HomeCoronavirusWales set to lift most Covid restrictions after passing Omicron peak

Wales set to lift most Covid restrictions after passing Omicron peak

Many more Covid restrictions are being lifted on Friday in Wales, allowing nightclubs to reopen and some rules on social distancing to be scrapped.

But people will still be obliged to wear masks in most indoor places and on public transport while Covid passes will be needed for larger indoor events and gatherings.

The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, said Wales was moving fully into alert level zero because the country had passed the peak of the Omicron wave.

He said: “There are encouraging signs that cases of coronavirus may be starting to stabilise. But we all need to continue taking steps to stay safe – unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet.

“We are moving to alert level zero and we will retain some important protections, such as face coverings in most indoor public places.

Under the new regime:

Nightclubs can reopen.

The general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces will be removed.

The rule of six will no longer apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.

Licensed premises will no longer need to only provide table service and collect contact details. The Covid pass will continue to be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

Working from home will “remain important” but it will no longer be a legal requirement.

Businesses, employers and other organisations must continue to undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus, which may include 2m social distancing or controlled entry.

Face-covering rules, which apply on public transport and in most public indoor places will remain in force, with the exception of hospitality settings such as restaurants, pubs, cafes and nightclubs.

Everyone must also continue to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus but the Welsh government has reduced the self-isolation period from seven to five full days.

The Tories said it was positive there will be more freedoms, calling the restrictions that have been in place since Boxing Day “cruel and clinically unnecessary”.

The shadow health minister Russell George said: “However, this does not mean the pain ends for all those who lost out due to the recent overzealous restrictions. Welsh hospitality traded a third down compared to England since Boxing Day.

“The Labour administration in Cardiff Bay must tell the public when there will be no more alert levels in Wales as with normality in touching distance, we need dates on when we can learn to live with the virus with no further threats of lockdowns to deal with hypothetical variants.

“This means removing harmful business restrictions, making face masks a matter of choice and self-responsibility, and scrapping coercive, ineffective, and pointless vaccine passports that still have no proof that they work.

“While we are moving closer to freedom, we cannot forget that while restrictions such as vaccine passports remain in Wales, we are being limited by a Labour government in a way that stifles economic growth and creates social resentment.”

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