The Welsh Government has unveiled its “cautious” timetable out of lockdown, allowing more aspects of the economy to reopen.
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that gyms, outdoor hospitality and extended households will be considered as part of a review on 22nd April. Leisure centres, outdoor attractions, weddings, community centres, organised activities with 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors will also be considered depending on coronavirus rates.
Mr Drakeford confirmed that on 12th April there will be a full return to schools, colleges and other education, provided coronavirus cases remain low.
Plans are still in place to lift “stay local” restrictions on 27th March, moving Wales into alert level 3. The Welsh Government has refrained from releasing a full roadmap out of lockdown similar to England, Wales and Scotland, preferring instead to focus wholly on “data rather than dates.”
Mark Drakeford, said: “We are now entering a critical phase in the pandemic. We can see light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the end of a long and hard second wave, thanks to the incredible efforts of scientists and researchers across the world to develop effective vaccines. Our amazing vaccination programme has made vaccines available to people in the most at-risk groups at incredible speed. But just as we are rolling out vaccination, we are facing a very different virus in Wales today.
“The highly-infectious variant, first identified in Kent, is now dominant in all parts of Wales. This means the protective behaviours we have all learned to adopt are even more important than ever – getting tested and isolating when we have symptoms; keeping our distance from others; not mixing indoors; avoiding crowds; washing our hands regularly and wearing face coverings in places we cannot avoid being in close proximity with each other.”
What does alert level 3 entail for hospitality?
Alert level 3 will allow hospitality businesses to operate outdoors to customers. Once the country has moved into alert level 2, people will be able to meet indoors at pubs, restaurants and cafes, providing the venue provides table service and track & trace to customers. Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls and cinemas will be able to re-open once Wales goes into alert level 2, in addition to a small number of pilot events.
Where can I find out more?
The Welsh Government has published its Coronavirus Control Plan here. Keep in mind that guidance is changing regularly.