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Wales's travel ban comes into force as Lancashire and Liverpool are placed into Tier 3 lockdown

WALES’S travel ban stopping people arriving from areas of Britain with high levels of coronavirus came into force today.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the restrictions were needed to help stop the virus moving from urban, highly populated areas to more rural areas.

The restrictions prevent travel from areas in England in tiers two and three, the central belt of Scotland, and the whole of Northern Ireland.

Mr Drakeford said: “The number of cases across Wales is growing and our health service is coming under pressure.

“It is vital that we keep communities which have low levels of infection as safe as possible and this sensible and necessary restriction will help prevent the virus moving from more urban, highly populated areas to more sparsely populated areas.”

The announcement came as Lancashire became the second area in England after Liverpool to be placed under the toughest Tier 3 restrictions.

From Saturday, people in the north-west county will be banned from socialising with anybody they do not live with in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.

A furious political row between local politicians and Westminster has so far prevented Greater Manchester being moved into the “very high” risk category.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused the city’s Mayor Andy Burnham of trying to “hold the government over a barrel” by resisting tougher restrictions

Mr Burnham responded: “It’s not about what we want for ourselves, Dominic Raab.

“It’s about what we want for low-paid and self-employed people everywhere: fairness.”

In a joint statement, Mr Burnham, North Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll and Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram called for an 80 per cent furlough scheme for all people affected by regional lockdowns.

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