Wales will begin a phased move to Alert Level One from Monday, with up to 30 people allowed to meet outdoors, and large outdoor events, such as concerts, football matches and sporting activities allowed to go ahead with spectators in attendance, the First Minister has confirmed.
The move to Alert Level One will be in two stages, with the first focusing on the easing of outdoor restrictions, as the risk of infection is significantly less outdoors than indoors. Ministers will review the public health situation again, ahead of June 21, to determine whether indoor events can restart.
Along with the changes to the amount of people allowed to meet outdoors, the size of extended households can be increased to up to three households, and a further household with a single adult or single adult with caring responsibilities will also be able to join.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“I want to thank everyone in Wales for everything they have done to control the spread of coronavirus and keep rates low. The emergence of the delta variant shows the pandemic is not over yet and we all need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
“The risk of infection is significantly less outdoors than it is indoors. This is why we are phasing in the changes in this three-week cycle. This will allow more people to enjoy events outdoors and take advantage of the Welsh summer, while we continue to roll out the vaccination programme to all adults.
“We will review the public health situation again in a couple of weeks to see whether we can continue to relax the restrictions and restart indoor events.”
The changes come as Wales remains in a good place in regards to both case and vaccination rates, despite the growing concern regarding the spread of the “Delta” variant of the virus in the UK. The seven-day coronavirus case rate remains very low and the positivity rate is less than 1%. Wales also has the best vaccination rates in the UK with more than 85% of the population having had one dose and 45% having completed the full course.
The country is not completely out of the woods yet though, as the aforementioned Delta variant does pose a serious risk to our continued progress in the campaign against the virus. There are 97 confirmed cases of the variant in Wales with this number including a cluster of cases in Conwy. The variant, also known as the B.1.617.2 variant, is more transmissible and is one of the iterations of the virus responsible for the recent wave of cases in India.
The first phase of the move to Alert Level One means that from Monday June 7:
The Welsh Government will consider further changes to the regulations on indoor activity later in the month, if public health conditions allow.