Posted: Mon 5th Oct 2020

Welsh Government considering imposing quarantine rules to stop those travelling from UK hotspots into Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 5th, 2020

The Welsh government is considering using quarantine regulations, usually used for foreign travellers, to prevent those travelling to Wales from UK coronavirus hotspots such as Merseyside.

Last week first minister Mark Drakeford said he had written to the Prime Minister requesting measures to prevent travel from England’s Covid hotspots into Wales.

That request was first rejected during a Prime Minister Questions session, and then later in the week PM Johnson said he had heard the plea ‘loud and clear’ but again rejected it.

On Friday the First Minister spoke about the travel issue into Wales from England with it being explained it is hard to take action against the country as a whole: “In England they have large areas where the position is much more difficult than Wales, but they have other areas where there are fewer cases in circulation.”

“If you divide all the virus by all the population in England, you come with a lower figure than you do in Wales. But if you were to take the north of England, and take the areas that are closest to Wales, and the figures there are higher than Wales as a whole.”

During today’s Welsh government coronavirus briefing, health minister Vaughan Gething confirmed the Welsh government was “actively considering” imposing some sort of quarantine regulations on people coming from high incidence areas of the UK into Wales.

Mr Gething said: “We’ll have to consider the matter today, we need to take some advice from our scientific and medical advisors, public health advisors and will then need to consider whether this is the right course of action.

“The measures we’ve introduced in Wales are about isolating areas with a higher prevalence of coronavirus and protecting lower prevalence areas too.

We’re actively considering what we should do and I’ve discussed it this morning with the First Minister.

“We have quarantine regulations for international travel, so for some of the hotspot areas in the North of England, the North East, North West, and the West Midlands if they were other countries or territories, we would have quarantine regulations for them to return to the UK.”

“We are having to consider how we use our power to protect lower prevalence areas of Wales, but at the same time, we don’t want to take a whole nation approach because of low prevalence areas and at the southwest of England.”

“There’s no good reason to prevent someone from Devon, at this point in time, coming to visit a pre-booked holiday or trip to Pembrokeshire.”

“It’s disappointing that we haven’t had a response to first Minister’s letter but we’ve seen the interview with the Prime Minister, where he indicated he’s not prepared to do that at this point in time.

We then have to consider our own responsibility, our own powers and how we’ll draw that in a way that is proportionate to the risk, we face.”

Last week it was pointed out that if Cheshire’s stats were in a foreign country then a quarantine would be in place, or if it was in Wales a lockdown would be in place.

The Health Minister agreed back then, “You are right to point out if those counties were a different country, then there would be quarantine arrangements for people who have travelled from that country into any part of the UK.”

You can view today’s briefing here: 

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