Welsh families told they can reunite under new 'extended household' rules 

Welsh families will soon be able to reunite under new rules allowing two households to join together to form one extended household, the First Minister has said.

This news, which was announced in Monday's press conference, allows families and close friends who have been separated by the coronavirus pandemic over these last few months to reconnect with each other indoors.

Mark Drakeford said all households will be included, regardless of the difference between the size of the two households. It can include those shielding, but the extended household must contain the same people "for the foreseeable future".

Watch the press conference where the First Minister made the announcement here:

Mark Drakeford said the new arrangement will come into force on 6 July when the stay local rules are also lifted and allows families and friends "to reconnect with each other."

He said the decision was made to give families the chance to "think about it carefully".

"Think carefully about who you are joining with – once the extended household is formed it can’t be changed and you won’t be able to substitute members", he said.

The First Minister said some families will need to make "difficult choices".

The entire extended household will need to self-isolate if anyone from it develops symptoms of Covid-19, he said, while households have also been recommended to keep records to help with the contact tracing in the case of a positive test.

Advice is due to be published on what the measures mean for people in households of multiple occupancy.

Mr Drakeford added: "By creating extended households, we will enable many families to be reunited for the first time since March. Grandparents will be able to see and hold their grandchildren again.

"Creating extended households will enable many families to be reunited for the first time since March.

"But because you will only be able to belong to one extended household, this will mean making choices – and in some cases, especially in larger families – this may mean making some difficult choices.

"Unfortunately, because the virus is still with us, we all have to face these choices together."

The First Minister said conversations are continuing with those in the hospitality sector

Mr Drakeford was questioned about the lack of progress on any announcement relating to the reopening of the hospitality industry.

He said, "Nothing has gone wrong. Work has continued. We’re getting to the point where we have a list of the measures the sector is proposing and we have to put that to the chief medical officer to get their view as to whether or not the proposals amount to the safe reopening that could be recommended.

"We will continue to have that conversation. As soon as its concluded we’ll make an announcement."