Vaughan Gething MS, 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.
Since then these regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes have been made:
- on 10 July the Welsh Government amended the Regulations to introduce exemptions from the self-isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempt from or except from certain restrictions;
- on 11 July Serbia was removed from the list of exempt countries and territories because of concerns about the increased public health risk presented by travellers from that country entering the UK;
- subsequently on 26 July Spain and its islands was removed from the list of exempt countries and territories for the same reason.
A review of both the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020 (international travel and passenger information regulations) was undertaken on 27 July. I have decided that no changes are required to the passenger information regulations.
In light of the review, however, the Welsh Government intends to further amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 by adding to the list of sporting events in Schedule 4 which permit exceptions from isolation for those involved, make a further minor technical amendment to the definition of sewerage licensee and to add the following to the list of exempt countries and territories;
- St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Earlier today 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 Luxembourg.
Having considered the evidence for the public health risk now posed by travellers who enter the UK from that country, the Welsh Government will also later today remove Luxembourg from the list of countries and territories exempt from our health measures at the border.
An urgent amendment will be introduced to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 which will come into effect from midnight tonight. This will mean that anyone who arrives from Luxembourg (or who has been in Luxembourg during the past 14 days) will be required to quarantine for 14 days as of tomorrow.
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.