Two households to meet indoors in May and gyms to reopen a week earlier in Wales

The Welsh Government has said two households will be able to meet indoors from May 3.

Some lockdown restrictions are to be eased a week ahead of their original roadmap schedule, the Welsh Government has said.

Two households will be able to meet up indoors from May 3, allowing two households to form an extended household.

Gyms and leisure centres can reopen earlier than planned for individual exercise and one-to-one training on May 3. They had originally been due to open again on May 10.

Meanwhile, outdoor activities and outdoor wedding receptions - both to include up to 30 people - will be allowed to restart on April 26.

The Welsh Government says it was easing the restrictions earlier than planned due to the coronavirus situation improving quicker than expected.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "The public health situation in Wales continues to improve thanks to everything you are doing to help us control this awful virus.

"This week, because of the improvements we continue to see, we can bring forward some of our plans.

"This is only possible because of the efforts everyone is making to protect themselves and their loved ones."

Gyms will reopen in Wales a week earlier than originally planned.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed that next week's easing of lockdown relaxations will go ahead as planned.

From Monday, all school pupils and post-16 learners will return to face-to-face teaching.

While April 12 will also see the reopening of all non-essential shops and close contact services.

Travel to and from Wales within the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland will also be permitted from Monday.

A fall in the all-Wales coronavirus infection rate had also allowed the restrictions to be eased slightly ahead of schedule, the Welsh Government said.

Over 1.5 million people in Wales have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine. Credit: PA Images

Cases per 100,000 were down from 37 to fewer than 21 this week.

There were 89 confirmed cases in hospital beds, a reduction of 26% from last Thursday and the lowest number since September 22.

According to the latest Public Health Wales data, 1,519,760 people in Wales have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine; 484,739 have received a two dose course of vaccine.

On Thursday, there were a further six suspected coronavirus deaths and 82 confirmed cases.

The coronavirus death toll in Wales currently stands at 5,527.

In response to the easing announcement, the Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said:“The great British vaccination programme is protecting more and more lives every day and gives us the ability to restore freedoms in a safe but accelerated manner.“Pressure from the Welsh public and Welsh Conservatives have forced Labour ministers to act, but there is still more they can do in accelerating the roadmap with the safe resumption of activities such as outdoor hospitality and gyms. 

"It's clear with Labour it's all about the politics, never the science, but the Welsh Conservatives have a detailed roadmap out of lockdown to end the political games.

"We will continue to protect lives through vaccination, and importantly get Wales on the road to recovery.”

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said:

 “Plaid Cymru has been pressing the case for gyms to reopen as quickly and as safely as is possible because they are crucial for people’s mental health and well-being. This new date, whilst welcome, is still not early enough.

 “The scenes of unregulated drinking over recent days has been a serious cause of concern and many will question the Labour Government’s decision not to move the re-opening of outdoor hospitality forward.

"A regulated drinking environment is, after all, a better and safer option. Likewise, the lack of clear date on indoor hospitality remains a major problem and at the very least the government should urgently revisit its decision to delay any additional financial support until after election.

“We have all made sacrifices over the last few months and I am grateful to the people of Wales for all they have done to get us to this point.