A Covid update held by Mr Drakeford today (14 January) brought good news to Welsh citizens, who have been living under extra Covid restrictions since Boxing Day.
The First Minister explained a new roadmap which will help the country up reduce restrictions in the future - but what exactly does the roadmap say, and when will restrictions be lifted?
What did Mark Drakeford say in his update today?
The Welsh First Minister announced in his update that the country would be working towards rolling back rules which had been introduced just after Christmas amid “rapidly” falling case numbers.
He confirmed that restrictions would be eased “gradually” over the next two weeks if the number of Covid cases continues to fall.
Mr Drakeford said: “The actions we have taken together have helped us to weather the Omicron storm.
“The latest data suggests some positive signs that the peak may have passed.
“We can now look more confidently to the future and plan to start gradually removing the alert level two restrictions, starting with the outdoors measures.”
The First Minister confirmed that plans were now in place to bring the country down to ‘Level Zero restrictions’.
What does the Welsh roadmap out of restrictions look like?
The roadmap will be followed as rules are relaxed in a phased manner.
This will begin with a relaxing of rules surrounding outdoor events.
The plan is as follows:
- Saturday 15 January - Number of those allowed to attend outdoor events will increase from 50 to 500
- Friday 21 January - Sporting events will see full crowds return to stadiums, with the 500 people limit on outdoor events lifted also
- Friday 28 January - Nightclubs can reopen, any restrictions on hospitality will be lifted, and a Covid Pass will be required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs, theatres and other similar venues
- Thursday 10 February - alert level is at ‘zero’, with ministers reviewing the Covid situation every three weeks
Mr Drakeford warned that the current plan for the roadmap is dependent on data, adding: “The pandemic is not over.
“We will closely monitor the public health situation - this is a fast-moving and volatile variant, which could change suddenly. I urge everyone to continue to follow the rules and have your vaccines to keep Wales safe.”
What does the roadmap mean for events in Wales?
The announcement will be welcomed by sports fans, who have been shut out of stadiums since Boxing Day.
For example, the first home match of the Six Nations tournament - due to be played on 12 February - was looking to be played behind closed doors before the announcement by Mr Drakeford today.
The match, between Wales and Scotland, has now been given the greenlight to be played in front of a full crowd, although will be subject to Covid Pass rules.
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