Large crowds are being allowed to return to outdoor events in Wales and nightclubs are to reopen as the government in Cardiff says the Omicron “storm” has been weathered.
The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, also said it would no longer be a legal requirement for people to work from home, though it would still be important for them to do so if possible.
Drakeford thanked citizens for obeying the rules, which have been in place in Wales since Boxing Day, and for everyone who has been involved in the vaccination programme.
He said: “The actions we have taken together have helped us to weather the Omicron storm. The latest data suggests some positive signs that the peak may have passed. We can now look more confidently to the future and plan to start gradually removing the alert level two restrictions, starting with the outdoors measures.
“But the pandemic is not over. We will closely monitor the public health situation – this is a fast-moving and volatile variant, which could change suddenly. I urge everyone to continue to follow the rules and have your vaccines to keep Wales safe.”
The latest public health data in Wales suggests cases of coronavirus have started to fall back from very high levels. More than two-thirds of people aged 12 and over have received a booster or third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Drakeford said that from Saturday the number of people who could be present at outdoor events would rise from 50 to 500. Then from Friday 21 January Wales will move to alert level zero for all outdoor activities, meaning there will be no limits on the number of people who can take part in outdoor activities.
The government said this meant:
Crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events
Outdoor hospitality will be able to operate without additional measures.
But a Covid pass will be required for entry to larger outdoor events.
If the downward trend continues, from Friday 28 January Wales will move to alert level zero for all indoor activities.
Nightclubs will be able to reopen.
Working from home will remain important but it will no longer be a legal requirement.
Businesses, employers and other organisations must undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of Covid.
The Covid pass will be required for entry to nightclubs, events, cinemas, concert halls and theatres.
The rule of six, table service and 2-metre physical distancing will no longer required in hospitality.