Wales could force tourists from elsewhere in the UK to quarantine when arriving in the country
WALES could force tourists visiting from elsewhere in the UK to quarantine when arriving in the country.
The country’s health minister has warned he “won’t rule out” forcing visitors to self-isolate to keep the Welsh safe.
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Vaughan Gething vowed the Welsh Government will do whatever is necessary to keep the public safe, but admitted he was not sure they had the legal powers to do so.
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, he said: “I wouldn’t rule anything out in terms of protecting the country because that’s the point, that’s what we’re trying to do in keeping Wales safe.
“But the reality of our powers is not something where I think we’re in a position to be able to quarantine people from other parts, not just of the UK, but from the common travel area which includes the whole island of Ireland.
“So I understand that headlines come with that, I understand people might feel instinctively positive about it but we need to understand not just what our legal powers are but how we then use these to keep our people safe.”
He added: “I wouldn’t rule it out but I’m not at all convinced we have got the legal powers to do it.”
Wales will scrap its “stay local” guidance from Monday, July 6 provided there is no spike in Covid-19.
Under current measures, Brits in England are banned from staying overnight.
But that could change within weeks as the nation looks to reopen its hospitality sector from July 6.
Bookings can be made from Monday July 13.
The comments come as Nicola Sturgeon refused to rule out implementing a quarantine on English guests if cases continue to rise south of the border.
Scotland’s First Minister claimed there were “no plans” for the policy, but admitted things could change.
She said: “There is a general issue that we have to consider as we go further through this pandemic.
“As our infection rates continue to fall, we have to be on our guard against cases coming into Scotland from elsewhere.
“If we did see an ongoing divergence between infection rates and levels in Scotland, and other parts of the UK, from a public health perspective we would require to give consideration about how to mitigate that.”
According to The Times, Scottish Government sources say there are fears that progress in suppressing the deadly bug could be undone when the tourism season begins next month.
The current rules see anyone coming into Scotland from overseas being put into quarantine for 14 days or face a £480 fine.
These are similar measures to the ones in place in England.
Now sources have warned that if cases continue to rise ministers are considering an option to apply the same rules to visitors from England.
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