Mark Drakeford: England is now an 'outlier' after decision to relax mask wearing rules

First Minister Mark Drakeford has said England is now an 'outlier' when it comes to rules around the wearing of masks.

On Wednesday, Mr Drakeford announced the further easing of lockdown restrictions and set out plans to move to Alert Level Zero on August 7.

Face coverings will remain mandatory on public transport in Wales, with the requirement for them to continue to be worn in most indoor settings. In Scotland, similar rules apply.

But in England face coverings in shops and public transport will no longer be a legal requirement in England from July 19.

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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Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the First Minister said the rules in Wales make it "clearer and simpler" for people to know when masks are required.

In contrast, he said people in England would find it "difficult to know what is required of them."

He said: "I've often been told by the UK Government to have a four nation approach to coronavirus and I don't disagree with that at all.

"But in this issue we should be clear it is the UK Government that is the outlier and if they are prepared bring themselves into line with the decisions that have been made in Scotland and in Wales, that would be clearer and simpler for everybody."

The first minister said mandatory rules around mask wearing make things "simper"

Despite differing rules across the UK nations, the first minister said tourists from across the UK are still welcome this summer.

He said: "Our experience is people behave very respectfully, they observe the rules that are here in Wales.

"They want to play their part in keeping themselves and other people safe and that's the message we will be giving all visitors in Wales - coronavirus isn't over."