Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has clearly said he is worried about the risks of people coming back from foreign trips carrying new variants of coronavirus and there are only a handful of reasons why you can currently travel abroad.

In Wales, the stay local ban is to be lifted within days – although it is not clear if travel out of Wales will be allowed when it is lifted. And the First Minister has expressed worries about Boris Johnson’s claim international travel could resume in May.

Holidays abroad are set to be made illegal in England as new coronavirus laws are being bought in that will last until the end of June.

From Monday, anyone living in England looking to travel abroad without a reasonable excuse could be fined up to £5,000 under the new legislation.

However in Wales, the Welsh Government say they want the restrictions to go further.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “International travel is currently restricted in Wales except for a limited number of reasons.

“We have repeatedly argued that quarantine arrangements should be extended beyond red–list countries as a way of keeping new variant forms of the virus out of the UK.

“We are taking a gradual and cautious approach to relaxing restrictions to safeguard public health.”

There are a small number of exemptions which allow people to travel abroad. The Welsh Government follow exemptions set by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

There is a list of permitted reasons that can people can travel abroad until March 29, with some alternations afterwards.


Essential travel for business or official work purposes where it is not reasonably possible to complete that work from home is allowed, this includes but is not limited to essential work or returning overseas having completed essential work, in relation to critical national infrastructure including the national rail network, national security or diplomatic purposes, and elite sports competitions.


Only where it is not reasonably possible to volunteer from home.


For academic studies or professional qualifications where physical presence is required or where activities must be completed overseas. This includes international students returning home.

From 29 March, if you are enrolled in a course of study at an educational institution outside the UK and it is necessary for you to leave the UK to attend that course, you can do so.

You are permitted to travel abroad if you study in the UK but you are required to travel outside the UK to satisfy one or more requirements of your course of study.

If you study in the UK but live abroad, you are permitted to travel outside the UK to return home for the purposes of a university vacation on one occasion before 29 April 2021.

Medical or compassionate grounds

This includes:

To visit someone who is dying or critically ill. Maternity services, or to be with someone who is giving birth, or with a baby receiving neonatal critical care. Medical treatment or emergency which cannot be reasonably received in the UK or to accompany a person where necessary. To avoid injury or illness or escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse). Weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and related events

To attend a wedding or civil partnership of a family member, to attend a funeral or event related to death, to visit a burial ground or remembrance.

From March 29, you can only travel out of the UK to attend your wedding or civil partnership, or a family member’s wedding or civil partnership if one or both people getting married or entering into a civil partnership do not live in the UK.

From the same date, it is still a reasonable excuse to travel abroad for a funeral, but it will not be a reasonable excuse to travel for commemorative events, or to visit a burial ground.

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Transit passengers

If you do not pass through border control and enter England, you will have a reasonable excuse to travel out of the UK if you are passing through to another country or territory outside the common travel area.

If you do pass through border control and enter England, you will have a reasonable excuse to travel out of the UK if you are entering the UK for the sole purpose of continuing a journey to a country or territory outside the common travel area and you:

Remain within your port of entry until your departure from England, or.. travel directly from your port of entry to another port of departure in England. Other permitted reasons

There are other reasons too:

To fulfil legal obligations. To carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property. Travel in order to exercise custody rights recognised by a court decision. Order to present oneself to a judicial or administrative authority. Non-UK resident who has been in UK temporarily

From 29 March, if you do not permanently reside in the UK and are in England temporarily, you would have a permitted reason to leave the UK.


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