Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
International Travel Regulations
Members will be aware that the Welsh Government made provision in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (“International Travel Regulations”) to ensure that travellers entering Wales from overseas countries and territories must isolate and provide passenger information, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. These restrictions came into force on 8 June 2020.
On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended the International Travel Regulations to introduce exemptions from the isolation requirement for a list of countries and territories, and a limited range of people in specialised sectors or employment who may be exempted from the isolation requirement or excepted from certain provisions of the passenger information requirements.
Since then these Regulations have been kept under review and a number of changes to the list of exempt countries and territories have been made.
Today I reviewed the latest JBC assessments and I have decided that the Canary Islands will be removed from the list of exempt countries and territories. Travellers from these territories will be required to isolate on arrival in Wales. I have also decided that Botswana and Saudi Arabia will be added to the list of exempt countries and territories. Travellers from these countries and territories will therefore not be required to isolate on arrival in Wales.
The International Travel Regulations provide that fixed penalty notices may be issued in certain circumstances, including where there has been a failure to comply with the requirements to isolate. The amount of the fixed penalty that is payable in those circumstances will be amended so that the fixed sum of £1000 is replaced with a sliding scale starting at £500 for a first offence.
Public Health Information Regulations
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020 (“the Public Health Information Regulations”) require the operators of commercial air or sea passenger services that arrive in Wales from outside the common travel area to provide certain information to passengers. The information relates to measures being taken in the United Kingdom in response to coronavirus, including measures required by the International Travel Regulations.
The Public Health Information Regulations provide that fixed penalty notices may be issued in certain circumstances. The amount of the fixed penalty that is payable in those circumstances will be amended so that the fixed sum of £4000 is replaced with a sliding scale starting at £1000 for a first offence.
The Schedule to the Public Health Information Regulations will also be amended to reflect changes made by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Restrictions) (Amendment) (No. 3) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to the International Travel Regulations to reduce the period for which a person is required to isolate from 14 days to 10 days.
Tomorrow I will lay the necessary regulations which will come into force at 04:00 on Saturday 12 December.