Wales travel ban: What are the restrictions and where is classed as a Covid hot spot?

14 October 2020, 17:37

People wear face coverings as they walk along socially distanced floor markings in Cardiff
People wear face coverings as they walk along socially distanced floor markings in Cardiff. Picture: PA

By Megan White

People from coronavirus hot spots will be prevented from travelling to Wales from Friday as the country attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the move was needed to "to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK."

But what are the new restrictions and where counts as a hot spot?

Who has ordered the ban and why?

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford decided to take the drastic action to stop those from highly infectious areas bringing the virus into Wales.

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

Mr Drakeford said he was left with no choice after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ignored two of his letters asking for talks.

The Welsh Government's plans will bring people elsewhere in the UK in line with measures currently in place in the 17 areas of Wales under local lockdown restrictions.

Under those rules, people must not enter or leave an affected area without a reasonable excuse such as work or education.

What does a 'hot spot' mean?

The new ban will apply to anybody living in areas with Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions in England.

This includes areas such as Liverpool (Tier 3), Greater Manchester, Warrington, some areas of High Peak in Derbyshire, and parts of Lancashire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire (all Tier 2).

It also includes Newcastle, South and North Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham and Northumberland.

It will also apply to areas with restrictions in Scotland and people from Northern Ireland.

What are the exceptions to the new restrictions?

People will still be able to travel from hot spots into Wales for work.

When will it begin?

It will come into force at 6pm on Friday.

Will Scotland do the same?

Mark Drakeford said he had received support from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for the travel ban.

Ms Sturgeon earlier told the Scottish Government's press briefing she supported Mr Drakeford's push for travel restrictions to be imposed across the UK, and would not rule out imposing her own.

"I want to be clear today that I back the calls from the First Minister of Wales and I'll be writing to the Prime Minister today to seek urgent talks on that issue," she said.

She added: "On the specific about travel restrictions, if we think putting formal travel restrictions in places necessary, we will do that and I don't rule that out - I don't rule anything out."

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