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 again set out the priority placed on ensuring all children and students in Wales will return to face-to-face education on Monday 12 April.
All remaining non-essential retail and close contact services will be allowed to reopen from Monday 12 April, while the rules will also be changed to allow travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the United Kingdom and Common Travel Area. Changes remain subject to public health conditions continuing to remain favourable.
The Welsh Government is also signalling further changes it aims to confirm at the 22 April review, subject to public health conditions and final confirmation by Ministers, which would see outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality reopen, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants on Monday 26 April. By early May, plans include allowing organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people to take place, and for gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities to reopen for individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes.
The changes continue the Welsh Government’s planned, step-by-step approach to relaxing the coronavirus restrictions, taking account of the highly-infectious Kent variant, which is now the dominant form of the virus in Wales.
The public health situation in Wales continues to improve. The number of cases of coronavirus in our communities is generally falling and pressure on the NHS is easing. 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.”
Should public health conditions remain favourable, from Monday 12th April, the following relaxations can go ahead:
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;
The reopening/resumption of the following, from the first week of the new cycle, i.e. Monday 17 May:
The First Minister added:
“The sacrifices we have all made are having a positive effect in the battle against Coronavirus. This last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us and again I want to thank everyone for their efforts.
“These efforts have allowed us to gradually ease the restrictions, to gradually introduce more elements of normal life.
“With the weather improving, with more opportunities to see family and friends, there are reasons for optimism. However, we can’t let our guard down yet. We all still need to be vigilant, we still need to do our part to keep this deadly disease at bay.”
Tourism and hospitality businesses must take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus and should not knowingly accept customers in breach of the travel restrictions.