Welsh government closes border to people coming from virus hotspots across the UK

Mark Drakeford appears in front of a European flag. Photograph: CPMR/Flickr.

Mark Drakeford appears in front of a European flag. Photograph: CPMR/Flickr. - Credit: Archant

The Welsh government has imposed restrictions that will see people travelling there from virus hotspots around the UK banned from entering.

The Senedd's plans will bring people elsewhere in the UK in line with measures currently in place in the 17 areas of Wales under local lockdown restrictions.

Under those rules, people must not enter or leave an affected area without a reasonable excuse such as work or education.

Earlier on Wednesday, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she backed Wales' first minister’s calls for the UK government to introduce travel restrictions on people in areas with high levels of coronavirus.

On Monday, Wales' leader Mark Drakeford gave Boris Johnson "one final opportunity" to stop people crossing the border from England and spreading the virus to areas with low infection rates.

Speaking on BBC Wales Today, Drakeford said closing the Welsh border was "not the preferred option" but that Johnson's new restrictions "simply will not do".

MORE: Keir Starmer calls for a quick 'circuit-breaker' lockdown to slow spread of coronavirus

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"North Wales Police cannot stop someone and turn them around simply because they're not following guidance," he said.

"We need rules that prevent people from high incidence areas coming into Wales, to areas with low incidences of the virus.

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"I want to give [the prime minster] one final opportunity to do the right thing. Because that would be fair to people in Wales and people across the border.

"He has the power, he has the authority, what he lacks is the willingness. He needs to find that."

Speaking on Sky News, the first minister also admitted his government is “very actively talking about and preparing for” a circuit-breaker lockdown in Wales.

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