ban on the arrival in Wales of aircrafts and vessels travelling directly from a country or territory subject to enhanced isolation measures, so that their arrival is permitted in the following circumstances:

(1) aircraft which are landing for the purpose of refuelling or maintenance where no passengers board or disembark,

(2) aircraft which are an air ambulance and landing for the purpose if transporting a person for medical treatment, and

(3) vessels are required to moor pursuant to a safety direction issued as the result of an accident (under Schedule 3A to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995).

The necessary regulations will be made today and the additional measures applying to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania will come into force at 04:00 on Friday 22 January 2021.


Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Amendments (07.11.2021)

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 14 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended these Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.

Since then these Regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made.

Today I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that Israel, Botswana, Mauritius and the Seychelles will be removed from the list of exempt countries and territories. Travellers from these countries will be required to isolate on arrival in Wales. 

On 23 December, the Secretary of State for Transport reported that a new variant of Covid-19 has been detected in South Africa. A decision was taken by the UK Government to implement further travel restrictions on arrivals from South Africa. Most flights from South Africa route through airports in England.

Today the Secretary of State for Transport has decided to maintain the current measures on South Africa and extend equivalent measures to other countries which includes Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola, and also for the Seychelles and Mauritius.

I have therefore decided that action should be taken to remove the sectoral exemptions for travellers arriving from these countries. All travellers arriving into Wales who have been in these countries in the previous 10 days will be required to isolate for 10 days and will only be able to leave isolation in very limited circumstances.  The same isolation requirements will also apply to all members of their household.  These enhanced isolation requirements will also apply to persons already in Wales who have been in these countries in the last 10 days and members of their households.

A further amendment will be made such that direct flights from these countries will no longer be able to land in Wales.

Tomorrow I will lay the necessary regulations which will come into force at 04:00 on Saturday 9 January 2021.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.


Roadworks on Welsh roads to be cleared to make Christmas and New Year journeys easier (19.12.2020)

Projects will be completed or paused along the A55, M4 and all major trunk roads in the run up to the festive period, other than unscheduled emergency situations.

The Welsh Government is either bringing to a close or pausing any projects where it is safe to do so, that could cause disruption to our networks during what is normally one of the busiest times of the year.

People are being asked to be sensible and stay as close to home as possible this year in line with guidance and regulations. Ahead of essential journeys people are encouraged to check traffic conditions and make sure vehicles are roadworthy.

Research shows almost half of all breakdowns are caused by mechanical problems which could be avoided with simple checks - with nearly a quarter caused by tyre problems.

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates added:

After this brief respite, we will be asking motorists in North Wales for their patience as we have to carry out essential works to the Glan Conwy Bridge near junction 19 on the A55. They are due to start on January 15th, programmed to last up to two weeks. As delays are possible I would urge you to plan any essential journeys carefully and visit the Traffic Wales website for the latest information.

The large expansion joints at the eastern end of the bridge have reached the end of their operational life and must be replaced urgently to ensure motorists’ safety and to avoid the need for an emergency closures.

We don’t carry out planned full closures of carriageways unless absolutely necessary, but the safety of the travelling public is paramount and this work needs to take place to ensure that.

The dedicated team will be working in shifts 24 hours a day, and we urge motorists to bear with. Please stay on the A55 and avoid local roads to ensure traffic can flow as freely as possible.


Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Amendments. (17.12.2020)

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 14 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended these Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.

Since then these Regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made.

Today I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that the Republic of Namibia, Uruguay and the US Virgin Islands will be removed from the list of exempt countries and territories.  Travellers from these countries and territories will be required to isolate on arrival in Wales.

The position in relation to a person entering Wales who has been released from isolation in England under ‘Test to Release’ has also been clarified to make it clear that such a person would still need to complete any outstanding isolation period in Wales unless entering for a specified purpose and for no longer than necessary. Any person entering Wales would of course also be subject to the local restrictions in place at that time.

Tomorrow I will lay the necessary regulations which will come into force at 04:00 on Saturday 19 December.


Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Amendments (12.11.2020)

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate for 14 days and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.

On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended these Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.

Since then these Regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made.

Today I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that the Sovereign airbases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the island of Cyprus and Greece, except for the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Corfu, Crete and Zakynthos (Zante), will be removed from the list of exempt countries and territories, so travellers from those countries will need to isolate on arrival in Wales.

I have also decided that the following countries and territories should be added to the list of exempt countries and territories; Bahrain, Cambodia, Chile, Iceland, Laos, Qatar, Turks and Caicos, and the United Arab Emirates, so travellers from these countries will no longer need to isolate on arrival in Wales.

A further amendment will be made such that passenger planes and ships travelling directly from Denmark, and accompanied freight, will no longer be able to land or dock at Welsh ports.

Tomorrow I will lay the necessary regulations which will come into force at 04:00 on Saturday 14 November.


Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) (Amendment) (10.09.2020)

Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services.

 Members will be aware that the UK Government made provision to ensure that travellers entering the United Kingdom from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on Monday 8 June 2020.

On 10 July the Welsh Government amended the Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.

 Since then these regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made.

