More people allowed to meet outdoors and live concerts and matches to go ahead under changes to Wales' Covid rules

Credit: PA Images

From Monday, more people will be allowed to meet informally outdoors and up to three households will be able to join together as a ‘bubble’ under changes to Wales’ Covid restrictions.

Organised outdoor events like concerts and football matches will also be allowed to go ahead with up to 4,000 people unseated and 10,000 seated.

But concerns over the Delta or Indian variant of the virus means that other restrictions, which it was hoped were to be lifted, will now have to wait for a further two weeks.

The delayed changes include allowing six people from different households to meet in private homes and in holiday accommodation, increasing the limits for indoor gatherings and events and reopening ice rinks. 

The limit on indoor weddings and funerals including receptions and wakes will also remain at 30 for another two weeks. 

The pause is to allow more vaccinations to take place and more people to have a second jab. 

It means that Wales won’t now move fully to Alert Level 1 in the Welsh Government’s plan to return to normal life until June 21st.

Concerts and football matches will be able to go ahead with thousands of fans. Credit: PA Images

From Monday 7th June:

  • Groups of up to 30 people will be able to meet outdoors in private gardens, public places and outdoor hospitality

  • Big outdoor gatherings and events, like concerts, football matches and other sport activities like running clubs will be able to go ahead with up to 4,000 people involved if they’re not seated and 10,000 if they are seated

  • Up to three households will be able to form an extended household, or bubble, which means they can meet indoors without social distancing and stay over. A further single person or single parent household can also join the bubble.


The Welsh Government announced the changes on Thursday evening. Credit: PA Images

The restrictions are reviewed every three weeks and Mark Drakeford has said he had hoped to move all of Wales into Alert Level 1 on 7 June.

He said: "The risk of infection is significantly less outdoors than it is indoors.

"This is why we are phasing in the changes in this three-week cycle. This will allow more people to enjoy events outdoors and take advantage of the Welsh summer, while we continue to roll out the vaccination programme to all adults.

"We will review the public health situation again in a couple of weeks to see whether we can continue to relax the restrictions and restart indoor events."

There has been frustration from people in the events industry after hopes the limit on the number of people allowed indoors would go up from 7 June.

Jamie Williams, Director of Pencoed House, a wedding venue in Cardiff, has said couples have been let down once again.

At Friday's coronavirus briefing, Mark Drakeford said he understood the frustrations and sympathised with those concerns.

He did stress however that the changes to outdoor organised events does apply to weddings and wakes.

"From Monday, weddings with receptions outdoors will be covered by the 4,000 or 10,000 thresholds."

The latest changes to coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the Welsh Government. Credit: PA Images

The Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) application window will be extended for those sectors who had expected to see restrictions ease from Monday, specifically wedding, event and attractions venues.

The window has been extended from 7 June to 14 June.

The ERF provides support in the form of cash grants for businesses, social enterprises and charities and associated supply chain businesses that have experienced a material negative impact as a result of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

The grants are aimed at helping businesses meet operating costs (excluding staff wages) for the period 1 May 2021 to 30 June 2021.

In the Welsh Government's system of deciding which rules apply, similar to the UK Government's 'road map' for England, Alert Level 1 is the lowest tier of restrictions, intended for when the situation in Wales is described as 'low risk.'

The two-step move to Alert Level 1, means Wales will be more aligned with England where the next big date is also June 21st. 

June 21st in England has been described as 'Freedom Day' and had originally been earmarked by the UK Government as the date when all restrictions would be lifted. That's now said to be under review because of concerns over the Delta variant.

Regardless of what happens in England on June 21st, some restrictions will continue here in Wales from that date. 

If the plan to move fully to Alert Level 1 goes ahead, from June 21st the numbers of people allowed to meet in private homes will be limited to six, extended households will continue to be limited to three households, people will be advised to work from home if possible, social distancing will still be in place and people will be told to wear face masks in all indoor public places. 

If the UK Government, as reported, changes its plan and doesn’t lift all restrictions on June 21st it would mean that despite having very different ‘road maps’ out of lockdown are likely to find themselves with pretty much the same level of restrictions.