Wales to remain at Alert Level Zero for the next three weeks

Mark Drakeford has announced his plans on how to control the spread of the virus over the next few months. Credit: PA

Wales will remain at Alert Level Zero for the next three weeks, the Welsh Government has announced.

This follows the latest review of the coronavirus regulations, meaning that all businesses are open and Wales has the lowest level of restrictions.

Mark Drakeford announced his plans on how to control the spread of the virus over the next few months in a press conference on Friday.

It included continuing the vaccine rollout and encouraging people to wash their hands, wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, and consider reducing the number of people they meet.

The First Minister said: "There will be no substantial changes to the rules over the next three weeks beyond those already announced".

The biggest change will see the Covid Pass become a legal requirement from Monday. Those attending nightclubs or large events will have to provide the pass to show they are double vaccinated or have proof of a negative test.

The First Minister says the vaccine continues to be the best defence against the virus

The coronavirus control plan also include two scenarios, the first - and the most likely to be adopted in future - will see restrictions lift as case rates fall, while the second looks at if there were to be a sudden change such as the introduction of a new, fast-spreading variant.

In his latest press conference, Mark Drakeford explained: "As you can see, we appear to be have passed the peak. Cases have been higher in this wave than they were last winter".

What is Covid Stable and Covid Urgent?

  • The Covid Stable plan involves the country remaining on alert level 0 through the autumn and winter with all businesses remaining open. If cases rise, existing measures will be strengthened.

  • Covid Urgent would see the return to the alert level system and restrictions in order to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

The Government said the plan, if triggered, would be "used proportionately, but as a last-resort".

The First Minister said: "We are facing a challenging winter ahead – coronavirus hasn’t gone away and flu is forecast to return this winter.

The First Minister will publish his winter plans in a press conference on Friday

“Vaccination is the best defence we have against coronavirus – the more people who are fully vaccinated, the better our chances of controlling the spread of this awful virus.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on increasing take up of the Covid-19 vaccine across the age and priority groups and rolling out the booster vaccine too. We also encourage everyone who is eligible, to have their flu jab this year.

“There is also a range of other measures we can all take to help protect ourselves and our loved ones, such as washing our hands, reducing the number of people we meet and wearing a face covering in indoor public places.

“These measures have helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic and they will also help to protect us from other winter viruses, such as flu and other respiratory infections."

Looking ahead to Christmas, Mark Drakeford hoped the holidays would be "far more like the ones we're used to".

However he acknowledged that it depends on a number of factors including Covid and flu vaccination rates, as well as people following other guidelines.

Alert Level Zero: The Covid rules explained in Wales

Meeting indoors

From 6am on 7 August, will be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events.

Back to top

What businesses can reopen?

Any businesses currently still closed will be able to re-open. This includes nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

Back to top

What about self-isolating?

From midnight on 7 August, adults who are fully vaccinated and children and young people under the age of 18, will no longer need to isolate if they are identified as close conatcts of someone who has coronavirus.

This was announced by the First Minister last week.

Back to top

Social distancing

It's not yet clear whether or not the 'two-metre rule' under which businesses are obliged by law to ensure social distancing in the workplace will be dropped.

Welsh Government sources say that it is one of the final details being discussed.

In its announcement, the government says premises and workplaces will have "more flexibility" about which "reasonable measures they take" to minimise the risk of the virus.

"These should be tailored to their risk assessment and their specific circumstances".

Back to top

Read more: