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Welsh Government will look at outdoor hospitality, leisure centres and gyms next says Drakeford

12 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

The Welsh Government will look at reopening outdoor hospitality, leisure centres, the wedding sector and gyms next if the proposed changes over the next few weeks do not lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

He said they would look at that from the second half of April but he warned that further changes were a “long way off” and the “uncertainty was huge” looking forward due to the new variants of Covid-19 in Wales.

“If everything continues to go as well as it is now then we will be able to lift restrictions further,” he said. “The extent we will be able to do it depends entirely on how events unfold.”

He said that their approach was to do one thing at a time in order to be able to link cause and effect, and do wouldn’t open outdoor hospitality, leisure centres, the wedding sector and gyms at the same time.

“If you do everything on a single day you will never know if it was because you did this thing or that thing,” he said.

“I always worry that we’ve done too much,” he said. “I’m always trying not to do too much.”

Today Mark Drakeford announced that the ‘stay at home’ rule was changing to ‘stay local’ and that hairdressers could reopen on Monday.

The first steps to re-open non-essential retail will begin on 22 March. Restrictions on the sale of non-essential items will be lifted for those shops, which are currently open.

An additional £150m will be available to support businesses to the end of March, which are not yet able to open.

The extra funding will see businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates qualify for an additional payment of up to £5,000.

Mark Drakeford also said that he hadn’t changed his mind on re-opening non-essential retail, after announcing that they could re-open on 12 April rather than immediately.

“I always said that we would begin to open non-essential retail,” he said. “That means they will be able to purchase things that they have been without for many, many weeks.

“Other shops now have a timeframe to be able to open successfully.”

More to follow…

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