WALES will complete the move to alert level zero on Friday, January 28, first minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed this evening - unless the public health situation changes for the worse.

This Friday more of the restrictions that were introduced in December are being eased including lifting the ban on large crowds.

Football and rugby fixtures, and other sports events, have had to be played behind closed doors due to the ban on large gatherings that has also impacted events such as concerts.

A cap of 50 people at outdoor events was raised to 500 last week as the first minister announced a plan to return the low leve of restrictions, and preventative measures such as wearing face masks in indoor public places, that had been in place from August.

Mr Drakeford said the phased plan to gradually relax the alert level two measures and move back to alert level zero will continue.

The latest public health data suggests Wales has passed the peak of the omicron wave, and coronavirus cases are falling back to levels similar to those seen earlier in the autumn. There have also been reductions in the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital.

From tomorrow, Friday, January 21, Wales will move to alert level zero for all outdoor activities.

This means:

  • Crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events;
  • There will be no limits on the number of people who can take part in outdoor activities and events;
  • Outdoor hospitality will be able to operate without the additional measures introduced in December, such as the rule of six and two metre social distancing

The Covid Pass will continue to be required for entry to larger outdoor events attended by more than 4,000 people, if unseated, or 10,000 people when seated.

The Covid Pass is required in all cinemas, theatres and concert halls which are currently open.

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Mr Drakeford said: “The latest figures show we have passed the omicron peak and we can continue to lift the alert level two protections as part of our careful and phased plan.

“We will lift the limits on the number of people who can gather for outdoor events. We remain cautiously confident the public health situation is heading in the right direction and next week we will be able to complete the move to alert level zero, unless the situation changes for the worse.

“We are in this position thanks to the efforts of everyone in Wales and our fantastic vaccination programme. It is important that everyone continues to follow the rules and the guidance to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including taking up the offer of a booster vaccine if they haven’t already done so.”

On Friday, January 28, Wales will complete the move to alert level zero.

This means:

  • Nightclubs will re-open;
  • Businesses, employers and other organisations must continue to undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus;
  • The general requirement of two metre 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;
  • Working from home will remain part of advice from the Welsh Government but it will no longer be a legal requirement.

The Covid Pass will continue to be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

The self-isolation rules for everyone who tests positive for Covid and the face-covering rules, which apply in most public indoor places will remain in force after January 28.

The next three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations will be carried out by February 10, when the Welsh Government will review all the measures at alert level zero.

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