Welsh Government ‘regrets’ England travel quarantine relaxation but follows suit

The Welsh Government says it “regrets” the move to relax quarantine requirements for EU and US visitors to England, but added it would be “ineffective” to have different rules for Wales.

Welsh minister for health and social services Eluned Morgan (pictured) said there were still “clear public health risks” posed by the reopening of international travel and urged people to continue to be cautious over summer.

It comes after UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that fully vaccinated travellers returning to England from the US and much of Europe would no longer have to quarantine from 4am on August 2.

“There remain clear public health risks posed by reopening international travel and removing quarantine restrictions to US and EU fully vaccinated amber arrivals at this time,” said Ms Morgan.

“Without self-isolation requirements upon arrival there is a higher risk of importing cases and variants of concern (VoCs) from abroad.

“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.”

She continued: “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.”

The Scottish Government announced similar measures for arrivals to Scotland on Wednesday, subject to countries covered remaining on the amber travel list.

Ministers in Northern Ireland are expected to consider their position on the change in the coming days.

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