First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced plans which could allow people in Wales to see more of their friends and families from 22nd August.
Mr Drakeford has announced today that if conditions in Wales in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic remain stable over the next week, he hopes to make the following changes from Saturday 22 August;
- Up to four households will be able to join together to form a single extended household
- A meal will be allowed for up to 30 people indoors following a wedding, civil partnership or funeral if social distancing can be maintained
The Welsh Government has though said that it does not intend to allow people to meet indoors with people who are not part of their household or extended household.
The new rules, if implemented will allow people to mingle indoors in houses, pubs and restaurants and other venues with people who are part of their normal or extended household. People who are not part of one’s extended household will still not be allowed to meet with them in pubs and other venues in Wales.
Where people in Wales already have an extended household, they cannot dissolve it in order to create a new one.
Discussing the planned new measures First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“Wales has come together to tackle the spread of this virus and the action we have taken together has made a real difference. The number of cases continue to fall and this means we will be able introduce new changes to allow up to four households to come together and form an extended household.
“These are cautious, step by step changes. We are learning from what is happening across the UK and outbreaks are mainly linked to people meeting others inside the home. That is why it is so important we don’t invite people outside our extended households into our homes. We have made so much progress and we mustn’t jeopardise this. That means we are not at a point where we should be visiting anyone’s home at any time. Regulations on meeting outdoors were recently changed to make it easier to do, and this remains by far the safest way to meet.
Scientific evidence has shown that it is safer to meet outside due to it generally being harder for the virus to survive outside than inside. It is thought that a significant proportion of new Coronavirus cases in England in recent weeks have been attributed to in-home transmission, prompting local lockdown measures in some areas restricting meetings in houses.
While restrictions have been lifted slower in Wales than in England, the Welsh Government has shown continued extra caution and by doing so will likely hope to avoid scenarios such as the recent local lockdowns seen in England.