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New Welsh Travel Restrictions announced

Welsh Government have this afternoon just announced that travel to Wales, by people living in high-risk Covid areas in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland will be banned and made illegal from 6pm on Friday October 16th. This is in additon to the current extensive local lockdowns that are already in place across much of Wales.  We understand that the defintion of "high risk" areas will include all those areas that are currently classed as Tier 2 and 3 in England. People living in low risk areas will still be able to travel to those parts of Wales not subject to local lockdowns. 

Details are currently sketchy and yet to be published but we'll keep the BMC web article updated as we get more information.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/local-lockdown-in-wales

Elfyn Jones 

BMC Access & Conservation Officer (Wales)

Post edited at 16:06
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 Si dH 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

> .  We understand that the defintion of "high risk" areas will include all those areas that are currently classed as Tier 2 and 3 in England.

Bbc are reporting this bit isn't defined yet, and Mark Drakeford is still trying to put pressure on UK Govt to do something instead before he enacts this on Friday, so I wouldn't assume it is finalised? 

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 gezebo 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Jumping the gun a bit there. Not actually confirmed and no legislation in place at this time. 

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In reply to Si dH:

> Bbc are reporting this bit isn't defined yet, and Mark Drakeford is still trying to put pressure on UK Govt to do something instead before he enacts this on Friday, so I wouldn't assume it is finalised?

I hope Boris doesn't.  I support it, but as it applies to Wales and is wanted by Wales it should be Welsh legislation.

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In reply to Neil Williams:

> I hope Boris doesn't.  I support it, but as it applies to Wales and is wanted by Wales it should be Welsh legislation.

I assume that Drakeford wants Johnson to limit all travel from high risk areas and thus negate the need for independent action from the Welsh Government. 

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 Andy Say 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

"Made illegal" Elfyn?  That will require legislation, surely 

Guessing that now PyB won't be able to ignore the Conwy lockdown anymore?

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 kevin stephens 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Say:

> "Made illegal" Elfyn?  That will require legislation, surely 

They are looking at using existing Public Health Act 1984 legislation

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 gezebo 14 Oct 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

Drakeford doesn’t want to make any decisions that are unpopular or risky. He’d rather follow others making difficult decisions and criticise If they turn out poorly or jump on the popularist bandwagon if it suits his agenda.
 

He’s playing politics now instead of acting in the interests of Wales which has a massive divide between north and south. Drakeford was also the Health Minister which placed the North Wales Health board which is a devolved matter, into special measures over 5 years ago following a damning report 7 years ago. He’s a very effective leader...

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In reply to FactorXXX:

> I assume that Drakeford wants Johnson to limit all travel from high risk areas and thus negate the need for independent action from the Welsh Government.

Drakeford wants Johnson to apply the same policy Wales has, yes, but it is none of his business; Johnson may choose to do this but it isn't up to Drakeford if or when he does, and as such Drakeford should just wind his neck in and make his own law and stand behind it himself.  I suspect it's because he doesn't want slating by the tourist businesses for the loss of income.

Post edited at 18:43
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 Andy Say 14 Oct 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I assume that Drakeford wants Johnson to limit all travel from high risk areas and thus negate the need for independent action from the Welsh Government. 

Fat chance. Only Tier 3 have any travel 'restrictions'. Tier 2 have none.

Johnson wouldn't have the bottle.

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 gezebo 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:
 

From bbc.

And the head of the Police Federation in Wales warned the rules could be "unenforceable".

"There will also be plenty of individuals travelling legitimately from areas which are not high risk, and this will only add to the other difficulties officers face when policing the existing regulations," Mark Bleasdale said.

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 Sl@te Head 15 Oct 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I assume that Drakeford wants Johnson to limit all travel from high risk areas and thus negate the need for independent action from the Welsh Government.

English policy is of course none of his business and he should wind his neck in and make and stand behind his own law.

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In reply to Neil Williams:

Covid certainly has highlighted some of the issues that devolving powers brings - I'm not advocating centralisation, far from it - but devolution (or independence) has it's own set of problems.

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In reply to Andy Say:

You mean this piece of legislation Andy? 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020, as amended.

From the start this has been the primary piece of legislation affecting travel, access and restrictions in Wales since the outbreak started and has been used extensively , including up to court appearances for transgressors as reported  in the BBC yesterday, when a number of repeat transgressors or those who failed to follow police instructions in South Wales during the initial lockdown were fined over £1000 plus costs.

My understanding from contacts and networks in Welsh Government is that the amendments required to enact a ban on and to make it illegal for those living in Tier 2 and 3 areas of the other UK nations to travel to Wales, have already been drafted and will become law at 6pm on Friday evening. Mixed responses  from the Police forces who have to enforce it. The official line from the police authorities is that they will engage, explain, encourage and if required, enforce the legislation, including using ANPR cameras and issuing fixed penalty fines. The Police Federation,  representing grass roots police officers have however expressed concern at the resources avaliable to do this....

