Wales will ban entry to people from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus by Friday if Boris Johnson fails to impose UK-wide travel restrictions, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

Mr Drakeford told the Welsh Parliament he had asked for work on the travel ban to be brought forward after the Prime Minister failed to reply to two letters requesting he introduce the measure across the UK.

The Welsh Government’s plans will bring people elsewhere in the UK in line with measures currently in place in the 17 areas of Wales under local lockdown restrictions.

Under those rules, people must not enter or leave an affected area without a reasonable excuse such as work or education.

But currently, people living in Covid-19 hotspots elsewhere in the UK are free to enter areas of Wales not under restrictions where levels of the virus are low.

Levels of the virus in Powys remain lower than most of Wales, with this move impact visitors to the county from areas such as Liverpool.

At present, as Herefordshire is judged a 'medium' risk area by the UK Government, travel between the county and Powys will not be affected.

Addressing MSs in the Senedd on Wednesday, Mr Drakeford said: “No reply from the Prime Minister has been received in reply to my request.

“I have therefore asked for the necessary work to be brought forward which would allow for devolved powers to be used to prevent people travelling into Wales from high prevalence areas of the United Kingdom.”

The First Minister added: “The timetable for the powers that we have in Wales is to do it by the end of the week.”

He said the deadline would give “more time for the Prime Minister of the UK Government to do the things that we have asked him to do. To do the same thing for people who live in England as we have done for the people who live in Wales”.

Mr Drakeford noted he had received support from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for the travel ban, adding: “Now is the time for the Prime Minister to do the same thing.”

The chief executive of the Welsh NHS, Dr Andrew Goodall, said he would also “welcome any actions that help us have a control of the levels of community transmission” when asked if he was in favour of the travel ban.

The Welsh Government is finalising its regulatory approach to the travel restrictions.

The new restrictions are planned to come into force on Friday, October 16, at 6pm.