WALES’ tourism sector will be able to start re-opening from Saturday March 27 as the stay-local rule is lifted, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.
The rules will also be changed to enable organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under-18s to take place and up to six people from two different households to meet and exercise outdoors.
The relaxations continue the Welsh Government’s planned, step-by-step approach to relaxing the coronavirus restrictions, taking account of the highly-infectious Kent variant, which is now the dominant form of the virus in Wales.
These are the final stages of the relaxations in this three-week review cycle and they follow the successful return of primary pupils and many older secondary school and college students to face-to-face learning and the start of the phased re-opening of non-essential retail, including the opening of hairdressers and barbers.
Wales is moving out of alert level four, and now starting to move into level three. Welsh Ministers will consider further alert level three measures in the next review of the regulations.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“These further relaxations are part of our careful and phased approach to unlocking the restrictions and enabling people and businesses to resume their activities in the safest possible way.
“We’re only able to do this because of the sacrifices everyone across Wales has made over the last few months – everything you are doing to keep your loved ones safe is also keeping Wales safe.
“The public health position remains stable; our incredible vaccination programme goes from strength to strength – we have headroom to make these changes.”
Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, will be able to reopen to people from the same household or support bubble.
The stay local rule will be replaced by an interim all-Wales travel area, which will remain in place until April 12, subject to the public health situation. For the next two weeks, only those with a reasonable excuse, such as work, will be able to travel into or out of Wales.
The current restrictions on international travel for holidays will remain in place.
Other changes include:
Six people from two different households, excluding children under 11, will be able to meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens;
Organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under 18s will be able to resume;
There will be a limited opening of outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens;
Libraries and archives will be able to re-open.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“We are taking a step-by step approach to relaxing restrictions and want to carry on being able to open up Wales.
“To do that we need everyone’s help. That means staying vigilant for signs of infection; isolating if we have symptoms and arranging to get tested.
“It also means following the basic steps to keep us all safe while we’re out and about – keeping our distance from others; not mixing indoors; avoiding crowds; washing our hands regularly and wearing face coverings.”
The next review of the regulations will take place next week. Welsh Ministers will consider the following relaxations, which will come into effect from April 12, subject to the public health situation:
All pupils and students can return to schools, colleges and other education;
All shops and close contact services can open;
The interim all-Wales travel area can be lifted.
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