A POLICING body has said the Welsh Government’s plan to introduce a travel ban will be ‘unenforceable’.

The Police Federation of England and Wales has reacted to news that Welsh Ministers are set to introduce new regulations and prevent people travelling to the country from areas with a high prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced this week that people travelling from coronavirus hotspots in the UK would not be allowed to travel into Wales.

This is set to come into force on October 16 at 6pm.

Mark Bleasdale, Police Federation of England and Wales’ Welsh Lead said: “On the face of it, this is unenforceable because of the difficulty of identifying where people are coming from and where they are going to.

“There will also be plenty of individuals travelling legitimately from areas which are not high risk, and this will only add to the other difficulties officers face when policing the existing regulations.

“Some areas of Wales are already in lockdown, and many individuals are already unable to travel in and out of counties unless they have good reason. In other locations provisions are more relaxed, so this proposed travel ban adds yet another level of complexity to policing.

“We would ask members of the public to continue to be supportive and realise this is an extremely challenging period for frontline officers.

“Policing in Wales is already over-stretched due to the pandemic and because crime rates have returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, my colleagues will continue to do their utmost to protect the public in their usual professional manner.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford said this was not about border control but about preventing the spread of coronavirus.

He 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.”