Posted: Wed 14th Jul 2021

First Minister sets out a longer-term plan for the summer with Wales moving to Alert Level 1 from 17th July

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jul 14th, 2021

Wales will take its next step towards a future with fewer covid legal restrictions as First Minister Mark Drakeford today set out a longer-term plan for the summer.

Wales will move fully into alert level one from 17th July, most of the current restrictions in place will be lifted on 7th August when Wales moves to alert level zero “if safe to do so.”

The changes were paused four weeks ago because of the emergence and spread of the delta variant across the UK and to enable more people to be vaccinated in Wales.

There will be further changes to the rules outdoors as Wales takes the first steps towards a new alert level zero.

Alert level zero is set out in an updated Coronavirus Control Plan, which is published today. If the public health situation allows, Wales will move to this level on 7 August.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are entering a new phase of the pandemic. Cases of the virus have risen sharply since the delta variant emerged six weeks ago but, thanks to our fantastic vaccination programme, we are not seeing these translate into large numbers of people falling seriously ill or needing hospital treatment.

“We can be reasonably confident that vaccination has weakened the link between infections and serious illness. But there is still a risk that this third wave of the pandemic could cause real harm – either direct harm from the virus or indirect harm from, for example, people having to isolate

“We can move to alert level one for indoor spaces from 17 July and go further for outdoor spaces because we know the risk of transmission outdoors is lower.

“We are also publishing plans for a new alert level zero, which will have fewer legal restrictions but which will still need all of us to take steps to protect ourselves.”

From 17 July, Wales will move fully to alert level one, including:

  • Up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
  • Organised indoor events can take place for up to 1,000 seated and up to 200 standing.
  • Ice rinks can reopen.

Wales will also take the first step into alert level zero as the limits on the numbers of people who can meet in public places or at events will be removed. Outdoor premises and events will also have greater flexibility around physical distancing.

Also from 17 July other changes include:

  • New rules for children’s residential activity centres so children in groups of up to 30 can visit.
  • A specific requirement for employees to provide comprehensive information on the risks and mitigations identified in the COVID risk assessment with their employees.

What alert level zero look like?

• There will be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet others, including in private homes, public places or at events.

• All businesses and premises will be able to reopen.

• Carrying out a coronavirus risk assessment will continue to be a legal requirement for businesses, employers and event organisers.

• Businesses, employers and other organisations will still be required to take reasonable measures to manage the risk of coronavirus at their premises.

• The reasonable measures to be taken, such as physical distancing and other controls, will be for each organisation to consider depending on the nature of the premises and the risks of exposure to coronavirus identified.

• People should continue to work from home wherever possible. If you are unwell you should self-isolate and get tested.

• Face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors in public places, such as on public transport, in shops and when accessing healthcare.

The use of face coverings in the workplace should also be considered by businesses and employers as part of their coronavirus risk assessment.

The First Minister said: “The pandemic is not over and the virus continues to spread across Wales, which makes it really important for everyone to say yes to vaccination and to do everything we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

“Even though vaccines have weakened the link between the virus and hospitalisation, we are seeing young, fit people suffer from long-Covid, which, for some, has a major impact on their lives.

“We have the headroom to continue to gradually remove restrictions, but each and every one of us has a really important part to play to keep Wales safe as we head into the summer.”

The First Minister has also confirmed that people who have who have been fully vaccinated in the UK will no longer need to self-isolate if they are returning from an amber list country, in line with the position in England and Scotland.

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