NEW rules on international travel are to come into place but the Welsh Government says it is still considering some of the changes announced for England. 

The traffic light system for international travel is to be scrapped and the number of countries from which returning travellers will be required to quarantine in a hotel is to be cut, UK transport secretary Grant Shapps announced. 

From October 4, there will be a single red list and travellers from those countries to England must stay in a Government-supervised hotel.

The Welsh Government has consistently said a separate border policy, as most international travellers arriving in Wales do so through airports in England, and has followed the rules set by the UK Government for England. 

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Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan said today she has agreed to remove Kenya, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Egypt from the red list. The changes will come into effect from 4am on Wednesday 22 September meaning travellers  from those countries will no longer have to stay in a quarantine hotel. 

However the Welsh Government hasn’t yet decided whether it will adopt the same rules as in England on testing requirements for travellers. 

In England people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations, and from later in the month will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test. 

The changes have comes amid intense pressure from the travel industry to relax restrictions after another summer hit by coronavirus controls. 

Ms Morgan said: “We will carefully consider the UK Government’s proposed changes to the border health measures, which include the removal of pre-departure testing and introducing lateral flow tests instead of PCR tests on day two of people’s return to the UK. 

“Our considerations will be underpinned by robust evidence and our main focus will continue to be on reducing the risk to public health in Wales.” 

She added the Welsh Government’s position remains that international travel remains a risk to controlling the spread of coronavirus and the effectiveness of the current vaccines could be weakened if new variants emerge. 

The Welsh Government is also considering whether it should retain the traffic-light system, which places different testing and quarantine requirements on international travellers, when it is replaced with the single red list from October 4.

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