Wales seeking ‘urgent talks’ over Irish travel ban


The Welsh Government has requested “urgent” talks with the UK Government after ferry passengers in Wales were banned from entering the Republic of Ireland.

It came as France banned lorries carrying freight from the UK and countries around the world ended flights amid fears over the new mutant coronavirus strain.

The Republic of Ireland is allowing freight and essential travel from ports in North Wales and West Wales, but has said other visitors will not be granted entry.

On Monday, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said Cardiff Bay would be “monitoring the situation”, having requested talks with Westminster.

He said on Twitter: “We’re monitoring the situation at our ports closely. I have requested urgent talks with UK Government to discuss the situation further, particularly implications for Welsh ports.

“Our priority is to protect the interest of people and businesses in Wales.”

Per the Irish government’s 48-hour ban, Irish Ferries, which has routes between Holyhead and Dublin, as well as Pembroke Dock and Rosslare, has banned all travel except for essential travel and freight, while Stena Line has done the same for its route between Holyhead and Dublin, as well as Fishguard to Rosslare.

Bukola Sokunbi-Walton, from Galway, told BBC Radio Wales the ban means she is now stranded at Holyhead in Anglesey, having travelled from London to spend Christmas with her children at home.

She said: “I just expected to get on the ferry as usual and go home because I have three children waiting for me, but it’s very upsetting and disappointing that I can’t do that right now.

“They (the Government of Ireland) should have given us ample time to prepare for that, at least given us information so that we would know what to do.”

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