Visitors travelling into Wales from areas in the UK with high rates of coronavirus might have to self-isolate on arrival, according to the Welsh government.
Welsh authorities are deliberating the possibility of enforcing the restrictions currently used on international arrivals on arrivals from people across the UK, including from Greater Manchester.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said in a press conference on Monday: “We’re actively considering what we should do and I’ve discussed it this morning with the First Minister.
“We have quarantine regulations for international travel.
“So for some of the hotspot areas in the north of England, the North East and North West, and the West Midlands, if they were other countries or territories, we would have quarantine regulations for them to return to the UK.”
He added: “We’re having to consider how we use our power to protect lower-prevalence areas of Wales but at the same time, we don’t want to take a whole-nation approach.
“There’s no good reason to prevent someone from Devon, at this point in time, coming to visit a pre-booked holiday or trip to Pembrokeshire.
“So we are thinking about how we use something that is proportionate and deals with the reality of the threat that we face.”
The decision will be made later today, Gething added: “We’ll need to take some advice from our scientific and medical advisers, public health advisers, and we’ll then need to consider whether this is the right course of action.
“Because the measures we’ve introduced in Wales are about isolating areas with a higher prevalence of coronavirus and protecting lower prevalence areas too.
“It’s consistent with the approach that all four UK nations have taken to international travel and quarantine restrictions, where we recognise that higher prevalence areas in other parts of the world represent a risk to coronavirus being reimported or having an opportunity to spread further within the UK.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford sent a letter to Boris Johnson asking for travel restrictions to apply to areas of England under local lockdown, however, Gething explains that it is ‘disappointing’ he has not replied.
Gething added: “Over the last month, we’ve seen a rapid increase in cases across Wales – the virus returned as people came home from holiday abroad and has been spread also as people socialised without social distancing crucially and most often in people’s home.
“The majority have had a mild illness so far. But an increase in cases is followed within two to three weeks by higher hospital admissions, higher critical care admissions and more deaths.”
The best campsites near Manchester for the ultimate staycation this summer
Get back into nature this summer
With just a couple of hours drive, you could be breathing in some sea air or taking in the stunning views of the Lake District.
With current restrictions meaning a holiday abroad might be a tricky affair this year, people are opting for a staycation in one of the UK’s many beauty spots – and there’s a lot to chose from.
If you’re not a camper, check out our list of the most unique places you can stay on Airbnb in the UK – which includes a literal jet plane, windmills and even a couple of castles.
Or if you’re a fan of Disney, how about Snow White’s house?
Turner Hall Farm in Seathwaite Cumbria
A no-frills campsite surrounded by the beautiful Cumbria landscape. Perfect spot for tents and camper vans and a big old lung full of fresh air.
Samlesbury Hall, Blackburn
Bit of Glamping for all you glampers this one. The Shepherd’s Huts have got everything you need for a cosy night under the stars. And if you’re really hard, this is set in the grounds of the Black and White Hall, which is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the UK.
Waterside House Campsite, Ullswater
I’m putting this one in because I went last July and I can tell you first hand I had a cracking experience. This was actually the view from my tent each morning and you really can’t complain about that, can you?
Headswood On The Wall, Hadrian’s Wall
Another posh one that’s not really camping, because you stay in lodges drinking Prosecco in a hot tub, but you’re outside in the wilderness and that’s near enough to camping for us city folk, init?
Aberafon on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd
Over to Wales for this one, right in the heart of the most famous thing to come out of the country (after Gavin & Stacey), Snowdonia National Park. Cracking views and a nice bit of fresh sea air to brush the lockdown cobwebs off!
Low Wray Campsite in Ambleside, Lake District
Another one in the Lakes, this time Windemere. It’s a National Trust campsite so you know you’re in good hands. Plenty of water-related fun to be had including paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, rowing and skimming stones.
Delamere Forest, Cheshire
More for you caravaners than campers this one, but there is still space for tent pitches. Plenty of fun to be had nearby too including walking trails, cycling, Go Ape and Chester Zoo. OR just head straight to the pubs in Chester – I would.
