Can we travel from England to Wales now?

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England is in its second week of the second national lockdown as the country attempts to bring rates of coronavirus infection under control. Wales ended its 17-day firebreak lockdown on Monday with new rules announced to ensure rates do not rise in the wake of the firebreak. But are you allowed to travel from England to Wales now?

The NHS has been asked to ready itself to deploy a coronavirus vaccine from the start of December according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Speaking from Downing Street on November 9, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine has been tested on over 40,000 volunteers and interim results suggest it is proving 90 percent effective at protecting people against the virus.

“But we haven’t yet seen the full safety data, and these findings also need to be peer-reviewed.

“So we have cleared one significant hurdle but there are several more to go before we know the vaccine can be used.

“What I can say is that if and when this vaccine is approved, we, in this country, will be ready to start using it.

“Earlier this year the UK Government ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – enough for about a third of the population since you need two doses each.”

A vaccine has been hailed as a way out of the pandemic but until the vaccine is proven to be effective, Mr Johnson has urged people to adhere to restrictions.

He said: “I must stress, these are very, very early days.

“We have talked for a long time, or I have, about the distant bugle of the scientific cavalry coming over the brow of the hill and tonight that toot of the bugle is louder.

“But it is still some way off. And we absolutely cannot rely on this as a solution.

“The biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at such a critical moment.”

On Monday, November 9, Wales’ 17-day firebreak lockdown came to an end.

The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said new measures would be implemented to ensure “all the hard work” during the firebreak would not be wasted.

He said: “We all need to think about our own lives and what we can all do to keep our families safe. We need to stop thinking about the maximum limit of rules and regulations.

“Coronavirus is a highly infectious virus – it thrives on contact between people.

“To keep each other safe we need to reduce the number of people we have contact with and the amount of time we spend with them.

“There will be a new set of national measures from today, which will follow up all the hard work and sacrifices which have been made during the firebreak.

“We cannot go back to the way we were living our lives and throw away all that hard work.”

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In England, the second lockdown came into effect on Thursday, November 5, from which time people have been told to remain at home except for a list of specific reasons including:

  • For education
  • For work if you cannot work from home
  • To exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place
  • For medical reasons
  • To escape injury or harm
  • To shop for food and other essentials
  • To provide care for vulnerable people
  • To visit people in your support people or as a volunteer.

Can we travel from England to Wales now?

According to English lockdown rules, people are advised not to make any trips except for the very specific reasons listed above.

This means technically you are entitled to travel to Wales if it meets one of the outlined criteria such as for work or to provide care for a vulnerable person.

You are not however entitled to stay overnight at another location than your main home unless you:

  • Are unable to return to your main residence
  • Need accommodation while moving house
  • Need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • Require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • Are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • Are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge
  • Are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition.

According to Welsh rules, people living in Wales can holiday here but people from England or other parts of the UK cannot travel to Wales for holidays.

People in Wales should not go on holidays abroad or in other parts of the UK

There are no travel restrictions for people in Wales but residents are now allowed to travel outside the country unless for a reasonable excuse such as work.

Visiting friends or family or undertaking a holiday is not currently defined as a reasonable reason to enter Wales.

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