Mark Drakeford suggests hand was forced in lifting quarantine rules from amber list countries

Mark Drakeford said he "regrets" the decision made by the UK Government to remove the requirement to self-isolate from amber list countries for those who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

It comes as he announced a major easing of Covid measures in Wales which will see the country fully move into Alert Level One from this weekend, with remaining restrictions to end on 7 August.

Mark Drakeford told other Senedd members he "regrets" the decision made by the UK Government

What are the Covid rules in Wales from 17 July?

Meeting indoors

Up to six people from different households can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.

Previously you had to form an extended household or 'bubble' in order to see people at home - and your extended household could not change.

Up to six people from different households are already able to meet in 'regulated indoor premises' - for example, cafes, restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions.

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Organised indoor events

Organised indoor events can take place in Wales for up to 1,000 seated and up to 200 standing, and ice rinks can reopen.

However, nightclubs and adult entertainment venues will remain closed until at least 7 August, when it is hoped Wales will move to 'Alert Level Zero'.

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Social distancing

Social distancing will no longer be a legal requirement outdoors. Instead, risk assessments will be carried out to ensure people's safety.

Social distancing remains a legal requirement indoors.

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Face coverings

Face coverings will continue to be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, as previously announced.

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Working from home

People should continue to work from home where possible, and there is no end date for this advice at present.

A Covid-19 risk assessment must be carried out when it is "necessary" for people to return to the workplace, the First Minister said.

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Travelling abroad

People who have been fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate if they are returning from an amber list country, in line with the position in England and Scotland.

However, the First Minister said: "We continue to advise against all but essential travel abroad and we continue to strongly recommend to people to holiday at home this summer."

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As part of the new measures, the Welsh Government confirmed that those who have received two doses of the vaccine and are returning from an amber list country will no longer need to self-isolate.

It opens up travel to popular holiday destinations such as mainland Spain, Greece and Italy, and scores of other countries, which attract millions of visitors each summer.

That will bring the country in line with the likes of England and Scotland from 19 July.

In a statement to the Welsh Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, Mark Drakeford said the decision to remove the defence against new variants, which was made first by the UK's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, "especially at a time when the virus is in such rapid circulation" is "very difficult to understand".

"The risk of re-importation of Covid from other parts of the world has not gone away", he said.

"But because the vast majority of travel is via England, it is untenable for us not to do the same thing."

He added the government in Wales continues to advise against all but essential travel abroad and "strongly recommends" people to holiday at home this summer.