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The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (“the Travel Regulations”) introduced certain requirements for persons entering Wales to reduce the risk of imported infections.

The law in Wales may differ to the law applicable in other parts of the UK. This guidance is applicable to anyone who arrives in Wales who has been outside of the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) in the 10 days before arrival.

The Travel Regulations are subject to a formal review every 28 days. However, changes may be made more frequently, especially in relation to the removal of countries from the list of exempt countries and territories. It is advisable to check the latest position before departure on both the outward and return journeys.

From 04:00 on Monday 18 January, all exempt countries and territories (travel corridors) have been suspended.  Anyone arriving in Wales from outside the Common Travel Area after 4am on Monday 18 January will need to isolate for 10 days. 

From 15 February 2021, there is no direct arrival into Wales from travellers who have been in a country on the 'red list'.

Background

The Travel Regulations were introduced on 8 June 2020 and required persons arriving in Wales who have been in a country outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) at any point during the 10 days before arrival to isolate for up to 10 days, subject to a number of exemptions.

The Travel Regulations have been amended on a number of occasions, most notably to introduce travel corridor exemptions for person travelling from some countries and territories. The list of exempted countries and territories sets out those countries from which persons arriving in Wales do not need to isolate.

Isolation requirements

If you are travelling from within the Common Travel Area or you are arriving from one of the countries or territories listed in the Travel Regulations as exempt (“the exempted countries list”) you will not have to isolate when you arrive in Wales.

You will, however, need to isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the exempted countries list in the 10 days before you arrive in Wales. This applies to all travel into Wales, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.

Even if you are exempt from the requirement to isolate as set out in the Travel Regulations, you will still need to follow the rules for people who live in Wales upon arriving in Wales.

Travellers arriving in Wales from elsewhere within the UK

If you are arriving in Wales from within the UK (England, Scotland or Northern Ireland) and have not been outside the Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands) in the 10 days before entering Wales, you will not need to complete a passenger locator form to provide your journey or contact details or isolate.

Travellers arriving in Wales from within the Common Travel Area

If you are arriving in Wales from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and have not been outside the Common Travel Area in the 10 days before entering Wales you will not need to provide your journey and contact details by completing a passenger locator form or isolate

You can show details of recent travel into the CTA, such as a boarding pass or itinerary, to help confirm when you entered the CTA and how long you have spent in the CTA in total.

Travellers arriving in Wales from an amber list country

Amber list countries and territories are places that are not in the Common Travel Area or on the list of red list of countries.

If you are arriving in Wales from an amber list country or territory  or you have been in an amber list country or territory at any time in the 10 days before entering Wales:

  • You will need to provide your journey and contact details by completing a passenger locator form.
    (This can be done electronically prior to arriving in Wales and you may be requested to present these details at your point of arrival.)
  • You must have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test for all travellers aged 11 or above, taken no more than 72 hours before departure (Pre Departure Test – PDT)
  • Pre-booked a testing package for all travellers aged 5 and above for COVID-19 testing at Day 2 and Day 8 following your arrival
  • You will need to isolate for up to 10 days.

This applies to both visitors and UK residents. 

If you are arriving from elsewhere in the UK having been in an amber list country in the last 10 days, you are not required to submit another passenger locator form when you arrive in Wales as this will have already been submitted before your arrival in the UK.

Should your address or contact details change whilst you are in Wales then you must update this as and when required by submitting a new passenger locator form.

There are some exemptions from requirements to provide journey details and/or to isolate for specific categories of people (see below).

How long must you isolate for

Please note: References in this guidance to the 10 day isolation period should be read as the period for which you are required to isolate depending on your specific circumstances. 

If you arrive in Wales directly from an amber list country or territory, you are required to isolate for a period of 10 days on arrival in Wales.  

If you travel to Wales from within the CTA but have been in or transited through an amber country or territory in the 10 days before your arrival in Wales, you will need to isolate in Wales for the remainder for the 10 day period.

The isolation period starts on the day after you last left an amber country or territory and ends at 23:59 on the 10th day from that date. 

Example, if you left an amber country on the 5th of the month your period of isolation will end at 23:59 on the 15th. You would be able to go out on the 16th.

Example, if you left an amber country on the 8th of the month and then travelled within the CTA before arriving in Wales on the 11th you would have to isolate in Wales from your arrival on the 11th to 23:59 on the 18th.  You would be able to go out on the 19th.

