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.