Mark Drakeford urges holidaymakers visiting Wales to pack Covid tests
Mark Drakeford has urged holidaymakers visiting Wales to pack lateral flow tests in their suitcases if they are coming from areas of the UK with higher rates of Covid-19.
The First Minister today asked all visitors from coronavirus hotspots, including areas in England with high levels of the so called ‘India variant’ of concern, to take extra measures to help keep Wales safe.
The UK Government is asking people living in eight areas of England where the ‘India variant’ of concern is concentrated – Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside – to minimise travel out of the area.
However, the advice stops short of restricting travel beyond these areas.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Our tourism businesses will be looking forward to a busy week and the start of the summer season.
“I urge anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus, to test themselves regularly, using the free Covid-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel.
“Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel.
“Everyone coming to Wales from areas with a higher prevalence of coronavirus should bring lateral flow testing kits with them to continue regular testing while on holiday – this is an additional measure to help keep Wales safe. Lateral flow testing kits are also available locally throughout Wales.”
The latest figures show there have been more than 3,200 cases of the so called ‘India variant’ of concern identified in England. There are 57 cases in Wales.
The First Minister added: “Throughout the course of the pandemic, a clear and consistent pattern in the spread of coronavirus along travel corridors has emerged. This is true within Wales; across the UK and internationally.
“The virus moves with people, and people bring the virus into new areas as they move around.
““Our best route out of this pandemic remains our impressive vaccination programme.
“I urge everyone to continue adopting the same caution and protective behaviours we have done throughout this pandemic while we continue to vaccinate the remainder of the eligible population in Wales.”
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It would be a very welcome action if stronger measures and appropriate punishment was given to those who flout the advice against large group meetings whether illegal raves or protests. Not all virus has been spread by people coming into Wales.
I think it’s only a matter of time before some sort pf border control comes into effect. Unfortunately, it will have to.
My feeling was that people accepting bookings for holiday lets, caravan sites, etc, should be requesting evidence of a negative test prior to arrival. This would not catch the people who come to their own private accommodation but it would be a start.