Wales’ 17-day firebreak lockdown has ended – with a raft of new national measures introduced.
One of the major changes is that people are now allowed to leave Caerphilly County Borough for the first time since September 8, which was the first area in Wales to be placed into ‘local lockdown’.
Other changes include a reopening of non-essential retail shops, gyms, pubs, and cinemas.
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, is urging people to limit their contact with others to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Drakeford said: “Everyone in Wales has an important part to play in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus – we cannot do this without your help.
“The new national measures are designed to protect people’s health and limit the harm from the virus.
“Government rules and regulations are here to help. But the real strength we have is in the choices we make and the actions we take together.”
People still need to maintain social distancing, regularly wash their hands, and to wear a face mask in inside public places. If people can work from home, then they are being encouraged to do so.
The new national measures
(Source: Welsh Government)
- People will only be able to meet people who are part of their ‘bubble’ in their own home; only two households will be able to form a ‘bubble’. If one person from either household develops symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate.
- People (from different households) will be able to meet in groups of up to four people (not including any children aged under 11) in regulated indoor places, such as hospitality – bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants. No alcohol can be served in any of these venues between 10pm and 6am, and where premises have a licence to sell alcohol they will have to close at 10.20pm.
- As part of keeping risks to a minimum, people should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but people can only travel into and out of Wales with a reasonable excuse.
- Up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoors activity (such as an exercise class – where a responsible body is managing the event) and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other covid safety measures are followed.
- All childcare facilities, schools, further education colleges, work-based learning and adult learning providers can return to the same model of operation as before the firebreak. Universities can continue to provide a combination of in-person teaching and blended learning.
- Places of worship can resume services.
- All retail businesses can reopen, including close-contact services such as hair dressers/barbers and beauty salons.
- Sport and leisure facilities, including gyms and swimming pools, can reopen, but the operators must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain physical distancing;
- Entertainment venues can reopen. These include cinemas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, museums, galleries, bingo halls, casinos and amusement arcades, but theatres and concert halls, nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues are still required to be closed.
- Local authority services can resume based on local circumstances.
- Home viewings and home moves are allowed.
- Visits to care homes will be permitted, subject to local circumstances.
- All premises reopening will still be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risks of spreading the virus. This includes measures to ensure two-metre social distancing is observed, as well as other measures, such as restricting numbers, implementing one-way systems or limiting the time people can remain on the premises.
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