Visitors to Wales from the UK’s Covid hotspots have been asked to remember to pack a lateral flow test in their suitcases by First Minister Mark Drakeford as an extra safety measure to help protect Wales from a surge in Coronavirus cases.
There are no extra restrictions on those living in the eight areas of England where the Indian variant of the virus, the one of particular concern at the moment, is concentrated, though the UK government has asked people residing in these locations to minimise their travel. The areas in question are; Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.
With the late Spring bank holiday just around the corner, and the Summer holiday season fast approaching, the First Minister urged travellers from across the country to add a lateral flow testing kit to their checklist of things to include in the suitcase, alongside the regular travel toothbrush and beach towel, should they be planning a visit to Wales. Mark Drakeford said in his statement:
“Our tourism businesses will be looking forward to a busy week and the start of the summer season.
“I urge anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus, to test themselves regularly, using the free Covid-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel. Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel.
“Everyone coming to Wales from areas with a higher prevalence of coronavirus should bring lateral flow testing kits with them to continue regular testing while on holiday – this is an additional measure to help keep Wales safe. Lateral flow testing kits are also available locally throughout Wales.”
The latest figures show there have been more than 3,200 cases of the India variant of concern identified in England. There are 57 cases in Wales.
The First Minister added:
“Throughout the course of the pandemic, a clear and consistent pattern in the spread of coronavirus along travel corridors has emerged. This is true within Wales; across the UK and internationally. The virus moves with people, and people bring the virus into new areas as they move around.
“Our best route out of this pandemic remains our impressive vaccination programme. I urge everyone to continue adopting the same caution and protective behaviours we have done throughout this pandemic while we continue to vaccinate the remainder of the eligible population in Wales.”