Wales introduces mandatory testing for international arrivals

Passengers planning to travel into Wales from abroad will have to prove they have tested negative for coronavirus before their departure, the country’s health minister has said.

Vaughan Gething said the requirement, which comes into effect from 4am on January 18, would help protect against new strains of Covid-19 circulating internationally.

The rule applies to inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train from countries outside the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Tests must be taken up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, with proof of a negative result presented to carriers as well as a passenger locator form.

A mandatory 10-day quarantine for arrivals will remain in place for passengers arriving from countries not on the Welsh Government’s travel ban list, regardless of their pre-departure test result.

On Friday, Mr Gething said: “We are doing everything we can to slow down the spread of the virus.

“These new measures will help ensure we prevent new strains of the virus developing internationally from being imported into Wales.”

Wales remains in its alert level 4 lockdown restrictions, travel for a holiday into the country is not permitted, and people must stay at home unless travelling for essential reasons.