Coronavirus lockdown easing brought forward in Wales as infections fall

Indoor exercise classes and swimming lessons will resume two weeks earlier than planned, says first minister

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 22 April 2021 22:00
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The easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales will be brought forward as coronavirus rates continue to fall
The easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales will be brought forward as coronavirus rates continue to fall

The lifting of lockdown restrictions in Wales is to be brought forward as coronavirus rates continue to tumble, the government has announced.

First minister Mark Drakeford confirmed a string of measures will be relaxed earlier than planned following the success of the country’s vaccine programme and as the “public health situation” continues to improve.

Indoor supervised activities for children and indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes and swimming lessons, will now be able to resume from 3 May – two weeks earlier than planned.

Community centres will also be allowed to reopen from the same date, instead of 17 May.

This means Wales will have completed the move to alert level three by Monday 3 May.

From this Saturday, the rule of six will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors in Wales, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.

The first minister said: “The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving.

“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.

Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford has announced a string of coronavirus restrictions will be lifted early as infection rates fall

“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.

“It will be for the incoming Welsh government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on 13 May – a week after the election.

“It is my assessment that the hospitality sector - bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes - will be able to open indoors from 17 May, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”

The Welsh government had already previously confirmed other relaxations would be brought forward to 26 April to allow outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, to reopen, while outdoor hospitality will also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place from Monday and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.

Earlier this month, the government brought forward the reopening of gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities for individual and one-to-one training to 3 May, a week earlier than planned.

People will also be able to form extended households with one other household indoors from the same date.

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