What are some of the lockdown changes that could be announced for Wales on Friday?

  • Political Editor Adrian Masters on how lockdown could be eased

The Welsh Government is set to review current lockdown restrictions in Wales on Friday.

In the last review, an increase in the amount of people who could meet up outside was one of the very few restrictions to be eased.

The First Minister said up to four people from two different households would be allowed to exercise outdoors together to help those "struggling with lockdown".

But Mark Drakeford suggested more rules would be relaxed in the next review.

So what are some of the lockdown changes that could be announced on Friday?

The 'stay at home' rule is likely to be replaced with 'stay local'. Credit: PA Images
  • Dates we already know - care homes and schools

The Welsh Government has so far resisted announcing a schedule with dates like that released by the UK Government in its roadmap for England.

This decision has been criticised, with the Welsh Conservatives describing it as "devolved border games".

But some sectors have been given a date on when they can reopen or resume some normality.

Care homes are expected to be allowed to conduct indoor visits from 13 March - bringing together some families who will have been physically separated for almost a year.

Families across England have already started reuniting, with care homes residents being allowed one nominated indoor visitor from Monday.

Additionally, all primary school children are set to return to face-to-face learning from 15 March.

It is also hoped older learners taking exams, including years 11 and 13, will return to the classroom on the same date.

Children aged between three and seven have been back in classrooms since 22 February.

The aim is for all pupils to be able to return after the Easter break.

Wales has been in a national lockdown since December. Credit: PA Images
  • 'Stay at home' rule likely to be replaced with 'stay local'

One of the changes most likely to be made is to the 'stay at home' rule that has been in place since December.

Currently, people are only allowed to mix with their household or support bubble and only leave their home for "essential reasons", such as work, school or healthcare.

But Mr Drakeford has said he hopes to ease those restrictions, providing rates of coronavirus continue to fall.

It is expected to be a replaced by a 'stay local' rule, but it is not yet clear how local would be defined this time.

A 'five-mile rule' - a controversial ban on people travelling more than five miles beyond their home - was scrapped in July last year.

This has raised questions around how the reopening of some tourism providers - which has been suggested as an area for review - could work if people are required to stay local.

Mr Drakeford said this is something the Welsh Government would have to "grapple with, depending on what happens".

Close-contact services such as hairdressers and barbers could get a reopening date on Friday. Credit: ITV Wales
  • Phased reopening of non-essential retail and hairdressers

Mr Drakeford said that if the 'stay at home' requirement was lifted he would look at the reopening of some non-essential retail and close-contact services, such as hairdressing.

He has repeatedly said that returning children to schools is their main priority, but that "their turn would come" if that is successful.

He has also suggested the reopening would likely be phased, and that this would involve a conversation with the sectors.

  • Partial reopening of some parts of tourism industry

In the last review, Mr Drakeford also suggested that some reopening of the tourism industry could be announced.

It is highly likely that only self-contained accommodation such as caravan parks will be allowed to open.

Some accommodation providers in Wales have already started taking bookings for later this year in the hope of being allowed to welcome guests.

As always, the easing of restrictions remains subject to coronavirus case rates remaining low.

Hospitality businesses will likely have to wait longer for a reopening date. Credit: ITV Wales
  • What about pubs and restaurants?

The Welsh Government has said the hospitality sector is not likely to see a reopening in the next two three-week review periods.

Mr Drakeford said "providing things improve" he will "consider thinking about" it.

He said: "Too much too soon will see us in the same position as before Christmas.

"The hospitality industry said to me that they don't want stop-start, they don't want to open and then have to close because of the virus."

  • Is there any hope for gym-goers?

This is another sector unlikely to receive good news on Friday.

During the last review, Mr Drakeford was questioned on his decision not to reopen gyms yet, after Wales' mental health minister spoke of their importance to mental health.

But he said people would have to continue exercising from their front door, as he would "like to see further progress before further restrictions are lifted".

He said this is partially due to advice from scientists, who have said new strains of the virus can make gyms particularly vulnerable.

  • Expect caution

Overall, people should expect to see caution in the review on Friday.

Mr Drakeford concluded: "We will continue to take a careful and cautious approach towards relaxing restrictions – as we have throughout the pandemic – guided by the experts."