The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 17:38

Wales to strengthen COVID restrictions from Boxing Day

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced stronger restrictions to come into force from Boxing Day.

The measures are a revised version of alert level two and are designed to help keep businesses open over the next few weeks.

£120 million, double the £60 million announced last week, will be made available to nightclubs, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses likely to be most affected by the alert level increase.

The measures that will come into place come Boxing Day are as follows:

  • A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
  • The rule of six will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
  • All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
  • Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
  • Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.
  • There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.

It had already been announced that nightclubs will be forced to close from Boxing Day. In addition, the following guidance has been released to keep people safe when meeting others in their homes:

  • Limit the number of people visiting your home.
  • If people are visiting, make sure they take a lateral flow test in the morning before the visit.
  • Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
  • Space out any visits.
  • And don’t forget about social distancing and washing your hands.

Drakeford said:

“We are facing a very serious situation in Wales. A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way.”

“This new form of coronavirus could infect large numbers of people in Wales, disrupting daily lives and businesses and could cause an increase in the number of people who need hospital care in the coming weeks.”

“We will do everything we can to protect people’s health and livelihoods in Wales – this means taking early action to try and control its spread.”

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