Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 require that a review of the coronavirus restrictions is undertaken every three weeks. Today we have completed the most recent review which was due by 15 July.
Cases of coronavirus are rising in the community largely as a result of the delta variant. Our high vaccination rates mean however that hospital admissions remain low and that we are able to complete the alert level one changes. This means from 17 July:
- Up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
- Organised indoor events for up to 1,000 seated or 200 standing can take place following a risk assessment.
- Ice rinks can re-open.
From this date we are also able to remove the limits on the number of people who can gather outdoors. Outdoor premises and events will also have more flexibility around physical distancing. This will be one of the mitigations to consider, but will not be an absolute requirement.
Other changes from 17 July include:
- Allowing up to 30 children from organisations, such as the Brownies and Scouts, to attend residential centres over the summer holidays.
- Requiring the risks and mitigations identified in the COVID risk assessment to be shared with employees.
- Remove the restrictions requiring food and drink to be consumed while seated for events only.
Today we are also publishing an updated Coronavirus Control Plan which sets out how we will move beyond alert level one to a set of baseline restrictions.
We will consider whether Wales can move to the new alert level 0 on 7 August following the next review of the restrictions.
At alert level 0:
- Legal limits and caps on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events will be removed.
- COVID risk assessments will remain a legal requirement.
- Reasonable measures will legally be required to manage the risk of coronavirus but they will be for each organisation to determine based on the outcome of their risk assessment, including in relation to physical distancing.
- All businesses and premises can open, including nightclubs.
- People should continue to work from home wherever possible.
- Face coverings will remain a legal requirement in all indoors public places, with the exception of education settings and hospitality. We expect to gradually ease these requirements – and are beginning with hospitality settings from 7 August. Schools and colleges will use the framework announced by the Education Minister to determine use of face coverings.