BY Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The UK Government has announced changes to the red, amber and green country lists for international travel in England. Despite our continued efforts to press for UK-wide decision-making in this area, decisions for England have once again been made without engagement with the Welsh Government or the other Devolved Governments.
This is unacceptable – international travel policy affects all parts of the UK and Welsh interests need to be part of the decision-making process.
We are extremely disappointed with the unilateral approach taken and believe there remain clear public health risks posed by re-opening international travel while the virus is circulating globally. For these reasons, we continue to caution against international travel for non-essential reasons this summer.
However, as we share an open border with England, it would not be practical or viable to introduce a separate border health policy.
Therefore, we will replicate the changes being made in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to maintain the same traffic-light system as the rest of the UK
This means that:
· Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will move from the amber list to the green list.
· Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will move from the amber list to the red list.
· India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will move from the red list to the amber list.
· People fully vaccinated in the UK, in Europe or the USA with approved vaccines will no longer be required to self-isolate and take a day-eight PCR test on arrival from France.
These changes will come into effect at 4am on Sunday 8 August.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.