Health Minister slams UK Gov decision to open borders for millions of US and EU travellers
The Health Minister has slammed the UK Government’s decision to allow fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US into England without isolating.
Eluned Morgan MS said the Welsh Government “regretted” the proposals to scrap some quarantine requirements, and warned of “clear public health risks”, but added that Wales would do the same despite this.
She argued that it would be “ineffective to introduce separate arrangements for Wales” because it shares an open border with England.
The changes to rules for international travel will come into force from August 2.
The Health Minister said: “Today the UK Government has decided to permit travellers from the EU and US who have been fully vaccinated to visit the UK without having to self-isolate on arrival.
“There remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel and removing quarantine restrictions to US and EU fully vaccinated amber arrivals at this time.
“Without self-isolation requirements upon arrival there is a higher risk of importing cases and variants of concern (VoCs) from abroad.
She added: “Vaccines will reduce this risk, but only if they are effective against VoCs. This is why we continue to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.
“We regret the UK Government’s proposals to further remove quarantine requirements. However, as we share an open border with England it would be ineffective to introduce separate arrangements for Wales.
“Therefore, we will be aligning with the other UK administrations and implementing this decision for Wales. We look to the UK Government to provide assurances that processes will be in place to ensure those travelling in to the UK have been fully vaccinated.
“Also, in doing so, we will continue to press the UK Government for reassurances that it will be maintaining consistent and robust PCR surveillance – including pre-departure tests, PCR testing on day 2 and the genomic sequencing of results as one mitigation against importing vaccine escape variants.”
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This is the issue – ‘an open border’. Eventually, there will come a time where the Welsh Parliament will have to control it, as hard as that might be. Especially, come the Autumn if ‘freedom day’ back-fires in the event of colder weather.
If ever a nation needed independence it’s us.
Been a while, Mark the angry ham. Still not over the whole Cymru democratically not voting for Tory idiocy thing? Still peddling the “paid for by England” lie eh?
Do you think if you repeat it enraged enough and often enough you’ll get it to stick?
The Health Minister just sounds like she’s posturing now. No power to affect the outcome but still has to make a noise “…continue to press the UK Government for reassurances that it will be maintaining consistent and robust PCR surveillance…” blah blah. And if/when the UK Gov. just continues to ignore her and does whatever the hell it wants and lets in the next variant? What will Ms Morgan do then? More to the point, what power to change anything does she really have, when push comes to shove?
Thanks a bunch, Westminster. Was there a consultation? I doubt it.
Of course you completely fail to mention that England has the highest excess death rates of all the UK nations and one of the highest in Europe. I suppose you could say that good ‘ole Boris won that particular race.
Labour has lost the plot
We the people of Wales have to decide whether or not to allow non nationals including our English neighbours to stay as visitors etc
On!y an independent country can control who enters or not. This is our future