The recently-re-elected First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, will today confirm that the country will move into Alert Level Two as of Monday 17th May, as coronavirus rates stay low and vaccination rates remain the best in the UK.
It was also announced earlier this week that, from the same date, indoor hospitality businesses and indoor entertainment venues will be able to re-open, and there will be an increase in the number of people able to attend organised indoor and outdoor activities.
In his address today, the First Minister will also confirm the resumption of international travel from Monday, with extra safeguards put in place for people returning from some countries to prevent coronavirus re-entering Wales.
These safeguards will come in the form of a traffic light system, aligned with England and Scotland, where countries will be classified as Green, Amber or Red. Travel to countries given Green classification will not result in a period of quarantine, whereas visitors to foreign destinations not on the Green list will still be mandated to self-isolate following their return.
Additionally, from Monday 24th May, a paper-based vaccination status will be available for people in Wales who have had two doses of vaccination and need to urgently travel to a country that requires covid vaccination proof, however, the Welsh Government continues to advise people to only travel abroad for essential purposes.
Delivering the news of Wales’ imminent move to Alert Level Two, First Minister Mark Drakeford will say:
“Thanks to everyone’s hard work and ongoing efforts, we can take another step towards relaxing the coronavirus restrictions and move to alert level two on Monday.
“Indoor hospitality will be able to reopen, a move that will be welcomed by many of us as we look forward to enjoying a drink, a meal and the company of friends and family in a café or pub.
“By sticking with the rules and our successful vaccine programme, we are making really good progress in controlling the virus and keeping rates low.
“But the pandemic isn’t over – the new, so-called Indian variant of concern is another unwanted twist in this pandemic, which we are monitoring closely.”
Amongst the announcements earlier this week, the Welsh Government also shared news of further financial support for businesses still affected by coronavirus restrictions. These businesses will be able to claim up to £25,000 more in support to help meet ongoing costs. The announcement was the first to be made by the incoming government and was the first phase of a £200m package earmarked to help businesses affected by the pandemic.
The changes to the coronavirus restrictions, which will come into force from Monday 17 May include:
As ever, the Welsh Government has shared the main features of what the next three-week review will consider and, should public health conditions remain positive, residents of Wales can expect news regarding: