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COVID-19: Wales speeds up lifting of lockdown restrictions once again

Wales is again speeding up the lifting of COVID lockdown restrictions by bringing forward further reopenings by two weeks.

The Welsh government will allow more relaxations on 3 May than it had initially planned.

This includes the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the reopening of community centres.

Previously, these steps in the Welsh plan for easing restrictions had not been due until 17 May.

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Mark Drakeford said the ‘sacrifices we have made continue to show results.’

This means Wales will have completed the move to “Alert Level 4”- equivalent to a full lockdown – to “Alert Level 3” by 3 May, which is two weeks earlier than first planned.

Earlier this month, Mr Drakeford had already announced an acceleration in the easing of some coronavirus restrictions following “improvements” in infection rates.

On Saturday, a “rule of six” in Wales will allow up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.

The Welsh government has also confirmed pubs, restaurants and cafes will reopen outdoors from Monday.

Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will also be allowed to reopen next week.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The sacrifices we have made continue to show results.

“By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress.

“Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving.

“Due to these efforts we are able to confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans.

“However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.”

Mr Drakeford added the lifting of further restrictions will be for the next Welsh government – after next month’s elections – to decide at the next three-week review on 13 May.

“It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions,” he added.

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