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In reply to Michael Hood:

> Covid certainly has highlighted some of the issues that devolving powers brings - I'm not advocating centralisation, far from it - but devolution (or independence) has it's own set of problems.

Certainly.  Note that I'm not saying England shouldn't legislate for no travel outside of a level 3 area - it quite possibly should - but I'm just saying it's none of his business.  He has no more right to lobby about internal English policy than any other Welsh citizen, i.e. write to his MP.

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 gezebo 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Sl@te Head:

That’s what Drakeford says. The reality is only some police cars have mobile ANPR fitted in North Wales, this would typically entail only a handful being out on patrol at once and these officers will also be dealing with other policing matters.

Regardless of viewpoint of being pro or against shutdowns Drakeford really needs to get an understanding of how thin the blue line is, and how the police work operationally. He’s verging on trying to use the police as a political football which is a very dangerous game. 
 

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 neilh 15 Oct 2020
In reply to gezebo:

You do understand at the last lockdown in March the Welsh govt were very effective in stopping people travelling to Wales from England. 

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 gezebo 15 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

Was it the Welsh Government or the UK government? casting my mind back I’m not sure WG did a fantastic job given how many people traveled to holiday homes which was then completely unenforceable by the police. 
 

During the last UK wide Lockdown there was also a huge amount of public compliance with very clear UK wide restrictions. 6 months later the level of compliance is much less and there are far more reasons that travel is allowed which is virtually impossible to police. 

> You do understand at the last lockdown in March the Welsh govt were very effective in stopping people travelling to Wales from England. 

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 neilh 15 Oct 2020
In reply to gezebo:

Welsh govt, and they had police stopping people.Well reported at the time.What they are now proposing is nothing new.

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 gezebo 15 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

I’m not sure where you live but in North Wales what was said in the press and what happened in real life was very different. Yes there were a few bobbies stop checking but it was largely confined to a few tourist hotspots and a social media campaign.  

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In reply to neilh:

My work continued all through the travel restrictions of the first lockdown and I drive all over Wales, north and south. I wasn't stopped a single time.

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 gezebo 15 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

I wasn’t stopped either. I do personally know one person who was stopped and the bobby said ‘Hello, off to the shops? Carry on’ no questions, licence check, nothing. 

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 Andy Say 15 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

> My work continued all through the travel restrictions of the first lockdown and I drive all over Wales, north and south. I wasn't stopped a single time.

Same with me.

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 neilh 15 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

You were allowed to work , perfectly legal.
 

Post edited at 19:40
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 Oceanrower 15 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

> You were allowed to work , perfectly legal. 

I fear you may be missing a fairly obvious point...

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 static266 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Say:

North Wales police had an officer based at the petrol station in Betws-y-coed for the best part of Sunday. The staff said they waited for people to fuel up and pay then asked for their travel plans. Lots were turned around, just one was fined. 
 

I had never even seen a police car in or around my village but halfway through lockdown someone from out of the area crashed their motorbike (not too seriously) on the moor road and were subsequently fined. After this the (extremely quiet) road must have been added to the patrol as it had at least 2 Patrols per day. 

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In reply to gezebo:

> I wasn’t stopped either. I do personally know one person who was stopped and the bobby said ‘Hello, off to the shops? Carry on’ no questions, licence check, nothing. 

I thought the Police were stopping people at the obvious entry points into Wales - Certainly that was the case in South Wales with the M48/Chepstow/Wye Valley route.
Isn't it possible that more inland, the Police assumed that the people travelling were locals going about their legitimate business and therefore had no need to stop them?
One thing to remember is that the March lockdown meant that there was virtually zero traffic anywhere and Policing the 'Border' would have been relatively easy compared to the current volume of traffic. 

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In reply to static266:

> North Wales police had an officer based at the petrol station in Betws-y-coed for the best part of Sunday. The staff said they waited for people to fuel up and pay then asked for their travel plans. Lots were turned around, just one was fined. 

How are they establishing if they're from a tier 2 or 3 area, checking ID?  Or are they going further and trying to turn everyone around?

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 r0b 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Doesn't matter, under Welsh regulations no-one is allowed to come into one of their lockdown areas (in this case, Conwy County which includes Ogwen, Capel Curig and Betws) without a reasonable excuse

https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2020-09/conwy-county-map-coronavirus.pdf

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 neilh 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Number plate recognition, pretty simple 

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In reply to r0b:

> Doesn't matter, under Welsh regulations no-one is allowed to come into one of their lockdown areas (in this case, Conwy County which includes Ogwen, Capel Curig and Betws) without a reasonable excuse

Except they want them not to come into one of their *non* locked down areas.

They can of course do that if they want, too.  My point isn't that it shouldn't be done, there are strong arguments for it.  My point is that Drakeford is out of order hassling Boris over it; it's his policy so he should legislate it.

Even if it would make sense for Boris to do it (i.e. ban travel out of tier 3 areas), he is still out of order bringing him into it.  He is the leader of the Welsh Parliament which relates only to Wales.  What is done with regard to England is less of his business than it is of any normal English citizen.

