Pubs and other hospitality could begin to reopen from 22 April, Welsh Government reveals
Outdoor hospitality and gyms could open from 22 April onwards, the Welsh Government has revealed.
The Welsh Government has today updated its Coronavirus Control Plan, setting out how and when more people and businesses will be able to resume their activities in the safest possible way.
From 12 April, if conditions allow, all shops and close contact services will open.
The following areas will be considered as part of the 22 April review, if the public health situation continues to remain positive and vaccination rates continue to increase:
- Gyms, leisure and fitness facilities;
- Outdoor attractions;
- Outdoor hospitality;
- Community centres;
- Organised activities (30 outdoors, 15 indoors);
- Extended households.
In December, the First Minister published the Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert Levels for Wales, which set out how the national measures would be introduced in a more predictable way based on a framework of four alert levels.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The coronavirus pandemic has turned all our lives upside down. Over the last 12 months, everyone in Wales has made sacrifices to help protect themselves and their families and help bring coronavirus under control.
“This is a cruel virus – far too many families have lost loved ones, and unfortunately, we know that many more people will fall seriously ill and sadly will die before the pandemic is over. But the way people and communities have pulled together across Wales, and followed the rules, has undoubtedly saved many more lives.
“We are now entering a critical phase in the pandemic. We can see light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the end of a long and hard second wave, thanks to the amazing efforts of scientists and researchers across the world to develop effective vaccines. Our amazing vaccination programme has made vaccines available to people in the most at-risk groups at incredible speed.”
The plan has been updated to take account of Wales’ fast-moving vaccination programme and the emergence of the highly-infectious Kent variant of the virus, which is now dominant throughout Wales, the Welsh Government said.
It also reflects the risk of new, potentially vaccine-resistant variants of coronavirus being imported into Wales from people holidaying and travelling overseas.
If there are strong signs of a growth in infections, relaxations may need to be slowed, paused or in the worst case, reversed, they said.
The updated Coronavirus Control Plan sets out the following phased steps for moving from alert level four into alert level three.
First Minister Mark Drakeford added: “Just as we are rolling out vaccination, we are facing a very different virus in Wales today. The highly-infectious Kent variant is now dominant in all parts of Wales.
“This means the protective behaviours we have all learned to adopt are even more important than ever – getting tested and isolating when we have symptoms; keeping our distance from others; not mixing indoors; avoiding crowds; washing our hands regularly and wearing face coverings.
“The pandemic is not over – spring and summer give us hope of more freedom, as rates of infection fall and more people are vaccinated.
“But we must be need to careful – we can’t rush the process of relaxing restrictions and risk a resurgence of the virus.”