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UK's first 'Covid-19 border' in the works as entry into Wales from coronavirus hotspots to be restricted

UK's first 'Covid-19 border' in the works as entry into Wales from coronavirus hotspots to be restricted
People from Covid-19 hotspots elsewhere in the UK will not be allowed to travel to Wales, the country's first minister announced on Wednesday. The decision is the first to establish a kind of coronavirus border within the UK.

"There has been no formal response from [PM Boris Johnson] to my requests to restrict travel into Wales from coronavirus hotspots," First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford tweeted on Wednesday.

"I am preparing new regulations to protect the health of people in Wales that will come into force on Friday."

The previous day, Drakeford said that "people from high-Covid areas shouldn't travel to low-Covid areas anywhere in the UK."

The first minister added: "This is not about stopping people from England coming to Wales. It's about stopping the virus traveling."

More than 330 people who tested positive for coronavirus are being treated in hospitals across Wales this week, up by more than 100 from the week before, according to the Welsh government. "We all need to act now to stop the spread of the virus and protect our NHS this winter," it said on Wednesday.

Both the Welsh government and health officials have warned that 12 hospitals are now facing serious levels of pressure due to the pandemic.

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"The impact on our hospitals at the moment is similar to what we saw in March," the chief executive of NHS Wales, Andrew Goodall, said on Wednesday. "I anticipate this winter will be more challenging than any I have known in my professional career."

Drakeford has written to PM Johnson, urging him to consider a "circuit-breaker" lockdown, saying it could help bring down coronavirus infection rates across the country.

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