Wales moves into full alert level 1 today with more lockdown rules easing
Wales moves fully into alert level one today, Saturday 17th July, with changes to the number of people who can meet in private homes and the law restricting the number of people meeting outside scrapped.
These 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.
Most of the remaining restrictions in place will be lifted on 7th August when Wales moves to alert level zero “if safe to do so.”
Changes taking effect from today:
- up to 6 people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation
- organised indoor events for up to 1,000 seated or 200 standing can take place, subject to a risk assessment and taking reasonable measures
- ice rinks can re-open
- remove the legal restrictions on the number of people who can gather outdoors
- allow up to 30 children from organisations, such as the Brownies and Scouts, to attend residential centres over the summer holidays
There’ll be no change in the rules around face-masks in Wales for the time-being.
This differs to England, where – from 19 July – there will be no limit on the number of people who can meet indoors and face-masks will no longer be mandatory.
Nightclubs in Wales will remain closed for the moment.
Proposed changes in Wales from 7 August
If all goes well, Wales will move to Alert Level Zero from 7 August, when all premises will be able to open (including nightclubs) and most – but not all – restrictions will be removed.
There will be no limits on the number of people who can meet indoors, including in private homes. However, it will still be a legal requirement to wear a face mask indoors in shops and other indoor public spaces, except for hospitality venues like pubs and restaurants.
Some venues might still have to restrict numbers, based on the risk assessments that all premises will need to undertake.
Respect the differences
In a joint statement, Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire councils call on residents to be aware of the differences:
“The changes in restrictions follow the success of the vaccination programme, which has weakened the link between infections, serious illness and hospitalisation in both Wales and England. Thanks to vaccination, the number of people ending up seriously ill or in hospital remains low at the moment.
“However, the Delta variant continues to spread and the virus still poses a serious risk to health. We’re also seeing young, fit people suffering from long-Covid, which is having a major impact of their lives.
“Everyone living, working and visiting Wales is asked to respect the difference in restrictions between England and Wales, and to stick to the regulations in place.
“Visitors to Wales are also asked to respect staff working in tourism, hospitality and leisure industries, who are all continuing to do their utmost to look after the health and welfare of those they work for and with. Thank you.”
New phase of the pandemic
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.”
What will Alert Level Zero look like?
Alert level zero is set out in an updated Coronavirus Control Plan, If the public health situation allows, Wales will move to this level on 7 August.
• 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.