Spain to welcome back British holidaymakers from June
Have you got a foreign holiday planned this summer?
Spain’s tourism minister has said the country will be welcoming tourists back this summer, including travellers from the UK.
The European Union has plans to use coronavirus vaccine certificates to let holidaymakers back in, with Spain saying it is currently trialling a digital certificate scheme – their plan is to see a wider roll out in June.
Under the EU scheme, Digital Green Certificates will be accepted as ‘proof’ that someone has either had the Covid-19 vaccine, received a negative test result, or recovered from coronavirus.
Spain’s Tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst told a travel and tourism conference in Mexico: “I think the best thing that governments right now can provide to travellers is certainty, give the proper information and the security that they can travel and they can come back to the countries.
“In those terms, in the European Union, we put in place a system … that provides us with a digital certificate.
“Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot programme in May, in all our 46 airports.
“We are going to give all these travellers that certainty. Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us.”
In regards to international travel from the UK returning in May, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the data ‘continues to look good’.
He told Sky News: “The earliest possible unlock is May 17th, so stage three of the unlock, we won’t have international travel before that.
“I have to say that so far the data does continue to look good from a UK perspective, notwithstanding those concerns about where people might be travelling to and making sure we’re protected from the disease being reimported.
“I will set out towards the beginning of May … which countries fall into the various different categories.”
However, when it came to travel to Spain specifically Shapps wouldn’t commit to an answer as to whether British tourists will be able to travel there this summer, saying the public will have to ‘wait and see’.
He told Times Radio: “Spain specifically, I’m afraid I just don’t have the answer to that because the Joint Biosecurity Centre will need to come up with their assessment and we can’t do that until a bit nearer the time.
“So we will need to wait and see.”
Take a look inside UK safari lodges where you spend the night with elephants and cheetahs
‘Guests will be able to get closer than ever before to our wildlife and make friends with their animal neighbours’
If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night next to elephants and cheetahs then now’s your chance.
A collection of brand new luxury safari lodges have opened in the UK, and families can now book a holiday there.
West Midland Safari Park’s lodges offer the only overnight stay with elephants in the whole country, with the option to spend the night next to the cheetahs as well.
The lodges were originally scheduled to open last summer but the pandemic delayed this – bookings did initially open last year before being forced to pause due to the massive demand.
There are eight suites available, with six located in the elephant park and two next to the cheetahs, with fantastic close up views from your bedroom.
Each lodge can accommodate five guests, and feature open-plan living rooms with outdoor seating and balconies, as well as a king-size bedroom on the lower floor and room for three people to sleep on the upper floor, with the option to add a cot.
From your suite you’ll be able to watch elephants like the young male Sutton, his aunt Latabe and mum, Five, while two of the lodges overlook the cheetah area, where cheetahs like Asrael and Bappe – recently brought over from France – live.
Chris Kelly, Managing Director at West Midland Safari Park, said: “It’s been a long journey, but we are absolutely delighted to have finally opened our doors and welcome guests to our Safari Lodges experience.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved, in delivering beautiful accommodation to offer guests the opportunity to stay onsite for the first time, but also in upgrading stimulating and enriching environments for the wonderful animals we have in our care.
“Our lodges are going to offer a special and unforgettable Safari-stay right here in the Midlands. Guests will be able to get closer than ever before to our wildlife and make friends with their animal neighbours.
“Being located on our reserves, guests will also have the chance to spot some of our other species and experience all the great attractions we have to offer, making it the perfect retreat for all the family.”
Chefs based on-site will prepare your breakfast and dinner and deliver it to your room, so you can eat while taking in the fantastic views.
For the price of the lodge, you’ll also get admission to the park and wristbands for the rides at the theme park, with prices starting from £147 per night for children and from £171 per night for adults.
While availability for the rest of 2021 is now limited due to huge demand, there are still lots of options available for next year.
You can check out the West Midland Safari Park website here for more info.