Welsh Government confirms international travel changes as green and amber lists merge into one

Embargoed to 0001 Sunday March 14 File photo dated 22/08/20 of passengers in the arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport, London. The UK should be a global leader in reopening international travel due to its "great progress" in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, according to the boss of British Airways.
Credit: PA

New international travel changes will come into force as the Welsh Government has confirmed it will merge the green and amber travel lists into one and remove the requirement for pre-departure testing for those fully vaccinated.

This comes after the UK Government announced an overhaul to the traffic light system in England.

The green list is set to include more countries as the amber list is being scrapped. The red list will also be shortened.

Further changes also mean that fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to pay for a pre-departure lateral flow test.

In England, you will no longer need to take a post-arrival PCR test when returning from countries that are not on the red list.

A decision on moving away from PCR tests is still to be made in Wales but the Welsh Government has outlined its opposition to the change and is calling on the UK Government to reverse its decision.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “We have regularly called for a careful approach to international travel to prevent coronavirus being re-imported into the UK, especially new and emerging variants which may not respond to the vaccines.

“The decision to move away from PCR tests from returning travellers on day two is concerning. This test, combined with genetic sequencing of all positive tests, is a vital part of our surveillance for coronavirus and protects our borders from the virus.

“We recognise the communication and enforcement challenges in having different testing requirements, and continue to thoroughly examine the evidence for a Wales-only testing regime, but the strongest solution to protect public health is for the UK Government to reinstate UK-wide testing.”

The Welsh Government will also be making a decision over the coming weeks on which countries will be added to the new travel list.

The changes will be made by October 4th in alignment with the new UK Government system.