Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Welsh Government is thrilled Wales has once again reached the final 16 of a major football tournament and we are hoping for further success in the Euro 2020 competition. This is an exciting time for our national men’s football team and for its brilliant supporters. Everyone wishes the team good luck against Denmark on Saturday.
The Euro 2020 tournament is taking place in the midst of the global pandemic and unfortunately, the restrictions that are in place to keep us all safe will have an impact on Welsh fans hoping to travel and follow the progress of our national team.
Our strong advice is that the best way for all of us to show our support for Wales is to support the team from home.
We also advise everyone – not just football fans – against travelling overseas this summer and although Wales getting to the next round of the Euros is really important- travelling there is not essential. This is the year to stay at home.
We have made significant progress in our efforts to reduce cases of coronavirus from the very high levels we saw at the start of the year, we want to do all we can to keep the virus under control, especially with the new delta variant spreading in Wales. Staying at home preferably cheering Wales on outdoors will help this.
Anyone thinking about travelling overseas to watch Wales play will need to quarantine at home for 10 days when they return to Wales. This is a mandatory, legal requirement. They will also need to book and pay for a mandatory PCR test on day two and day eight of their quarantine.
Importantly, the regulations in place in Wales are only one part of the requirements for travel – anyone planning to travel must also check the requirements and restrictions for entry into those countries.
In the case of the Netherlands, the Dutch police authorities have said they will not be letting Wales fans into the country.
For all countries outside the EU Schengen travel area a travel ban is in place, unless a country is on the EU safe list. The UK is not on this list and therefore a ban on travel to the Netherlands is in place for all non-essential travel. Visiting to watch a football match is classed as non-essential travel.
The Netherlands has also put in place requirements for mandatory quarantine and testing for arrivals.
The UK Government advises against all but essential travel to the Netherlands.
We wish Wales the best of luck and would urge fans to enjoy the football at home.
I would also urge anyone considering following the British and Irish Lions rugby tour to South Africa next month to heed this message and not to travel to that country. Rugby fans, like football fans, need to play their part in helping to keep Wales safe.
South Africa listed as a ‘red’ country, given the risks posed by the variants of concern present, which could have a damaging effect to our vaccine programme if brought to the UK. The Beta variant, dominant in South Africa, is better at avoiding the protective effect of the Covid Vaccines than other variants.
Anyone arriving to the UK having been in a red country during the previous 10 days, must enter into a managed quarantine facility (quarantine hotel) at a minimum cost of £1,750 for 10 days near their port of entry and take PCR tests on day 2 & day 8. A fine of up to £10,000 can imposed for failure to comply.