Groups of up to FOUR people will be able to visit pubs and restaurants in Wales when the country’s ‘firebreak’ lockdown ends next week, says First Minister Mark Drakeford
- Wales is currently in the middle of its national ‘firebreak’ coronavirus lockdown
- Lockdown will end on November 9 and Mark Drakeford today set out next steps
- He said groups of up to four people will be able to meet in pubs and restaurants
Groups of up to four people from different households will be allowed to meet in pubs, restaurants and cafes in Wales when the country’s ‘firebreak’ lockdown ends.
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the move today just one week before the national shutdown is due to finish on November 9.
However, a 10pm curfew on alcohol sales will remain in place when hospitality businesses reopen.
The easing of restrictions in Wales will occur just days after neighbouring England will be plunged into its own lockdown, lasting four weeks from Thursday.
As a result, Mr Drakeford said non-essential travel from Wales into England will remain banned until the English lockdown ends.
Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford today announced groups of four people will be allowed to meet at hospitality venues when the ‘firebreak’ lockdown ends next week
Speaking remotely at the Senedd this afternoon, the Welsh Labour leader said people should visit hospitality venues ‘in as small a group as possible’ and warned against household mixing wherever possible.
‘But we have listened to those young people and single people who told us how important it is for them to meet some friends and other family members,’ Mr Drakeford said.
‘Our intention is that the regulations will allow groups of up to four people to meet in a regulated setting such as a restaurant, cafe or pub.
‘But this will be subject to strict protections discussed with the hospitality sector, including advanced booking, time-limited slots and verified identification.
‘As in all aspects of our lives, maintaining the basics of good hygiene and keeping our distance will be crucial in these settings.’
He added: ‘This is a permission, not something we are encouraging people to do.
‘It is the most challenging change from a public health perspective and will be kept under continuous review.
‘Its success depends on the actions of the sector and each of us to use this permission responsibly and sparingly.’
People in a group of four will be allowed to be from four separate households, and the limit will not include children.
People will only be able to meet others from their extended household – formed of two households joining together – in homes and gardens, with house parties, larger events and gatherings indoors all being unlawful.
Mr Drakeford said coronavirus ‘continues to spread and to take hold’ in such settings.
Groups of up to 15 people will be able to take part in organised activities indoors, while up to 30 people will be allowed to take part in activities outdoors.
Non-essential travel between Wales and England will be ‘prohibited’ while the English lockdown is in place, Mr Drakeford said, but travel anywhere within Wales will be allowed.
‘While the English lockdown is in place, travel to and from England will be prohibited by the English regulations, unless that is for an essential reason such as work or education,’ Mr Drakeford said.
‘And recognising that Wales will come out of the firebreak as a high prevalence area of the UK, we will also place travel restrictions on people leaving or entering Wales, until those rates come down.
‘International travel will not be allowed without a reasonable excuse.’
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