PEOPLE in Herefordshire need to be "ultra careful" to avoid coronavirus becoming more prevalent in the county, a councillor has warned.

The stark message comes from a Herefordshire councillor in support of the Welsh Government's move to ban travel from parts of the UK to Wales.

Councillor Terry James, whose Kington ward borders Powys, said Herefordshire needs to be careful of visitors from coronavirus hotspots such as parts of Birmingham.

It comes after the move by the Welsh Government to ban people from coronavirus hotspots in the UK crossing the border from 6pm on Friday.

READ MORE: Wales will ban visitors from UK virus hotspots

It's thought the move, announced by First Minister Mark Drakeford on Wednesday, will affect tier two and tier three lockdown areas in England, but as Herefordshire is currently tier one travel across the border to Powys will not be impacted.

To avoid Herefordshire's coronavirus alert level rising from medium to high or very high, Kington's councillor Terry James said residents need to be "ultra, ultra careful".

"It won't really affect us in Herefordshire, but I think what Herefordshire should be most concerned about is people travelling into Herefordshire from the West Midlands and the north," coun James added.

"We've managed to keep it [coronavirus] very low through luck or judgment, I'm not sure which, the only thing that will make that rise is people bringing it in.

"They're managing to contain it well within the county at the moment so far, but the danger is it's brought in from other areas on mass."


Across the border, the county councillor for Glasbury, near Hay-on-Wye, "fully support" the Welsh Government on the travel ban.

Like Herefordshire's group leader for Liberal Democrats Terry James, Coun James Gibson-Watt also has concerns over tourists heading to remote counties with lower levels of coronavirus.

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"It won't affect people coming across the border from Herefordshire, or Shropshire for that matter," added coun Gibson-Watt, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats group in Powys.

"It's only areas of England with very high levels of infection that are restricted and not allowed to come into Wales, as I understand it.

He added: "There's no question that even modest lockdown measures have a very severe economic impact, this is why I would definitely support the First Minister.

"We do not want to see the imposition of a national lockdown if we can possibly avoid it, they have to try everything before we get to that point.

"I don't understand the UK Government saying to people in severe lockdown areas in England you can't go to the pub, you can't go to a restaurant, you can't go other people's houses but you can go to Wales on holiday, or anywhere actually."

Travel across the border from England's lockdown areas will be allowed if it is for a valid reason, such as work, it's believed at this stage.

Police in Wales could use number plate technology to catch people from UK coronavirus hotspots who illegally enter the country, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford said having officers patrol highways is one way to enforce a proposed travel ban on visits to Wales by people living in areas of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland with high levels of Covid-19 from Friday.

The Welsh Labour leader’s comments came after the Police Federation of England and Wales said the travel restrictions are “unenforceable” due to the difficulty of identifying where people were travelling to and from.