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Everything Mark Drakeford said about travel and holidays in Wales and abroad after the fire-break

People in Wales will now be able to travel to and go on holiday in any other part of Wales from November 9, it has been announced.

First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed in his press conference on Monday that there would be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales at the end of the 17-day fire-break lockdown.

But he added that travel would not be permitted outside Wales “without a reasonable excuse”, due to the month-long lockdown imposed in England.

He also stressed that people in Wales should try to avoid non-essential travel as much as possible.

When asked about whether people in Wales could now book holidays within the country, Mr Drakeford said: “I can confirm that people will be able to travel within Wales.

“They won’t be confined to their local authority areas as was the case during the local lockdowns. Tourism will be able to re-open.”



First Minister Mark Drakeford

However, Mr Drakeford said holidays abroad would still be banned.

“International travel will not be allowed up until the beginning of December because it won’t be allowed to people in England. We have decided that it just doesn’t make sense to leave that possibility open to people in Wales,” he said.

“Leaving Cardiff Airport open would be a magnet to draw people from other parts of the United Kingdom into Wales at a point where we don’t want that to happen.

“That’s the simplest and safest way to prevent the risk of people travelling inside the UK in a way that wouldn’t be sensible.”

Mr Drakeford added that there would be a “penalty regime” for people who broke the rules, but he said that would not be his first resort.

“Penalties are the last resort when we have run out of our ability to explain, to inform, to educate, to persuade. When people knowingly and deliberately flout the rules that are there to protect us all, it is inevitable that there have to be consequences.”

The Welsh Government has announced that a “new and simpler” set of national rules will apply once the Wales-wide fire-break lockdown comes to an end at 00:01 on Monday, November 9.

Mr Drakeford said everyone in Wales had “an important part to play” in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus – and this means thinking carefully about the contact we all have with other people.

“The more people we meet, the more people are at risk from coronavirus,” he added.

Some of the new measures are still being finalised following the unexpected announcement over the weekend about a month-long lockdown in England, which will start on Thursday.

The new national measures include:

  • The need to maintain two metre social distancing and wear face masks in enclosed public places, including on public transport and taxis, will continue ;
  • The requirement to work from home whenever possible will remain ;
  • People should only meet with their ‘bubble’ in their own home and only two households will be able to form a ‘bubble’ . If one person from either household develops symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate.
  • Up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoors activity and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors , providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other covid safety measures are followed;
  • All premises, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and gyms, closed during the firebreak, will be able to re-open . Following the announcement about the English lockdown, Ministers are having ongoing discussions with the hospitality sector about the detailed rules for re-opening. This includes about meeting in public indoor spaces;
  • As part of keeping our risks to a minimum, people should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but international travel should be for essential reasons only.

In addition:

  • All schools will re-open;
  • Churches and places of worship will resume services;
  • Local authority services will resume but based on local circumstances;
  • Community centres will be available for small groups to meet safely indoors in the winter months.

Find out about coronavirus cases in your area:

The First Minister said: “Each of us has an important part to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Wales and saving lives – we cannot do this without your help.

“Everyone has made so many sacrifices this year already. To make sure we do not lose all this hard work, we need to carry on looking after each other and keeping ourselves safe.

“This is a virus which thrives on human contact. Social contact is important to all of us but to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we need to think carefully about all our meetings and contacts with other people and try and reduce them to reduce our risk of infection.

“Rather than us asking what we can or can’t do, we need to ask ourselves what should we be doing to keep our families safe.

“Government rules and regulations are here to help. But the real strength we have is in the choices we make and the actions we take together.”



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