First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced Wales will gradually move into Alert Level 1 – the least severe set of coronavirus restrictions – from next week.
Currently, Wales is under Alert Level 2 restrictions.
Making the announcement, Mr Drakeford confirmed up to 30 people will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, from Monday, June 7.
Up to three households will be able to merge to form an extended household, with a further household with a single adult also able to join.
Meanwhile, large outdoor events, such as concerts and football matches can go ahead for up to 10,000 people seated and 4,000 non-seated.
However, social distancing is still required.
Welsh Government ministers will meet once again in the coming weeks to decide whether to introduce further lockdown restrictions.
Restarting indoor events, introducing a ‘rule of six’ for meeting indoors at home, and the reopening of ice skating rinks will all be under consideration.
Mr Drakeford thanked the Welsh public for “everything they have done to control the spread of coronavirus”, but warned the emergence of the Delta variant shows “the pandemic is not over yet”.
What is the Delta variant?
The Delta variant is the new name of the ‘Indian variant’ that has been causing concern in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation released a list of new names for variants, in an attempt to remove the stigma that geographical names have, such as the Kent variant, or the South African variant for example.
There are currently 97 cases of the Delta variant in Wales, including a cluster of cases in Conwy.
He added: “The risk of infection is significantly less outdoors than it is indoors. This is why we are phasing in the changes in this three-week cycle.
“This will allow more people to enjoy events outdoors and take advantage of the Welsh summer, while we continue to roll out the vaccination programme to all adults.
“We will review the public health situation again in a couple of weeks to see whether we can continue to relax the restrictions and restart indoor events.”
Nesta Lloyd Jones, assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said the announcement was “good news for everyone in Wales”.
What is the Welsh NHS Confederation?
The Welsh NHS Confederation is a body made up of the seven health boards and three NHS trusts in Wales, as well as Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).
According to its website, the Welsh NHS Confederation “support[s] our members to improve health and wellbeing by working with them to deliver high standards of care for patients and best value for taxpayers’ money.
“We act as a driving force for positive change through strong representation and our policy, influencing and engagement work.”
She said: “This has been made possible thanks to the fantastic support of the public and delivery of the vaccination programme. We cannot thank both the public and staff across health and care and beyond enough for all they’ve done throughout the pandemic.”
However, Ms Lloyd Jones added: “The increased spread of the Delta variant serves as a reminder of the importance of sticking to the rules as we begin to socialise more, in particular social distancing.
“It’s not too late to take up the offer of a first dose of the Covid vaccine if you haven’t already done so and we urge the public to come forward for their second dose when invited.”
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Who has been vaccinated so far?
The percentage of people in Wales who have received their first and second vaccine is broken down below:
Care home residents: 98% first dose; 92.7% second dose
Care home workers: 91.8% first dose; 73.6% second dose
Healthcare workers: 95.3% first dose; 87.6% second dose
Social care workers: 45,451 first dose; 41,308 second dose
Aged 80 and above: 95.7% first dose; 92.7% second dose
Aged 75-79: 96.5% first dose; 94.1% second dose
Aged 70-74: 95.8% first dose; 93.8% second dose
Clinically extremely vulnerable people aged 16-69 : 93.7% first dose; 87.4% second dose
Aged 65-69: 94.3% first dose; 89.2% second dose
Clinical risk groups aged 16 to 64: 87.2% first dose; 51.3% second dose
Aged 60-64: 91.9% first dose; 65.8% second dose
Aged 55-59: 89.7% first dose; 41% second dose
Aged 50-54: 87.7% first dose; 32.9% second dose
Aged 40-49: 81.8% first dose; 23.4% second dose
Aged 30-39: 69.9% first dose; 16.4% second dose
Aged 18-29: 57.3% first dose; 11.7% second dose
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