Wales becomes latest nation to pause Covid restriction easing

Mark Drakeford crop
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has paused relaxing Covid restrictions for 4 weeks.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that the country will follow other British nations in pausing coronavirus restrictions lifting for another month due to the rise of the Delta variant.

The Welsh government reviewed the public health situation this week, mid-way through the current 3-week regulations cycle, after announcing a phased move into alert level one. The rules around larger outdoor activities and events were relaxed on 7 June.

Although there will be no substantive changes to the rules for a 4-week period – the regulations will be reviewed again on 15 July – some small technical amendments are being made to the coronavirus regulations in Wales.

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These include: the number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception or wake, organised by a business in an indoors regulated premise, such as a hotel, will be determined by the size of the venue and a risk assessment; and clarifying small grassroots music and comedy venues will be able to operate on the same basis as hospitality venues, like pubs and cafes.

For the hospitality industry, the current restrictions mean that no more than six people can meet in venues such as cafes, restaurants and pubs, unless they are meeting with people they live with or as part of a regulated gathering, which is a maximum of 30 people.

Up to 30 people can meet in any outdoor area at a foodservice venue.

Regulated events are now allowed outdoors with up to 10,000 people seated or up to 4,000 people standing, subject to risk assessment.

Drakeford said: “In the space of just a few short weeks, the Delta variant has entered Wales and quickly spread throughout the country. There is sustained and accelerating transmission, not just in North and South East Wales but in all parts of Wales.

“It is now the most dominant variant in new cases in Wales. We are once again facing a serious public health situation.

“We have the lowest coronavirus rates in the UK and the highest vaccination rates for first doses. A 4-week delay in relaxing restrictions could help to reduce the peak number of daily hospital admissions by up to half, at a time when the NHS is very busy supporting all our healthcare needs – not just treating coronavirus.”

Tags : coronavirusHospitality
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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