Covid lockdown rules: What is changing in Wales and when?

With Covid case rates continuing to fall across Wales, Mark Drakeford says Wales will complete the move to Alert Level Zero on January 28 unless the coronavirus situation deteriorates. But which Covid rules are being scrapped and when?

  • From January 21st

From Friday the 21st of January, all outdoor activities will move to Alert Level 0. This means there will be no limits on the number of people who can take part in outdoor activities, crowds will be able to return to sporting events and outdoor hospitality will be able to operate in the way they would have earlier in pandemic.

This is good news for fans who have bought tickets for Wales' home Six Nations games as the easing of restrictions mean rugby games being played at the Principality Stadium next month won't have to be played behind closed doors as the WRU feared.

When asked if the changes in restrictions were due to pressures from the WRU, the First Minister said: " The pressures are absolutely real when you're making decisions of these sort but the pressures my cabinet respond to are the pressures that are there in the data."

Six Nations home game will be able to go ahead in Wales with crowds
  • From January 28th

If numbers continue to fall, the First Minister has confirmed that from Friday 28th of January Wales will move to Alert Level 0 for all indoor indoor activities and premises - the lowest level of restrictions.

The First Minister confirmed that nightclubs are 'on track' to reopen and social distancing and rule of six requirements will be ended.

Covid passes will still be required for large events and for nightclubs, cinemas and theatres.

Mark Drakeford said Wales would complete the move to Alert Level Zero on January 28 unless the coronavirus situation deteriorates.

The First Minister has admitted that Covid passes aren't "a magic bullet" and that they "don't by themselves guarantee that everything is safe" but described them as an "important brick in a wall of protection that you're trying to build up so that we call all feel confident in returning to venues."

The Welsh Government will then revert to a three weekly review process, and will continue to monitor the situation. Alert Level Zero restrictions will be reviewed in mid February.

The First Minister has been clear that the easing of restrictions will only go ahead if the Covid case rates in Wales continue to fall.

  • Why are Covid restrictions being eased?

The First Minister said that there have been some "early, positive signs of improvement" which he believes suggests that the measures that have been in place have worked and "give us hope we may be turning a corner".

Another reason for the easing of restrictions is the "success" of the vaccination programme.

The First Minister believes this has given us "extra protection" against the Omicron variant.

The Welsh Government says it is able to start removing the protections put in place in response to the Omicron wave thanks to the support of people across Wales.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, Mark Drakeford said: "I think it's because we've put those protections in place and most of all because of the fantastic way in which people in Wales while we've been in the grip of the Omicron wave have acted responsibly and done all of the things that have been asked of them.

"It's because of that that we're in this more benign position where we're able to lift some of those protections a bit earlier than we had anticipated because of all the hard work that people in Wales have put in to keeping themselves and other people safe."