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Friday, November 6, 2020

Travel between Wales and England still restricted, says Minister

Travel between Wales and England will continue to be restricted as Wales’ firebreak ends and England’s month-long lockdown gets underway, Minister for Economy and North Wales Ken Skates said today.

There will be no restrictions on travel within Wales from next Monday, November 9 but the new national measures, which will come into force will mean travel will only be possible across the Wales-England border with a reasonable excuse.

Examples of a reasonable excuse include travelling for work, education, a medical appointment, legal requirement or compassionate grounds.

The English lockdown also means cross-border travel is not allowed unless one of the exceptions in the English regulations applies. 

Mr Skates said: “As the firebreak in Wales ends on November 9, communities in England are just beginning a four-week lockdown. 

“This means cross-border travel between Wales and England will not be permitted without a reasonable excuse. It’s really important that as we open up, Wales doesn’t become an escape for people seeking to circumvent the new tighter restrictions in England.”

The end of the firebreak will also see businesses reopen in Wales. There will be new covid-safety measures in place in the hospitality sector, including advance booking, time-limited slots and verified identification.

Ken Skates added: “It will not be a reasonable excuse for people to come into Wales for non-essential purposes such as going to a pub or restaurant.

“We are coming out of the firebreak carefully and cautiously, with measures in place to ensure we do not lose what we have gained over the past two weeks.

“I am very aware that not being able to travel across the border between Wales and England will be difficult for some, but we are dealing with a public health emergency and we must all do what is right to protect our families and our communities wherever we live.

 “We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Wales, and for the normal day to day life in our cross-border communities to return, but for now we need to keep Wales safe and keep the UK safe."

* Denbighshire County Council has issued a heartfelt thanks to the county’s residents for their efforts during the fire break that was put in place to try and halt the increase in coronavirus cases across Wales.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire said: “This has been another challenging time for people, with many people continuing to make sacrifices in the on-going fight against covid  and I would like to thank Denbighshire residents for their tremendous efforts over the past two weeks. 

“We fully recognised that some people may have found it difficult and unsettling, but  covid remains a real threat and compliance with regulations is essential if the county is to continue to play its part to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

“The fire break will come to an end on Monday, with new, national regulations due to take their place.  We must continue with our efforts now and in the future and the focus is now on people taking ownership by taking steps to protect themselves and others.  We also should continue to follow the social distancing measures, as well as wearing face masks to visit shops and travel on public transport. We also need to be following stringent hygiene measures that have been advised."

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