9 April 2021
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has set out plans to further relax Covid restrictions with the aim of taking Wales fully into Alert Level 3 by 17 May, subject to public health conditions remaining favourable.
He said that the Government’s priority remains ensuring that all children and students will return to face-to-face education on Monday 12 April with university campuses able to open for blended face-to-face/online learning for all students.
On the same day, all remaining non-essential retail and close contact services (including hairdressers and barbers) will be allowed to reopen while travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the United Kingdom and the Common Travel Area (including Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) will be allowed.
“We have a good level of confidence that we will be able to achieve all of those dates,” Mr Drakeford said as he went on to list other changes which nevertheless remain subject to public health conditions and final confirmation by Ministers.
These include reopening outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, and outdoor hospitality venues, including cafes, pubs and restaurants, on Monday 26 April. Indoor hospitality will remain restricted.
On Monday 3 May, organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people can take place, while wedding receptions can take place outdoors, again limited to 30 people.
Originally, gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities were then to reopen a week later, on 10 May. However, this has now been brought forward to 3 May. This will include individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes.
On 17 May, children’s indoor activities will resume and community centres will reopen while organised indoor activities for adults will be allowed, limited to a maximum of 15 people. This includes exercise classes.
Thanks to a real team effort across Wales,” Mr Drakeford concluded, “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 Welsh Government will consider enabling indoor hospitality and remaining visitor accommodation to reopen in advance of the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May. A small number of outdoor pilot events of between 200 and 1000 people are being planned and will include cultural and sports events across Wales, including a potential stadia event.
The Welsh Government is also working with the Muslim Council to consider how they can incorporate events to help people celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan. All events would be subject to local authority and public health agreement.