The Welsh Government’s “stay home” requirement in Wales will be replaced by a “stay local" message, the first minister will announce later today.

From tomorrow (Saturday, March 13) four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

Outdoor sports facilities, including tennis courts and golf courses, will also be allowed to reopen, while indoor visits to care homes will restart for designated visitors.

Hairdressers and barbers are expected to be told they can reopen from Monday, March 15, however there is a longer wait for retailers.

Non-essential retail will start re-opening gradually from March 22 as the restrictions are lifted on what can be sold in shops which are currently open.

The first minister is expected to emphasise a gradual ‘step-by-step’ approach when he addresses the country at the Government’s Covid press briefing at lunch time.

What does ‘stay local’ mean?

The National Wales: "Stay local" has meant different things at different times in Wales. Source: Huw Evans Agency"Stay local" has meant different things at different times in Wales. Source: Huw Evans Agency

There has not yet been a clear explanation of what the new ‘stay local’ rule means.

When Wales first began to come out of lockdown last year, a five-mile rule was adopted as a ‘stay local’ measure.

When certain areas of Wales began to go into local lockdowns in the autumn, the borders of local authorities were used as a limit for non-essential travel.

No such guidance has been announced yet this time, however.

Speaking in the Senedd this week, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething suggested ‘stay local’ would rely on “people being sensible" with any rules or guidance, as opposed to a “hard and fast rule”.

Mr Gething cited criticism of the original ‘five-mile rule’ for being unfair on rural, less-connected communities.

What is reopening?

The list isn’t as long as some people would have hoped, but from tomorrow, the following will reopen:

  • Outdoor sports facilities like tennis and basketball courts
  • Golf courses
  • Care homes for ‘single designated visitors’

From Monday, March 15

  • Hairdressers and barbers

What is the latest on retail?

It had been hoped that non-essential retail would be given the green light to reopen from Monday, March 15, however they will have to wait a little longer.

Instead, non-essential retail will start re-opening gradually from March 22 as the restrictions on what can be sold in shops will be lifted.

It is understood garden centres will reopen then as well.

The Government has said all shops will be able to open from April 12, the same date as England.

The first minister has previously voiced his concern that reopening retail at different rates in different parts of the UK could create ‘honeypot circumstances’ where people in England may be tempted to come into Wales.

What about schools?

From Monday, March 15, all primary pupils, and those in qualification years, will return to classrooms.

Schools will also be given the flexibility to choose whether to bring learners in years 10 and 12 back.

Learners of all ages are expected to return in full after the Easter break on Monday, April 12.

How have businesses reacted?

The National Wales: Fich and Ramous in Cowbridge will reopen from Monday, March 15.Fich and Ramous in Cowbridge will reopen from Monday, March 15.

For those businesses that will be able to reopen, the announcement has been eagerly anticipated.

Claire Collins, owner of Fich and Ramous hairdressers in Cowbridge, told The National: “We are ready to open the door from Monday.

“The last opening after the first lockdown was like starting a new job and we are expecting to be exceptionally busy again.

“People have been messaging this week and we have started the process of booking people in.

“I would say that the Welsh Government should be giving either two or three weeks notice to businesses, because we need time to prepare.

“Our suppliers in the industry closed their doors when we closed ours, and stock has to be ordered and delivered, but any return to normality is very exciting.”

For businesses in sectors like tourism and hospitality, the wait goes on.

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Ben Francis, policy chair for the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, said: “There are thousands of other businesses that are desperate to know what reopening will look like for them.

“Easter is fast approaching and is a time that many firms would traditionally be very busy.

“Tourism in particular need an idea as to how and when they could be allowed to reopen.

“These firms will also need continued financial support from Welsh Government, which we hope that the First Minister will outline and will provide clarity as to when it will be paid and what period of time it should cover.”

Will there be any further financial support for businesses who will remain closed?

The first minister is expected to announce an additional £150m to support businesses affected by ongoing restrictions.

Mr Drakeford is expected to provide greater detail when he takes to the podium at the Welsh Government’s Covid press briefing at 12.15.

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