In an announcement today, First Minister Mark Drakeford will set out the first steps out of lockdown restrictions, replacing the “Stay At Home” requirement with the more relaxed but still cautious “Stay Local”.
The change will come as part of the careful and phased approach to relaxing coronavirus restrictions here in Wales as each section of society will be able to begin to unlock over the coming months.
From tomorrow (Saturday 13 March), four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors to socialise, including in gardens. In addition, outdoor sports facilities, including basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses, can reopen, and indoor care home visits will restart, for single designated visitors.
Additionally, there will be further back-to-school measures as, from Monday, all primary pupils and those in qualifications years 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. All learners will return after the Easter break.
Another of the changes which will come into play sooner rather than later is a return to business for hairdressers and barbers, who will be able to take appointments from Monday (15th).
Also, in welcome news for the sector, from the 22nd of March, non-essential retail will start re-opening gradually as the restrictions are lifted on what can be sold in shops which are currently open. Garden centres will also be able to open. It is planned that all shops, including all close contact services, will be able to open from 12 April – the same date as in England.
In his address today, First Minister Mark Drakeford will say:
“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.”
An additional £150m to support businesses affected by ongoing restrictions will also be announced.