First Minister to write to PM again to ask for travel ban to Wales from England's Covid hotspots

First Minister Mark Drakeford says he will write to the Prime Minister today to give him another chance to introduce a ban to stop people from high Covid-19 areas in England coming into Wales.

On Monday the First Minister expressed "deep disappointment" at "inadequate proposals" for travel restrictions into Wales from areas with high infection rates in England.

Mark Drakeford attended a Cobra meeting on Monday morning chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss the proposed introduction of a 'tiered' system of local restrictions in England.

Mr Drakeford made a fresh call to the prime minister at the weekend to introduce travel restrictions on people coming to Wales from English lockdown areas. He told ITV News if an announcement isn't made on the matter, the Welsh Government would look to use its own powers. 

More than two million people in Wales are currently in local lockdowns. Credit: PA Images

It's not a border issue, it's about not going from places where there's a lot of coronavirus to where there's not much of it. I hope we'll hear that from the Prime Minister on Monday, if we don't then we'll definitely consider the powers that we have ourselves to protect those parts of Wales.

Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister

In Wales, people must not enter or leave areas subjected to local lockdown restrictions without a reasonable excuse such as going to work or for education.

People living in England are under no such restrictions which means those living areas of higher Covid-19 infection rates can travel to areas of Wales with low community transmission.

The Welsh Government previously said it is "actively considering" imposing quarantine restrictions on people travelling into Wales from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus.

In a statement following Monday's meeting, a Welsh Government spokesperson said the lack of action would be met "with great dismay" in many parts of Wales where infection rates are lower.

The Chancellor announced on Friday that the UK government will pay two thirds of wages for workers who are unable to attend their jobs due restrictions. The First Minister said financial support for areas placed into a local lockdown was "welcome" but "did not go far enough".