A travel ban on people coming into Wales from coronavirus hotspots across the border is to be put in place later this week, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today.

The action is being taken after the Prime Minister did not respond to the First Minister’s requests to make advisory travel guidance in English coronavirus hotspots mandatory.

The new restrictions are planned to come into force on Friday, October 16, at 6pm.

Under new regulations, people living in areas with a high-prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would not be able to travel to Wales for the time being.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving from east to west across the UK and across Wales.

"As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling.

“Much of Wales is now subject to local restriction measures because levels of the virus have risen and people living in those areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundary without a reasonable excuse. This is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.

“We are preparing to take this action to prevent people who live in areas where there are higher covid infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales and bringing the virus with them.

“I am determined to keep Wales safe.”

The travel ban has drawn a mixed response from Senedd Members, with Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru tweeting "At last! O’r diwedd!" to the news.

While the shadow minister for health, Andrew RT Davies and conservative Senedd leader Paul Davies have reacted negatively.

In a statement, Paul Davies called on the Welsh Government to take back the ban.

He said: "The First Minister and his Government have acted rashly and without examining a range of other factors before a conclusion on whether to impose a travel ban or not is reached, while at the same time seemingly ignoring the fact that transmission rates in relation to travel had already peaked in August and September.

“It is incumbent on the First Minister to explain just why he has chosen to act in this way, and what supporting evidence he and his Ministers have seen to justify a ban and then publish it so it can be properly scrutinised.

“If he cannot or will not, then he must review and rescind this ban immediately.”

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has issued support for Wales' plan, saying Scotland would take "whatever action we consider necessary to control Covid."

The Welsh Government is finalising its regulatory approach to the travel restrictions.