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New Covid Restrictions Implemented in Wales as Firebreak Ends

New Covid Restrictions

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, emphasized the need for individuals to reflect on their lives and make new efforts to keep their families safe. He stressed that the highly infectious nature of the virus underscores the importance of reducing close contact between people and the time spent together. He expressed concern about returning to pre-lockdown lifestyles, cautioning against undoing the hard work and sacrifices made during the firebreak. Some are apprehensive about the rapid end of the lockdown, as Covid-related new deaths and cases remain high.

Experts had predicted that the numbers would not immediately decrease, as many of the current cases and deaths are the result of transmissions from weeks ago. The final week of Wales’s lockdown witnessed a surge in Covid hospital admissions, surpassing the previous peak seen in April.

The Welsh Government is facing calls to implement additional restrictions in severely affected areas, such as Merthyr Tydfil, which became the worst-hit area in the UK last week with 741 cases per 100,000 people.

Key New Restrictions in Wales

  • Maintain two-meter social distancing and wear face masks in enclosed public places, including public transport and taxis.
  • Continue working from home whenever possible.
  • Meeting with a household bubble is allowed in one’s own home, with only two households forming a bubble. If anyone in either household displays symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate.
  • Groups of up to four people from different households (excluding children under 11) can meet in regulated indoor places, including bars, pubs, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Up to 15 people can participate in organized indoor activities, and up to 30 in organized outdoor activities, provided Covid-19 safety measures are followed.
  • Non-essential travel should be avoided as much as possible. While there are no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, international travel should be for essential reasons only.
  • Primary schools and years seven and eight in secondary schools remained open during the lockdown, but all schools and year groups will resume from Monday. Universities will adopt a combination of in-person teaching and blended learning.
  • A 10 pm curfew on alcohol sales will be reinstated.
  • Supermarkets can once again sell non-essential goods.
  • Unified Christmas Planning

Mark Drakeford has called on the four nations of the UK to work together and plan for Christmas with a unified approach, acknowledging the importance of a coordinated effort.

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