THE Welsh Government has announced their plans to ease alert level two Covid restrictions over the next two weeks.
The latest public health data suggests cases of coronavirus have started to fall back from their very high levels and more than two-thirds of people aged 12 and above have received a booster or third dose of the vaccine.
And now the Welsh Government has said Wales can begin to move back into alert level zero, starting from tomorrow, Saturday.
From tomorrow, the number of people who can be present at outdoor events will rise from 50 to 500.
If the situation continues to improve, restrictions on the number of people who can attend outdoor activities will be scrapped altogether from next Friday, January 21.
This will mean:
- Crowds can return to outdoor sporting events;
- Outdoor hospitality can operate without additional reasonable measures;
- A Covid Pass will be required from entry to larger outdoor events.
And, from Friday, January 28, alert level zero will come into force for indoor events too – assuming the downward trend continues.
This will mean:
- Nightclubs can re-open;
- Working from home will no longer be a legal requirement, although the Welsh Government has said it will “remain important”;
- The rule of six, two-metre physical distancing and table service will no longer be required in hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants;
- A Covid Pass will be required for entry to nightclubs, events, cinemas, concert halls, and theatres;
- Businesses, employers and other organisations must undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus.
The self-isolation rules for all those who test positive for Covid and the face covering rules for most public indoor places will remain in force after Friday, January 28.
First minister Mark Drakeford said: “I want to thank everyone for following the rules we have had in place since Boxing Day to help keep Wales safe while the fast-moving omicron variant has surged through our communities.
“I also want to thank everyone involved in our vaccination programme for the enormous efforts to give almost a third of the population a booster since the start of December – this has been vital in increasing our protection against omicron.
“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.”
Although regulations have been reviewed on a weekly basis over the past month, this will return to the previous regime of a three-weekly cycle from Thursday, February 10.