Wales aiming to lift all Coronavirus restrictions next month

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Wales aiming to lift all Coronavirus restrictions next month

Related tags Wales Coronavirus lockdown Social Distancing

Nearly all remaining Coronavirus restrictions in Wales are set to be dropped from early next month.

From this Saturday (17 July), limits on the numbers of people who can meet outdoors, as well as the legal requirement to social distance outside, will be scrapped as the country moves to Alert Level One.

Then, if cases remain low and no new Covid-19 'variants of concern' are identified, there will then be a further relaxation on 7 August as the country moves to a new Level Zero.

At that point, all premises, including nightclubs, will be able to open; and most, but not all, restrictions will be removed.

There will be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet others, and indoor social distancing measures will be replaced with a requirement for firms and venues to assess the Covid risk.

Face coverings will continue to be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, with the exception of hospitality settings.

Announcing the changes, First Minister Mark Drakeford warned there was still a risk the third wave 'could cause real harm'.

He said: "We are entering a new phase of the pandemic. Cases of the virus have risen sharply since the Delta variant emerged six weeks ago but, thanks to our fantastic vaccination programme, we are not seeing these translate into large numbers of people falling seriously ill or needing hospital treatment.

"We can be reasonably confident that vaccination has weakened the link between infections and serious illness.

"But there is still a risk that this third wave of the pandemic could cause real harm - either direct harm from the virus or indirect harm from, for example, people having to isolate."

The Welsh Beer & Pub Association (WBPA) welcomed the announcement, describing it as 'a huge milestone for pubs and brewers'.

A WBPA spokesperson said: “Pubs in Wales that were unable to reopen and operate viably because of the restrictions will now be able to open once more. 

“The recovery of pubs and brewers in Wales is just beginning with the last 18 months practically being written off for them.

"Having been one of the worst hit sectors by lockdown, our pubs and brewers now need the UK Government to invest in them by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates to reduce the unfair tax burden they face and aid their recovery.

“We urge people who want to help pubs in Wales and see them thrive support the Long Live the Local campaign and sign the petition at www.LongLiveTheLocal.pub​.

"With the right investment, the brewing and pub sector in Wales has a vital role to play.”

Businesses in Wales that continue to be affected by Covid restrictions will receive up to £25,000 of additional support from the Welsh Government​, which is intended to help cover the operating costs for July and August 2021.

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