WALES is set to lift its coronavirus lockdown from tomorrow – with barbers and schools to open next week.
First Minister Mark Drakeford will today announce the “stay at home” requirement will be replaced with “stay local” after a fall in cases.
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The changes are expected to allow people from rural areas to travel greater distances than those who live in urban towns and cities.
From tomorrow, four people from two households will also be able to meet outdoors to socialise – including in gardens.
Outdoor sports facilities, such as basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses, can also reopen.
Hairdressers and barbers can also reopen for appointments from Monday – the same day that all primary school pupils and those in exam years can return to the classroom.
Non-essential shops will begin to reopen gradually from March 22, while restrictions will be lifted on what can be sold in shops which are currently open.
All shops, including all close contact services, will be able to open from April 12, the same date as in England.
Key dates as Wales leaves lockdown
These are the key dates as Wales lifts restrictions:
- Saturday, March 13 – 'Stay at Home' message scrapped, four people can meet outside to socialise and outdoor sports facilities can reopen. Indoor care home visits allowed for designated visitor
- Monday, March 15 – Hairdressers and barbers will re-open for appointments. Pupils in primary school and exam years will return
- Monday, March 22 – Non-essential shops will start to reopen, as well as garden centres
- Friday, April 2 – The Welsh government will review the effects of easing lockdown
- Monday, April 12 – All pupils will return to school and all shops, include close contact services, can reopen
Wales has been in a strict lockdown since December 20, but has seen its case rates plunge in recent weeks.
The infection rate across Wales now stands at 43 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days up to March 6.
This is well below the 50 cases figure cited by the Welsh government as key to unlocking the country.
Wales also this week passed the milestone of one million coronavirus vaccinations – meaning just under a third of all adults have received the jab.
Health minister Vaughan Gething previously said people living in more rural areas would be allowed to travel greater distances than those in urban towns and cities if the country moved to a "stay local" message.
Public Health Wales said yesterday there were a further 195 Covid cases, taking the total number to 205,788.
The agency reported 12 further deaths, taking the total in the country since the start of the pandemic to 5,424.
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