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COVID-19 has a vice-grip on the UK still, with tens of thousands of new cases per day and hundreds of deaths. England will soon come to the end of its near month-long national lockdown, and on December 2 ministers will reintroduce the tiered regional system to tide the country over. Each of the devolved nations has taken a different approach to the pandemic, meaning England’s measures could cause conflict at its land borders.
Can you travel to Scotland or Wales in Tier 3?
Travelling within the UK has faced several challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, primarily due to conflicting policy.
Each of the devolved nations has followed similar but ultimately divergent paths in their approach to controlling COVID-19.
As such, England may allow travel where Scotland and Wales do not, but this may have caused some confusion when it comes to travelling borders.
Can I travel to Wales?
Wales left its brief national lockdown on November 9, following 17 days of restrictions.
Differing rules between England and Wales from December 2 will prevent travel over the border, however.
Welsh Government guidance states people can travel within the country, but not into it from elsewhere.
They said: “You are allowed to go on holiday within Wales if you live here, but not to enter Wales from elsewhere for that purpose.
“A holiday is not one of the permitted reasons to leave Wales under the Regulations, whether that is elsewhere in the UK or abroad.”
The current rules apply to anyone attempting to enter Wales, regardless of the tier.
People can still travel into Wales with a “reasonable excuse”, but could face fines or prosecution if they don’t have one.
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Can I travel to Scotland?
Scotland didn’t enter the same month-long lockdown England did, but they have introduced their own tier system.
Officials introduced “levels” one through four to control localised outbreaks.
The system has remained relatively unchanged over the last two months, with some national restrictions also in place.
One such restriction is on travel between the devolved nations and the Republic of Ireland, which they have prohibited.
Scottish policy states: “This applies to people who live in Scotland and to people who live in any of these countries who are thinking of coming to Scotland.
“These rules will be kept under review and if the prevalence of the virus in all, or part of, any of these countries reduces it may be possible to relax these restrictions for some areas.”
Much like Wales, people can still travel across the Scottish borders with a reasonable excuse.
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