Travel corridors to be suspended in Wales as new virus strains emerge

First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The First Minister has tonight confirmed travel corridors will be suspended in Wales to help prevent new mutated strains of coronavirus entering the UK.

Travel corridors will be suspended from Monday until at least 15 February – and possibly longer – as Wales Scotland, Northern Ireland and England decided to close them.

The changes will mean most people travelling abroad will need to complete a pre-departure test and quarantine for 10 days on their return home to Wales.

There will also be tightening of the list of people who are exempt from these requirements.

“Unfortunately, we have seen some worrying new strains of coronavirus appear around the world and need to take extra steps to protect people in Wales and the rest of the UK from these new forms of the virus,” First Minister Mark Drakeford said.

“Suspending travel corridors means that most people who are travelling overseas will now have to complete a pre-departure test and quarantine when they return to Wales to make sure they are not bringing coronavirus home with them.

“We are starting to see cases of coronavirus falling in Wales thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of everyone – with our vaccination programme gathering real momentum, we want to do everything we can to keep Wales safe.

“I am pleased we have been able to work with the UK Government and with the First Ministers of Northern Ireland and Scotland to agree a joint approach.”

The new rules will come into force at 4am on Monday 18 January.

 

‘Extraordinary’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier announced that tighter border restrictions were aimed at protecting the progress made with the rollout of vaccines in the face of new coronavirus variants being found around the world.

It had already been announced everyone travelling to the UK from Monday will need to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

The new rules will be backed by more spot checks to ensure people are remaining in self-isolation.

The new regime will be in place until at least 15 February.

Boris Johnson Johnson warned that “it would be fatal if this sense of progress were now to breed any kind of complacency because the pressures on our NHS are extraordinary”.

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