Wales follows green list changes but ministers call UK government’s actions ‘unacceptable’

‘We are extremely disappointed with the unilateral approach taken,’ says health minister

Helen Coffey
Friday 06 August 2021 10:16

Wales agreed to adopt the UK government’s latest changes to the red, amber and green lists for travel on Thursday evening, but ministers said they were “extremely disappointed” with Westminster’s “unilateral approach”.

The Department for Transport revealed its tri-weekly travel review on Wednesday night, adding seven countries to the green list and bumping up four from red to amber as part of the reshuffle.

France also shed its “amber plus” label, while four destinations were demoted from amber to red.

Scotland and Northern Ireland quickly made the same changes to their traffic light lists, but Wales delayed confirmation until last night, calling the UK government’s actions “unacceptable”.

“Decisions for England have once again been made without engagement with the Welsh government or the other devolved governments,” said Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan.

“This is unacceptable – international travel policy affects all parts of the UK and Welsh interests need to be part of the decision-making process.

“We are extremely disappointed with the unilateral approach taken and believe there remain clear public health risks posed by reopening international travel while the virus is circulating globally.”

She added that Wales had been left with no choice but to fall in line with England’s travel decisions due to the two nations’ open border, saying: “it would not be practical or viable to introduce a separate border health policy.”

The Welsh government continues to caution against all non-essential international travel this summer.

A UK government spokesman said: “We have worked closely with devolved administrations throughout the pandemic, including on the safe reopening of international travel, and take a UK-wide approach wherever possible.

“We engaged with the devolved administrations ahead of the announcement.”

The latest changes to the lists come into effect at 4am on Sunday 8 August.

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