Hairdressers could re-open in Wales weeks sooner than in England as the Welsh and UK Government set out contrasting plans for bringing the countries out of lockdown.
Reopening hairdressers, as well as some shops, will be one of the small changes under consideration for the next lockdown review in three weeks, Mark Drakeford has said.
It comes as UK Government sources told the Sun that hairdressers in England are set to remain shut until at least April.
The First Minister said that although stay home rules have to remain in place for now, there was “hope for the future” as cases continue to fall in Wales – including re-opening hairdressers.
“We’ll use the next three weeks to see if we can get more students back to schools and colleges, and look at options for re-opening some shops and hairdressers,” he said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will soon reveal a roadmap out of lockdown for England, with Cabinet set to rubber-stamp the plans on Monday morning.
England’s plans are set to include:
- Schools returning by March 8
- Friends and family seeing each other again in time for the Easter holidays
- Non-essential shops opening soon after Easter
- Hairdressers opening sometime in April
- Indoor food and drink at pubs and restaurants in May
Wales’ plans, if cases continue to fall, include:
- Four people from two different households are allowed to exercise outdoors together from today
- People can get married in a hotel or visitor attraction again from next week
- Schools start back on Monday for some primary age children
- Most other children return to school on 15 March
- Non-essential shops and hairdressers open in three weeks
Almost 840,000 people in Wales had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, equivalent to one-third of the country’s adult population.
“This week we held a three-week review of the coronavirus regulations,” Mark Drakeford said today. “The really good news is that everything you’re doing is working.
“Infections are falling – they’re at their lowest level since the end of September. And we’re seeing signs that pressure is easing on our NHS.
“We will use all this headroom to get our youngest children back to school from Monday. This means that we need to keep stay-at-home in place for just a little while longer.
“I know this will be disappointing for many people. But there are other small changes that we can make.
“We’re changing the rules so that four different people from two different households can exercise together. And next week we’ll change the law so that people can get married in a hotel or visitor attraction again.
“I know everyone wants to know when life will return to normal. I can’t give anyone a cast-iron guarantee because the virus is so unpredictable and can change so quickly.
“However if we continue to see the situation improving in early March, we’ll be looking at how we can get more children back to school, and if we can start re-opening shops again.
“Thank you for everything you’re doing to look after yourselves and keep Wales safe.”