 Yesterday I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that Hungary and Reunion will be removed from the list of exempt countries and territories and that Sweden will be added to this list. Tomorrow I will lay the necessary regulations which will come into force at 04:00 on Saturday 12 September.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns, I would be happy to do so.


Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) (Amendment) (No3) Regulations 2020 (30.07.2020)

Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services.

Members will be aware that the UK Government made provision to ensure that travellers entering the United Kingdom from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on Monday 8 June 2020.

Since then these regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes have been made:

  • on 10 July the Welsh Government amended the Regulations to introduce exemptions from the self-isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempt from or except from certain restrictions;
  • on 11 July Serbia was removed from the list of exempt countries and territories because of concerns about the increased public health risk presented by travellers from that country entering the UK;
  • subsequently on 26 July Spain and its islands was removed from the list of exempt countries and territories for the same reason.

A review of both the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020 (international travel and passenger information regulations) was undertaken on 27 July.  I have decided that no changes are required to the passenger information regulations.

In light of the review, however, the Welsh Government intends to further amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 by adding to the list of sporting events in Schedule 4 which permit exceptions from isolation for those involved, make a further minor technical amendment to the definition of sewerage licensee and to add the following to the list of exempt countries and territories;

i.         Latvia

ii.        Estonia

iii.       Slovakia

iv.       Slovenia

v.        St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Ealier today I attended a meeting of ministers from all four UK countries to consider the public health risk posed by an increasing prevalence of COVID-19 in Luxembourg.

Having considered the evidence for the public health risk now posed by travellers who enter the UK from that country, the Welsh Government will also later today remove Luxembourg from the list of countries and territories exempt from our health measures at the border.

An urgent amendment will be introduced to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 which will come into effect from midnight tonight.  This will mean that anyone who arrives from Luxembourg (or who has been in Luxembourg during the past 14 days) will be required to quarantine for 14 days as of tomorrow.

When the Regulations are laid the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd will write to the Llywydd, in accordance with the requirements of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 and our usual practice.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.

Source: Shared Services Partnership


Joint statement by the UK Chief Medical Officers – extension of self-isolation period (30.07.2020)

Joint statement from the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers on changes to the self isolation period.

"In symptomatic people COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.

Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with COVID who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset.

We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

This will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission."


UPDATE from Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services: (26.07.2020)

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed of the latest developments on international travel and the coronavirus. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.

Earlier this afternoon I attended a meeting of ministers from all 4 UK countries to consider the public health risk posed by an increasing prevalence of COVID-19 in parts of Spain.

The Ministerial Group agreed today to remove all of Spain, including its islands, from the list of countries exempt from our health measures at the border with implementation to take effect at the beginning of Sunday, 26 July 2020.

I have therefore made an urgent amendment to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020, meaning anyone who arrives from Spain (or who has been in Spain during the past 14 days) will be required to quarantine for 14 days as of tomorrow.

Similar action has been taken by ministers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020


UPDATE from Mark Drakeford, First Minister: (09.07.2020)

At the request of the UK Government the Welsh Government has agreed to amend The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to exempt travellers from a list of countries from the quarantine requirements put in place by the regulations.

The original regulations were made on 5 June and came into force on 8 June; the amended regulations will come into force on 10 July. As a result of the amended regulations travellers arriving in Wales from countries listed below will no longer be required to isolate for a quarantine period.

The travel regulations require passengers arriving in Wales from outside of the Common Travel Area, or where they have been outside of the Common Travel Area in the past 14 days, to provide their contact details and travel information and to isolate themselves for a period of 14 days.

The Regulations contain a number of exemptions for specified categories of people – such as air flight crew, for example. The amendments agreed now exempt travellers from the countries listed.

We are also taking the opportunity to amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020 to provide flexibility in how the public health statement delivered to passengers on-board aircraft may be delivered. We are harmonising this statement with that given on behalf of the other UK countries.

Responsibility for managing UK borders rests with the UK Government.  The Welsh Government has, throughout this process, aimed to be constructive in enabling the UK Government achieve its policy objective. The UK Government has shared its methodology with us and this has been reviewed by the Chief Medical Officer.

The list of exempt countries included in the Regulations can be found here.

 

In China or planning to travel

If you are in China or planning to travel there read the China travel advice on GOV.UK.

The latest information and travel advice is available from:


From (06.07.2020)

  • Stay local travel restrictions are being lifted in Wales, meaning people can travel to see friends and family or visit beauty spots for the first time since March. First Minister Mark Drakeford has said people will be able to "travel as far as they like for all purposes.
  • Bookings can be made to stay in self-contained holiday accommodation in Wales for dates from 11 July, two days ahead of what was previously announced.

 

  • No announcement has been made for holiday accommodation with shared facilities. However, hotels, B&Bs and hostels that can provide en-suite rooms and provide room service meals can open from 11 July. The same goes for boats and some glamping accommodation with their own kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use.
  • The phased reopening of pubs will start on Monday 13 July starting with outdoor spaces owned by the business and subject to existing licences. It is dependent on coronavirus conditions continuing "to be favourable". The reopening of indoor services will be considered later, depending on the success of outdoor opening.

 

People from two separate households are able to join together to form one exclusive extended household.