Coronavirus lockdown easing to be brought forward in Wales as infections fall


The easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales will be brought forward as Covid infections continue to fall, it has been confirmed.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced some measures will be relaxed sooner than planned as the latest figures show cases falling from 37 cases per 100,000 people to fewer than 21 per 100,000 this week.

Some restrictions will be eased at the end of this month also because vaccination rates continue to improve and the pressure on hospital decreases.

People will be able to form an extended household, visit the gym or take part in organised outdoor activities a week earlier than planned, Mr Drakeford confirmed.

The First Minister last week set out a detailed timetable for moving Wales firmly into alert level three.



Mark Drakeford said some restrictions will be eased earlier than planned
Mark Drakeford said some restrictions will be eased earlier than planned

But today he announced the planned opening date for organised outdoor activities and outdoor wedding receptions will be moved forward to Monday, April 26 from May 3.

Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities will be able to reopen for individual or one-to-one training from May 3 – a week earlier than planned.

Extended households will also be allowed again, enabling two households to meet and have contact indoors.



People chat over a coffee in Bute Park in Cardiff
People chat over a coffee in Bute Park in Cardiff

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The public health situation in Wales continues to improve thanks to everything you are doing to help us control this awful virus.

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“Cases of the virus are falling and our incredible vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength.

“Last week, we set out our programme to further re-open the economy and relax the restrictions we have lived with for so long, as part of our careful, step-by-step approach to keeping everyone safe.



A nurse prepares the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen
A nurse prepares the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen

“This week, because of the improvements we continue to see, we can bring forward some of our plans.

“This is only possible because of the efforts everyone is making to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

From April 12, all children will return to face-to-face education and universities will be open for a mixture of online an in-person teaching.

All non-essential shops and close-contact services will reopen.

Travel restrictions on travelling into and out of Wales will also be lifted.



Gyms will be allowed to reopen from May 3
Gyms will be allowed to reopen from April 26 instead of May 3 in Wales

However, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area – which includes the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland – without a reasonable excuse, remain in place.

On April 26, outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen.

Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants, while indoor hospitality will remain closed except for takeaways.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people can again take place.

Weddings receptions can take place outdoors for up to 30 people.

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On May 3, gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen – including for individual or one-to-one training but not exercise classes.

Two households will be allowed to meet and have contact indoors.

As set out in the revised Coronavirus Control Plan, a small number of outdoor pilot events of between 200 and 1,000 people are also being planned.





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