Wales roadmap announced with potential reopening for indoor hospitality before end of May

  • A summary of Wales' roadmap out of lockdown

A roadmap out of lockdown has been announced for Wales - with target dates for reopening sectors like gyms and indoor hospitality.

The First Minister gave dates for the return of extended households - allowing two households to meet and have contact indoors - as well as remaining holiday accommodation.

Community centres and outdoor weddings with limited numbers have also been given a date to resume - but all of this is subject to Covid rates.

On Wednesday evening, Mark Drakeford laid out potential reopening dates for outdoor hospitality, gyms and organised outdoor activities for groups of up to 30 people.

The announcement comes as Wales moves fully into alert level three, which means the Covid situation is still high risk.

Mr Drakeford said the "indicative dates" have been revealed to allow sectors time to plan and prepare.

He clarified that final decisions on their reopening will be made nearer the time, subject to the public health situation.

Gyms can reopen from Monday. Credit: PA Images

  • Watch Mark Drakeford and Dr Frank Atherton announce plans to ease restrictions

Mr Drakeford said: "Thanks to a real team effort across Wales, coronavirus cases remain stable, and the vaccination programme continues apace.

"As a result, the Welsh Government has the headroom to continue its careful, step-by-step approach to relaxing restrictions.

"The review we have concluded this week, means we can continue with our programme of further re-opening of the economy and loosening the restrictions in place."

Should conditions remain favourable, certain sectors will be allowed to reopen and resume services from the following dates.

People gathering on the steps of the Senedd during on Tuesday Credit: ITV Wales

On Tuesday, large groups of people gathered outside the Senedd, leading to arrests after an incident of violent disorder.

Asked if it would be safer to open pubs sooner to curb outdoor drinking, Mark Drakeford said the actions of a minority are not a good enough reason to reopen hospitality now.

He said: ''The answer to the scenes that we saw outside the Senedd is to make it clear that to people that that is not acceptable.

''It's not to find ways in which we can indulge people who have shown such a basic disregard for the law that keeps themselves and others safe.

Key dates in Welsh Government roadmap out of lockdown

  • 12 April: Schools, shops and travel

Providing Covid rates remain low, from 12 April there will be a full return of face-to-face learning in schools and post-16 learners.

Universities will open for blended face-to-face and online learning.

All remaining shops can reopen, completing the phased reopening of non-essential retail, as well as close-contact services.

The ban on non-essential travel in or out of Wales will also be lifted, however restrictions on non-essential travel to countries outside the 'common travel area' will remain in place.

Viewing at wedding venues can also resume by appointment, and outdoor canvassing can begin ahead of the Senedd Election in May.

Outdoor hospitality will be allowed to resume from 26 April. Credit: PA Images
  • 26 April: Outdoor hospitality and attractions

From 26 April, pubs, cafes and restaurants can resume outdoor services.

Mark Drakeford said that when hospitality businesses do reopen, there will not be any curfew or alcohol ban as seen previously.

Outdoor attractions, such as funfairs and theme parks, will also be allowed to reopen.

  • 3 May: Organised outdoor activities and weddings

As the summer approaches, organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be allowed to take place from 3 May, and wedding receptions limited to 30 people can also resume.

  • 10 May: Gyms and extended households

Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities will be allowed to reopen from 10 May, but this will be limited to individual or one-to-one personal training - not group classes.

Extended households will also resume - allowing two households to meet indoors.

  • 17 May: Children's indoor activities and community centres

At the May 13 review, Welsh Government will confirm if children's indoor activities and community centres can reopen on May 17.

  • Late May: Indoor hospitality and holiday accommodation

On 13 May, the Welsh Government will consider allowing indoor hospitality to reopen after 17 May but before the end of that month - in time for the Spring bank holiday.

It will also consider reopening the remaining visitor accommodation in late May. Self-contained accommodation providers were allowed to welcome back guests earlier this month.

Credit: PA

The resumption of organised indoor activities for up to 15 adults will also be considered.

Mr Drakeford also said that in May, the government will start trialling pilot events, such as arts or sports events, with crowds of up to 1,000 people.

"Later on into the summer, provided things remain with the virus suppressed as it is today, then we will be able to do more to allow more people back into more events of that sort."

Responding to the news, Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price called for more money to support the hospitality sector ahead of opening.

He said, “The Labour Government must explain why it has taken them so long to provide businesses with greater certainty on when they can expect to reopen. Having been closed for so long, the least they deserve is more time to prepare."

“While this news offers hospitality a glimmer of hope, it will be a while yet before the sector can fully re-open. Labour has a duty to provide extra financial support to help those businesses to get back on their feet - increasing the pot of cash that’s available to businesses. Time and again, hard-working Welsh businesses that form the backbone of our economy have been let down and left behind by this Labour government - the very least they can do is to dig deep and support key sectors of the Welsh economy.

“Meanwhile, gyms should be able to safely re-open now – not least to help with people’s wellbeing and mental health which has suffered so much during the last few months.''

The Welsh Conservatives have called for gyms to reopen Credit: PA

On Wednesday, the Welsh Conservatives called for gyms to reopen to benefit people's mental health.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said, “Welsh Conservatives believe gyms across Wales should be reopened for the good of people’s mental and physical well-being.

“Two months ago, Labour said it would be a priority when it came to easing restrictions, but it’s been another broken promise from ministers. This should be corrected."

“And given the progress we’ve made on case rates and vaccination, we also believe consideration should be afforded to the reopening of outdoor hospitality in Wales.

“Labour ministers have lifted travel restrictions, but it’s created other issues such as a lack of public toilets, littering and anti-social behaviour.

“Some of the scenes over recent days have been concerning and ministers should see licensed, regulated businesses as part of the solution, instead of the problem.

“Welsh Conservatives have provided a detailed roadmap for families, workers and businesses across Wales and Labour should listen to our calls and do the same.”

Responding to the news that Wales will soon move into a Level 3 status, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said, “This is good news. We are cautiously optimistic about the future, especially given the positive news regarding vaccine roll out.

"Small businesses especially in the hospitality industry have been hit hard by this closure and they will be relieved that many of them can start trading again.

“We have seen scenes of people enjoying the good weather and with a four day weekend approaching it’s important that people continue to stick to the rules. Any increase in virus numbers and a move back towards Level 4 would be a disaster."