HOLIDAYMAKERS from England planning to visit Wales over the Bank Holiday should not cross the border without a negative Covid-19 test.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has urged people from coronavirus hotspots, such as Bolton, to pack lateral-flow testing kits if visiting this weekend.

The Welsh Government said the message was directed at would-be holidaymakers including those from areas of England with high levels of the Indian variant in order to 'help keep Wales safe'.

Mr Drakeford said that the Welsh tourism businesses will be looking forward to a busy week and the start of the summer season.

He said: “I urge anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus, to test themselves regularly, using the free Covid-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel.

“Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel.

“Everyone coming to Wales from areas with a higher prevalence of coronavirus should bring lateral flow testing kits with them to continue regular testing while on holiday – this is an additional measure to help keep Wales safe.”

It comes as the UK Government has advised Bolton residents to minimise travel out of their areas due to circulation of the mutated strain of Covid-19.

But it has stopped short of restricting people from being able to travel out of the area, with the late spring bank holiday weekend starting on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he would not ask people living in Bolton to "rip up plans" to travel to Wales but to "try to minimise travel".

There have been more than 3,200 cases of the India variant identified in England, while there are only 57 cases in Wales.

This week, Wales' chief medical officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton said he is “worried” a rise in Indian variant Covid cases could mean increased pressures on hospitals and intensive care.

In North Wales, there have been five confirmed cases with them all related to a returning traveller and Dr Atherton reiterated a plea for people not to travel abroad unless absolutely necessary.

He said: “If the numbers (of people with the Indian Covid variant) go up that’s a worry, obviously, because higher rates can lead to more hospitalisations.

“What we just don’t know is how much an increase in rates of a new variant here in Wales would lead to an increase in hospital admissions, increase in people needing intensive care and an increase in deaths.

“We need to see what happens over the next few weeks in England really.”