Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
Regulations on International Travel
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 and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.
Since then these Regulations have been kept under regular review and a number of changes have been made. On 18 January 2021, in order to further protect public health, the Regulations were amended to place an additional requirement on travellers arriving into Wales from outside the common travel area. All such travellers are also now required to possess a notification of a negative coronavirus test, subject to specified exemptions.
Today, I have laid in the Senedd the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021). These Regulations further amend the International Travel Regulations by:
- reducing the amount of passenger information that people travelling to Wales are required to provide on the Passenger Locator Form, and
adding an exemption from the requirement to possess notification of a negative coronavirus test result for air crew who perform duties onboard aircraft in the interests of the safety of the aircraft, such as loadmasters.
Regulations for Public Health Information
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020 require operators of international passenger services coming from outside the common travel area to an airport, heliport or seaport in Wales to provide passengers using those services with prescribed public health information. This information relates to measures being taken in the United Kingdom in response to the incidence and spread of coronavirus, including the measures required by the International Travel Regulations.
The Regulations laid today, add to the specified information that operators must provide to travellers so that travellers are put on notice of the requirement to possess a notification of a negative coronavirus test result obtained within 72 hours ahead of travelling.
Regulations on Pre-Departure Testing
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Pre-Departure Testing and Operator Liability) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which came into force on 18 January 2021, placed an obligation on operators of international passenger services arriving into Wales from outside the common travel area to ensure that passengers on such services possess notification of a negative coronavirus test result.
The Regulations laid today make changes to that requirement so that operators are only required to check that passengers possess a notification of a coronavirus test which includes specified information. The liability for ensuring the result was from a qualifying test falls on the passenger.
These amendments being made by the Regulations being laid today will come into force at 4.00am on the 23 January 2021.