Warning of expected Covid-19 resurgence as pubs and restaurants allowed to reopen indoors in Wales
Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve people indoors as some Covid-19 restrictions are lifted in Wales today.
Indoor bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls are also opening, in addition to licensed wedding venues. Gyms and swimming pools will be able to open their doors next Monday, on August 10.
However, the First Minister Mark Drakeford did not rule up a retightening of the lockdown as a surge of cases in the north-west of England has led to the imposition of rules on visiting other households there.
“If we stop now, there is a real risk we will see new outbreaks of coronavirus and we may have to reverse some of these restrictions to control its spread again,” he said.
“We are facing the likelihood of a resurgence of the virus over the autumn and winter – this will not be over by Christmas.
“We all have an ongoing responsibility to keep Wales safe.”
From today, groups of up to 30 people can now also meet outdoors in Wales and many young children will be able to play with their friends for the first time since lockdown began.
But the scheduled move comes however as a major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester due to increases in coronavirus infection rates across “multiple localities”, leading to fears that a second spike in cases is imminent.
The decision to up the readiness of emergency and public services to respond to the escalating Covid-19 transmission rate in the region comes after the UK Government announced new lockdown restrictions for parts of north-west England on Thursday.
Out of the top 20 worst affected local authority areas for Covid-19 infections in England, Greater Manchester boroughs make up more than a third of the list with seven entries.
Oldham, the second-worst affected borough in the country, saw its seven-day rate jump from 41.6 to 62.8 per 100,000 people, with 148 new cases reported in the past week.
The boroughs of Trafford, Tameside, Rochdale and Stockport, along with the cities of Manchester and Salford, also feature among the 20 worst-hit areas.