People and not rules are at the heart of Wales’ response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said as he sets out the new post-firebreak measures in Wales.
A new and simpler set of national rules will apply once the Wales-wide firebreak lockdown comes to an end at 00:01 on Monday November 9.
The new national measures are designed to protect people’s health and provide as much freedom as possible while the virus remains in circulation.
Some of the new measures are still being finalised following the unexpected announcement over the weekend about a month-long lockdown in England, which will start on Thursday.
The new national measures include:
- The need to maintain two metre social distancing and wear face masks in enclosed public places, including on public transport and taxis, will continue
- The requirement to work from home whenever possible will remain
- People should only meet with their ‘bubble’ in their own home and only two households will be able to form a ‘bubble’. If one person from either household develops symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate
- Up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoors activity and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other covid safety measures are followed
- All premises, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and gyms, closed during the firebreak, will be able to reopen. Following the announcement about the English lockdown, Ministers are having ongoing discussions with the hospitality sector about the detailed rules for reopening. This includes about meeting in public indoor spaces
- As part of keeping our risks to a minimum, people should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but international travel should be for essential reasons only.
- All schools will reopen
- Churches and places of worship will resume services
- Local authority services will resume but based on local circumstances
- Community centres will be available for small groups to meet safely indoors in the winter months.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
Each of us has an important part to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Wales and saving lives – we cannot do this without your help.
Everyone has made so many sacrifices this year already. To make sure we do not lose all this hard work, we need to carry on looking after each other and keeping ourselves safe.
This is a virus which thrives on human contact. Social contact is important to all of us but to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we need to think carefully about all our meetings and contacts with other people and try and reduce them to reduce our risk of infection.
Rather than us asking what we can or can’t do, we need to ask ourselves what should we be doing to keep our families safe.
Government rules and regulations are here to help. But the real strength we have is in the choices we make and the actions we take together.