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Moving Wales into Alert Level 3: First Minister sets out plans to further relax covid restrictions

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, is today setting out a series of measures that will take Wales fully into Alert Level 3 by 17th May, subject to public health conditions remaining favourable.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has today setting out a series of measures that will take Wales fully into Alert Level 3 by 17th May, subject to public health conditions remaining favourable.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said:

“Thanks to a real team effort across Wales, coronavirus cases remain stable, and the vaccination programme continues apace. As a result, the Welsh Government has the headroom to continue its careful, step-by-step approach to relaxing restrictions.

“The review we have concluded this week, means we can continue with our programme of further re-opening of the economy and loosening the restrictions in place.”

“The review we have concluded this week, means we can continue with our programme of further re-opening of the economy and loosening the restrictions in place.”

Should public health conditions remain favourable, from Monday 12th April, the following relaxations can go ahead:

  • The full return of children to schools for face-to-face education, all post-16 learners will return to further education and training centres, and university campus’ will be able to open for blended face-to-face/online learning for all students;
  • All remaining shops can reopen, completing the phased reopening of non-essential retail;
  • All remaining close contact services can open, including mobile services;
  • Travel restrictions on traveling into and out of Wales will be lifted. However, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place. The Common Travel Area means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland;
  • Viewings at wedding venues can resume by appointment;
  • Outdoor canvassing for elections can begin.

The further relaxations follow the successful return of primary pupils and many older secondary school and college students to face-to-face learning and the start of the phased re-opening of non-essential retail, including the opening of hairdressers and barbers.

Ministers are now signalling further easements to restrictions in the coming weeks subject to the public health situation remaining favourable. These are consistent with the cautious and phased approach set out in the updated Coronavirus Control Plan: Revised Alert Levels in Wales.

On Monday 26 April:                                                                     

  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, would be allowed to reopen;
  • Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants. Indoor hospitality will remain restricted.

On Monday 3 May:

  • Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people can again take place;
  • Weddings receptions can take place outdoors, but will also be limited to 30 people.

On Monday 10 May:

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes;
  • Extended household will again allow two households to meet and have contact indoors.

Preparations will be made to allow the following relaxations to be considered at the review on 13 May by the next Welsh Government, subject to public health conditions remaining favourable.

The reopening/resumption of the following, from the first week of the new cycle, i.e. Monday 17 May:

  • Children’s indoor activities.
  • Community centres;
  • Organised indoor activities for adults, limited to a maximum of 15 people. This includes exercise classes.

After 17 May, to consider enabling indoor hospitality and remaining visitor accommodation to reopen in advance of the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May.

These are indicative dates to give the sectors time to plan and prepare –decisions on these will be made nearer the time, once the impact of other relaxations have been assessed and subject to the health situation allowing the relaxations to go ahead.

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