Negative tests do not avoid or reduce the period of isolation.  Tests taken abroad to meet requirements in other countries do not avoid or reduce the period of isolation required when you arrive in Wales.  This includes the requirement to have a negative test within 72 hours prior to departure. 

There is no Test To Release Scheme in Wales so negative tests taken in England do not avoid or reduce the period of isolation required in Wales.

Short visit – if you are you are required to isolate and you are staying in Wales for less than 10 days then you must remain in isolation for the whole time you are here.

What you must do when you are isolating is explained in this guidance.

Travellers arriving in Wales from a red list country

From 15 February you cannot travel directly to Wales if you’ve visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days.  These banned counties are often called ‘red list’ (countries where new variant covid strains have been found). 

You will only be able to enter the Wales from ‘red list’ countries via a designated port of entry in England or Scotland and isolate for 10 days in a nearby managed quarantine hotel. There are no designated ports of entry in Wales.  

You will need to:

  • Provide your journey and contact details by completing a passenger locator form.
    (This can be done electronically prior to arriving in Wales and you may be requested to present these details at your point of arrival.)
  • Have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test, taken no more than 72 hours before departure (Pre Departure Test – PDT)
  • Quarantine for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel. 
  • Take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining (Everyone aged 5 and above).

Both the managed quarantine and testing must be pre-booked before arrival via the UK booking site.

You will not be able to transit to Wales until you have completed quarantine.

This applies to all travellers intending to travel to Wales. 

If you are arriving from elsewhere in the UK having been in a red list country or territory in the last 10 days, you are not required to submit another passenger locator form when you arrive in Wales as this will have already been submitted upon arrival in the UK.

Should your address or contact details change whilst you are in managed quarantine then you must update this as and when required by submitting a new passenger locator form.

Amber and red list countries and territories

The red list may change with countries and territories being added or removed following Welsh Ministers decisions on the potential health risks of travellers arriving from those destinations.

You must check the list of exempt countries and territories before departure on both the outward and return journeys.

Red list countries and territories as at 29 January 2021

  • Angola (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Argentina (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Azores (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Bolivia (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Botswana (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Brazil (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Chile (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Colombia (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Demark (added 04:00 6 November 2020) (removed from 04:00 28 November 2020)
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (added 04:00 22 January 2021)
  • Ecuador (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Eswatini (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • French Guiana (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Guyana (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Lesotho (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Madeira (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Malawi (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Mauritius (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Mozambique (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Namibia (added from 04:00 hours 19 December 2020)
  • Paraguay (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Peru (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Portugal (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Republic of Burundi (added from 04:00 29 January 2021)
  • Republic of Cabo Verde (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Republic of Panama (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Republic of Rwanda (added from 04:00 29 January 2021)
  • Seychelles (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • South Africa (added from 04:00 23 December 2020)
  • Suriname (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Tanzania (added 04:00 22 January 2021)
  • United Arab Emirates (added from 04:00 29 January 2021)
  • Uruguay (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Venezuela (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Zambia (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)
  • Zimbabwe (added from 04:00 15 January 2021)

Updates to the amber and red lists

The Welsh Ministers are keeping the list of amber and red list countries and territories under review. For example, if the public health situation in a country or territory worsens, we may reintroduce isolation requirements.

Travellers leaving Wales

You may leave Wales to travel to another country.  Whilst in Wales you must follow the guidance in place at the time.  If you travel to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Ireland to get to an airport or ferry post you must follow the guidance in place at the time in each country.

If you have travelled from an ‘amber list’ or ‘red list’ country for a short visit and you are required to isolate whilst you are here you may leave isolation to return to that country.

Transit stops

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off. It can apply to aircraft and ships and ferries. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

If your journey involves a transit stop in an ‘amber list’ country or territory you will need to isolate on your arrival in Wales if:

  • you disembark the aircraft or ship/ferry and get back on
  • new passengers get on

You do not need to isolate if during your transit stop in an ‘amber list’ country or territory if:

  • no new passengers get on
  • you do not disembark the aircraft or ship or ferry
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

If you travel by private vehicle through an ‘amber list’ country or territory and arrive in Wales then you are required to isolate, even if you did not stop and get out of the vehicle during that journey.

Categories of persons exempt or excepted from isolation

Information on persons exempt from isolation and testing is currently being updated. Please follow the requirements outlined above in the first instance.   

This guidance will be updated frequently, please check back regularly before you travel to ensure you have the most up to date information.