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Gyms and other venues reopen following lockdown easements in Wales

Gyms and other venues reopen following lockdown easements in Wales

Wales has completed the move to Alert Level 3 of its lockdown system, with more easements to restrictions made today.

From today, gyms, leisure centres, fitness facilities and community centres are allowed to reopen across the country. In addition, people can once again form extended households with one other household and take part in some indoor organised activities such as exercise classes.

The relaxations to restrictions come as Wales' coronavirus case rate is at its lowest level in eight months, and the lowest rate of any UK nation. The country's latest 7-day case rate is just 10.8 cases per 100,000 people.

Despite the easements, significant restrictions on the venues that have reopened do still remain in place. Social distancing and other coronavirus protection measures remain in place in gyms and similar venues, meaning many venues will be operating at reduced capacity.

The latest set of lockdown easements has proved contentious in recent weeks, with gym owners and opposition parties putting pressure on the Government for such venues to be opened earlier. The Welsh Government recently announced that the venues would be able to reopen earlier than planned - though they did so during the campaign season for the upcoming Senedd elections, resulting in some criticism and claims of electioneering. 

The current First Minister Mark Drakeford has indicated that indoor hospitality, tourist accommodation not already open and indoor entertainment should all be able to reopen from 17 May - however, decisions on future lockdown easements will be made by the next Welsh Government, which is set to be elected at the polls this Thurday.

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