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Travel Advice for Wales

Information correct as of 26.02.2020

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.