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Written Statement: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Amendments

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Members will be aware that the UK Government made provision to ensure that travellers entering the United Kingdom from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.  These restrictions came into force on Monday 8 June 2020.

On 10 July, the Welsh Government amended the 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.

I have also considered the clear advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) report that travel from the following countries and territories constitutes a public health risk. I have decided to remove mainland Portugal (the Azores and Madeira will remain exempt), Gibraltar, French Polynesia and the Greek islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete from the list of exempt countries and territories.

These changes will come into force at 04:00 on Friday 4th September, and I will lay the Regulations and Explanatory Memorandum before the Senedd tomorrow.

This action is being taken as a result of a large number of cases of coronavirus have been imported into Wales from tourists returning from the Greek islands, in particular. In the last week, there have been more than 20 cases confirmed in passengers on one flight from Zante to Cardiff.

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