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Wales Covid rules: nightclubs to close after Boxing Day as restrictions tighten amid Omicron spread

Nightclubs in Wales will close on 27 December as part of new restrictions to limit the spread of the Omicron Covid variant

Tougher Covid restrictions will return in Wales after Christmas in response to the rise in Omicron cases across the UK.

Nightclubs will close after Boxing Day as part of the new post-Christmas rules announced by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

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The Welsh Government has said there will be a £60 million fund to support any businesses that are affected by restrictions.

What else will change on 27 December?

As well as nightclub closures, two-metre social distancing will be made mandatory in all officers in Wales from 27 December.

The measures will require one-way systems to also be put in place and physical barriers will be introduced in businesses to protect customers and staff.

Regulations will also be changed to include a requirement to work from home wherever possible.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Delta will continue to be the main cause of coronavirus infections in Wales up to Christmas. But we are seeing cases of Omicron increasing rapidly every day in Wales – and across the UK.

“We need a plan to keep us safe this Christmas and we need stronger measures to protect us afterwards, as we prepare for a large wave of Omicron infections.

“Omicron poses a new threat to our health and safety. It is the most serious development in the pandemic to date.

“It is one we must take seriously. We will continue to put in place proportionate measures to protect people’s lives and livelihoods.

“This is a virus which thrives on human contact. Every contact we have is an opportunity for us to spread or catch the virus.”

What measures are being taken up to Christmas?

Until December 27, people in Wales are encouraged to follow five steps to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections and further spread.

The Welsh Government has urged people to:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Make sure they have a negative lateral flow test result before meeting with others or going out to venues
  • Meet people in well-ventilated areas, preferably outdoors where possible, and space out while socialising
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands

People have also been advised to limit their contact with others over the coming days, especially if Christmas plans include seeing older or more vulnerable people.

Mr Drakeford added: “This year a smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas. The fewer people we see, the less chance we have of catching or passing on the virus.

“Please enjoy Christmas with your nearest and dearest – and think about meeting up with wider circles of friends when the threat posed by the Omicron variant has passed over.

“I also want to thank the many thousands of people who will be working this Christmas to keep us safe – especially all those who have cancelled their plans to work in the vaccination centres across Wales to increase our protection against this awful virus.”

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