Further relaxations to lockdown measures in Wales have been brought forward, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.
The First Minister has announced that the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised sports and exercise classes for up to 15 adults, plus the re-opening of community centres will all be allowed from 3 May. Previously, these lockdown easements had not been due to take place in Wales until 17 May.
The changes mean that Wales will complete its move to Alert Level 3 of its coronavirus alert level system by Monday 3 May.
Announcing the adjustments to Wales’ lockdown easing plans, Mr Drakeford said;
“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving.
“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.”
Wales currently has the lowest coronavirus case rates of any UK nation, with the current 7-day case rate around 14.6 cases per 100,000 people.
The further easing of lockdown measures will most likely be welcomed by the public, and businesses that have been desperate to reopen. However, the timing of the announcement on some easements being brought forward has been questioned, with political parties currently in their election campaigns for the Welsh Senedd election in two weeks time.
Mr Drakeford is due to front a press conference on Friday lunchtime, in which he will set out further easing to lockdown measures – including which easements he would make if the Welsh Labour government is re-elected on 6 May. Opposition parties have criticised the move, with the Welsh Conservatives describing holding the conference as “naked electioneering”. Others have also said that more details on lockdown easing could have been said before the election campaign and that waiting until now is “playing politics”.
Future lockdown easing dates in Wales
Saturday 24 April
- Re-introduction of the rule of six, with six people from up to six households allowed to meet outdoors (not counting children under 11 years of age or carers)
Monday 26 April
- Re-opening of outdoor attractions, outdoor leisure facilities, funfairs, theme parks
- Re-opening of outdoor hospitality including at cafes, pubs and restaurants
Monday 3 May
- Re-opening of gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities
- People can form extended households with one other household
- Resumption of indoor supervised activities for children
- Indoor organised activities and exercise classes for up to 15 adults
- Re-opening of community centres
Monday 17 May (subject to decisions by incoming Welsh Government)
- Re-opening of hospitality sector indoor
- Re-opening of all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions