Tag: Wales

No escaping from Wales: UK police to enforce travel ban

A police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections

LONDON — A police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown to slow a surging rate of coronavirus infections.

The Gloucestershire Constabulary will patrol routes from Wales and pull over drivers they believe are making long journeys. Travelers without a good excuse will be asked to turn around. If they don’t comply, officers will inform their Welsh counterparts so they can take action because Gloucestershire police don’t have the authority to fine people traveling from Wales, the department said.

The situation illustrates the patchwork of coronavirus restrictions imposed by authorities throughout the U.K., which has Europe’s deadliest coronavirus numbers, with 44,661 confirmed virus deaths. Some 1,756 of those occurred in Wales, which has a population of about 3 million.

South Yorkshire on Saturday became the latest region to enter Tier 3 — the tightest level of virus risk restrictions in England — following Liverpool, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

But it is the Welsh government that has imposed one of the U.K.’s strictest lockdowns, including a ban on non-essential travel. Under rules that took effect Friday evening, Wales also closed most businesses and restricted high schools to online instruction.

Another English police force, West Mercia, also said it will be working with their Welsh counterparts to “enforce, where necessary, the relevant rules for the area we serve.’’

New infections are continuing to rise across Britain. Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led to the U.K.’s original lockdown in March, told the BBC that the current situation was “worrying.”

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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France v Wales: Wayne Pivac’s side travel for Six Nations warm-up

Wales and France players at the end of the 2020 Six Nations match
Wales and France players at the end of the 2020 Six Nations match
Venue: Stade de France Date: 24 October Kick-off: 20:10 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary. Live on S4C.

International rugby is finally here again for Wales. It has been 231 days since Wayne Pivac’s side last played, against England at Twickenham.

It is just over seven months since Wales were due to finish their Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Cardiff before the coronavirus crisis saw that fixture postponed.

Much water has passed under the bridge since then. Welsh rugby’s Principality Stadium home was even transformed into a field hospital to house patients in the battle against the pandemic.

Now we finally have the chance to watch the Welsh team again.

Even now it is in unusual circumstances. A friendly against France as a warm-up ahead of a Six Nations tournament finale in October.

Playing behind closed doors at the vast Stade de France arena in Paris, a city under night-time curfew hosting opponents from a country in lockdown.

There will be no red army of travelling support descending on the French capital. And there is not even the consolation for Wales fans being able to legally congregate in local pubs or going to somebody’s house to cheer on the nation.

Strange times indeed.

Record breaker

Wales supporters will at least have the chance to watch captain Alun Wyn Jones equalling Richie McCaw’s record of 148 international caps.

McCaw played all those games for New Zealand, while the France fixture will represent Jones’ 139th appearance for Wales, with nine British and Irish Lions Test appearances over three tours.

Alun Wyn Jones: I’m more excited for the debutants who’ll come off the bench

“He’s looking forward to this match like it was his first test match, he’s just that sort of character,” said head coach Pivac.

“He’s the first guy to say if his performance isn’t good enough, he shouldn’t be selected. I can assure you in training he’s doing everything he’s been doing for a number of years.

“That’s the nature of the beast. He just wants to get on with the game.”

Pivac will want to do the same thing because he will be looking to avoid a fourth successive loss following Six Nations defeats against Ireland, France and England.

Team news

Both sides are strong and close to the Six Nations line-ups in Cardiff in February, when France won 27-23.

Wales have made seven changes from the team which had been due to start against Scotland in March.

Josh Adams, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Samson Lee, Aaron Wainwright and Taulupe Faletau all come in.

France wing Winger Teddy Thomas replaces the injured Damian Penaud as one of three changes in the side defeated by Scotland.

Vincent Rattez comes in for Arthur Vincent as Gael Fickou reverts to centre and Jean-Baptiste Gros takes the place of the retired

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Boris Johnson’s inaction has forced me to ban travel to Wales from England’s Covid hotspots

Wales has strong ties and links with people from around the world – the strongest of which are on our doorstep. As we once again see coronavirus cases rise, we must sadly ask some people not to come to Wales at this time.



a car driving on a highway: Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

This week we will introduce new rules that mean people living in coronavirus hotspots in the UK will not be able to travel to Wales, so that they do not bring the virus with them.

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More on coronavirus:

Download the Microsoft News app for full coverage of the crisis

Latest social rules for all three tiers explained (Mirror)

‘PM isn’t taking Covid seriously anymore’ (The Independent)

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I want to be clear: these regulations do not create a new border between Wales and the rest of the UK where there was none before. This is not a ban on people entering Wales. These are not the actions of some nationalist Welsh government asserting independence from the UK. And this is not the result of any sort of anti-English sentiment.

These regulations are an inevitable consequence of the prime minister’s refusal to act to protect people in England and other parts of the UK from coronavirus.

In Wales we took early action to prevent coronavirus spreading from areas where the virus is high to areas where it is low. Large parts of Wales are under local restrictions because the virus is spreading quickly – we take action when the rate rises above 50 cases per 100,000 people. People living in these parts are not able to travel beyond their local health protection zone – usually their county boundary – without a reasonable excuse, such as for work or education.



First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford


© 2020 Matthew Horwood
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford


These local rules, including travel restrictions, have helped prevent the virus being exported to other parts of the country; but people have been able to travel to Wales, including from other hotspot areas in the UK.

For many weeks I have been asking the prime minister to follow our lead and introduce mandatory travel restrictions in the areas of England where infection rates are high. I have asked him to add travel to the list of local lockdown measures, because we know that coronavirus is a sociable disease. Wherever people go, the virus likes to go too; wherever people mingle and congregate, so does the virus.

Video: Whistleblowers warn of health and safety breaches at UK coronavirus mega-lab (The Independent)

Whistleblowers warn of health and safety breaches at UK coronavirus mega-lab

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Gallery: Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services)

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