THE FIRST MINISTER is urging welsh residents to avoid travelling abroad this year.

With the UK Government announcing that holidays abroad are able to go ahead from Monday, May 17, Mark Drakeford has asked the Welsh public to avoid foreign holidays for 2021.

Mr Drakeford has urged welsh residents to only consider travelling abroad for “essential purposes” despite the country moving from alert level 4 to level 3.

Making the appeal, Mr Drakeford made it clear this was advice and not a rule.

An announcement from Mr Drakeford about plans for Wales to move into alert level 2 from Monday, is expected later today.

The message from the First Minister comes after concerns of the Indian variant, with 17 confirmed cases in Wales as of numbers released yesterday (May 13).

There have been 700 confirmed cases of the Indian variant in England.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Drakeford said: “We know most people who travel from Wales will be doing it from Bristol, Manchester, London, so once those airports are open and travel across the UK is allowed, then people from Wales will be able to travel.”

Despite the advice not to take foreign holiday this year, those who do intend to travel abroad will receive extra assistance upon returning with access to additional testing.

The First Minister added there are “fantastic opportunities” to holiday in Wales this year without the risk of importing coronavirus from other countries.

The traffic light system as used in England and Scotland will be adopted in Wales, with a small number of countries on the green list where quarantine on return is not needed.

However anyone travelling to countries not on the green list will still be subject to mandatory quarantine on their return.