Stay out: Wales bans Scots from high coronavirus areas

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford says new restrictions will come into force at 6pm on Friday.

Stay out: Wales bans Scots from high coronavirus areas Getty Images
Wales is tightening coronavirus restrictions.

The Welsh Government is preparing to prevent people who live in areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus from travelling to Wales.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the action was being taken after Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not reply to two letters requesting he introduce the measure across the UK.

Under regulations being prepared, people living in areas with high levels of coronavirus in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland will not be able to travel to Wales.

The new restrictions are planned to come into force at 6pm on Friday.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she fully supported Drakeford’s decision.

She tweeted: “These are public health decisions, and nothing to do with constitutional or political debates. @scotgov will also take whatever action we consider necessary to control COVID.”

There have been a further 946 cases of Covid-19 in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 32,316.

Public Health Wales said ten further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic rising to 1,688.

The Welsh Government’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.

On Thursday, the Scottish Parliament will review the restrictions imposed on household visits three weeks ago.

Sturgeon said she will make a statement at the virtual meeting, but warned: “As you might expect, we are unlikely, very unlikely, to announce any changes or easing of the current rules on household gatherings.”

She also advised Scots who were looking to travel to Blackpool, in Lancashire, not to do so, especially to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match in a pub.

The official coronavirus death toll in Scotland now stands at 2572, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is more than 4300.