Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
Members will be aware that the UK Government made provision to ensure that travellers entering the United Kingdom from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. These restrictions came into force on Monday 8 June 2020.
On 10 July the Welsh Government amended the Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.
Since then these regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made:
- on 11 July Serbia was removed from the list;
- on 26 July Spain and its islands was removed from the list;
- on 30 July Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines were added to the list
Yesterday I attended a meeting of ministers from all four UK countries to consider the public health risk posed by an increasing prevalence of COVID-19 in Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium.
Having considered the evidence for the public health risk now posed by travellers who enter the UK from these places, the Welsh Government will later today remove Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium from the list of countries and territories exempt from our health measures at the border.
Together with other UK ministers I have also considered the public health risk posed by a decreasing prevalence of COVID-19 in Brunei and Malaysia. As a consequence, the Welsh Government will also later today add Brunei and Malaysia to the list of countries and territories exempt from our health measures at the border.
Urgent amendments will be introduced to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 which will come into effect from midnight tonight. These amendments will mean that anyone who arrives in Wales from Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium or who has been in any of those countries or territories during the last 14 days will be required to isolate for 14 days as of tomorrow. Anyone who arrives in Wales from Brunei or Malaysia, on the other hand, from tomorrow will not be required to isolate for 14 days.
When the Regulations are laid the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd will write to the Llywydd, in accordance with the requirements of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 and our usual practice.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.