Post edited at 12:40
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In reply to neilh:

> Number plate recognition, pretty simple 

That the car has a registered keeper in one of the lockdown areas (I assume standard Police ANPR will tell them that?) doesn't mean (a) it contains someone who lives in one of those areas, or (b) it doesn't.  For instance, someone could have driven down from Cumbria, picked their mate up in Lancashire and on to Wales.  Or a student who has kept their car registered at their parents' address may be at uni in a non-lockdown area.

(Yes, I know the latter is technically insurance fraud if they also insure it as being there, but I suspect more students do it than don't, so it's enough to make a mess of the stats, and I doubt *any* student changes the actual registered keeper address every year even if they are meant to).

I also seem to recall reading that the registered keeper of lease cars often isn't the person who actually, er, keeps it, though I don't know if it's true or not because it seems a bit far fetched.

Post edited at 12:43
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 r0b 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

That's a new thing, I was referring to the report of police last Sunday asking people using the A5 where they were going

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 Al Randall 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

I heard of police at Bike Park Wales going round the car park asking people where they had come from and issuing on the spot fines where appropriate.  This was a couple of weeks ago. As a counter to that at The Forest of Dean Bike Park last Saturday people were parking all along the road.  I've never seen it as busy as that even during events.  I suspect that because the Welsh parks had closed everyone descended on the nearest English bike park.

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 gezebo 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

It’s 5 hours until the ‘restrictions’ come into force but as yet I can’t see any legislation on the WG website? 
 

Drakeford is still considering a temp lockdown. I’m not sure if he’s aware but schools in Conwy start their 2 week extended half term... today! Better make his mind up soon. 

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 neilh 16 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

There are always exceptions. It’s a good guide. “ is this your car Sir”

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 galpinos 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

So, did the rules come in and is so, do they mean I can’t drove from Manchester (if it stays on Tier 2) to Gogarth to climb?

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In reply to galpinos:

The new regulations came into force at 6pm last night. 

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance#section-39239

Scroll down the link above to the section on Travelling. 

The actual regulations are here :

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance#section-39239

The relevant section for travel to and from (applies both ways, Welsh people also cannot travel without reasonable excuse into Tier 2 and 3 areas in England either) being Part 4B. 

A joint statement by all four of the police forces of Wales states that they will be "robustly" enforcing the regulations.  If they have the resources to do this is another issue entirely.....

And of course it looks at the moment as if all of Wales will in any case be going into a full "circuit breaker" lockdown from Friday October 23rd. We dont yet know what  this actually means but indications are that it will be similar to rhe original full lockdown with all non essential retail, leisure, restaurants, pubs, holiday accommodation, schools, etc closing for up to three weeks. 

Sadly ts looking like it going to be a long dark winter..

Elfyn

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 davidalcock 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

The tier system was always going to throw up various contradictions. My partner lives in a 2, and I live in a 1, yet we're a 'bubble'. Legally there is nothing stopping me from driving to Wales from her area. What a dog's breakfast.

The wider point is that now even clued-up people struggle to keep up, and with the foreknowledge that things will keep being tinkered and fiddled with every couple of days, there is little incentive to keep up. 

As in March, I already see sensible people making their own curtailments in lieu of any effective government. 

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 mark s 17 Oct 2020
In reply to r0b:

by law on the gov site. you don't have to answer where you are going.

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 galpinos 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Cheers Elfyn.

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 gezebo 17 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Having read it it’s perfectly clear until you get to the points about ‘reasonable excuse’ for which there is nothing really set down in law at all. 
 

On a journey from Bangor to the north west of England and back today I saw one police car on the A55 and one or two others going about on presumably other work. Clearly it’s being enforced! 

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 richprideaux 17 Oct 2020
In reply to gezebo:

They have been stopping cars at Broughton and near Wrexham for most of the day.

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 pec 17 Oct 2020
In reply to richprideaux:

> They have been stopping cars at Broughton and near Wrexham for most of the day.


Do you happen to know where? The A483 runs south from Chester and into Wales (passing west of Wrexham) before re-entering England near Oswestry. Presumably they aren't stopping people on here (just when they pull off perhaps?). This a road I drive fairly often!

I seem to recall there was an exemption of this nature when we were previously banned from entering Wales.

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 richprideaux 17 Oct 2020
In reply to pec:

A525, Ruthin side of Llandegla. On Friday it was inter-county travel they were checking up on, presumably today it was everything.

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 pec 18 Oct 2020
In reply to richprideaux:

Ok, I presume roads which temporarily pass through Wales must be ok.

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 richprideaux 18 Oct 2020
In reply to pec:

I think it specifically  allows or through-travel in the legislation, it would be unworkable otherwise.

There are a few streets on the border where one side of the road is in England, but not t'other.

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 pec 18 Oct 2020
In reply to richprideaux:

> There are a few streets on the border where one side of the road is in England, but not t'other.

Ah yes, there's 2 pubs in LLanymynech, one in England and one in Wales and the Welsh one had to stay shut a while after the English one had opened earlier this year

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