Four people will be able to socialise in gardens while hairdressers will be allowed to re-open from Monday as lockdown restrictions are eased in Wales.
The Welsh Government has confirmed the existing “stay at home” requirement will be replaced with a “stay local” rule as part of the latest 21 day-review.
First Minister Mark Drakeford will also announce that from Saturday, March 13, four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors to socialise, including in gardens. Under existing rules people from separate households had only been permitted to meet up to exercise in groups of a maximum of four from a total of two household.
Outdoor sports facilities including basketball courts, tennis courts, and golf courses will also be allowed to open. See all the latest on exactly how the latest announcement applies to sporting activity by going here.
From Saturday indoor care home visits will restart for single designated visitors.
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The First Minister will also officially announce that from Monday all primary pupils and secondary school pupils in qualifications years who are due to take GCSEs and and A-levels this summer will return. Schools will have the flexibility to bring year 10 and 12 learners back and more learners will return to colleges.
There will also be flexibility for in-school check-ins for all other pupils, a government spokesman said, while schools will fully re-open after the Easter break.
Hairdressers and barbers will also re-open for appointments from Monday.
Find figures on the latest Covid cases in your area:
- From Saturday, March 13, the existing ‘stay at home’ message will be replaced by a ‘stay local’ rule
- Also from Saturday up to four people from a maximum of two households will be able to socialise together outdoors, including in gardens
- Outdoor sports facilities such as basketball and tennis courts and golf courses can also open again from Saturday
- Care home visits will be able to resume from Saturday, March 13, on the basis of a single designated visitor
- From Monday, March 15, all primary school pupils will return to face-to-face teaching, as will exam-year students in secondary schools. Wholesale school re-opening will not take place until after the Easter break
- Hairdressers and barbers can re-open for appointments from Monday, March 15
- Non-essential retail will begin to re-open on a gradual basis from Monday, March 22. At that stage shops such as supermarkets, which are currently entitled to remain open, will see restrictions on what they can sell removed while garden centres can re-open from that date
- On March 27, the ‘stay local’ message ends and people will be allowed to travel anywhere in Wales. Self-contained holiday accommodation will be allowed to open in time for the Easter holidays
- All shops, including close contact services, will be able to re-open from April 12
- The next three-week review takes place on April 2
In the review Mr Drakeford will also set out a guideline of how Wales’ “careful, cautious, and phased approach to relaxing coronavirus restrictions” will be implemented over the upcoming weeks.
From March 22 non-essential retail will start re-opening gradually, a spokesman said, with restrictions at that point limiting what can be sold in shops which are currently open will be lifted. Garden centres will also be able to open from this date.
It had previously been suggested that non-essential retail could also open on March 15 in line with hairdressers however the Welsh Government will announce that businesses will have to wait longer before re-opening.
In line with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for England all shops in Wales, including all close contact services, will be able to open from April 12.
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The First Minister will tell the public in his address from Cathays Park: “We are taking a phased approach to unlocking each sector – starting with schools. We will make step-by-step changes each week to gradually restore freedoms. We will monitor each change we make so we know what impact each change has had on Wales’ public health situation.”
Mr Drakeford will also announce an additional £150m to support businesses affected by ongoing restrictions.
We’ll have updates and reaction throughout the day on Friday as the announcements are officially made while we will also be interviewing the First Minister at 8.30am. You’ll be able to follow everything here after 6am.
Latest figures from Public Health Wales show the infection rate across the country has now dropped to 43 per 100,000 population based on the seven days up to March 6. This is a slight increase on a figure of 42 reported on Wednesday but still well below the 50 cases figure the Welsh Government had previously highlighted as a key benchmark in its lockdown planning.
The infection rate across the country is now at the same level as last September.