Up to 30 people can now meet outdoors in Wales as lockdown restrictions eased

3 August 2020, 08:06

Yellow markings along the pedestrianised area of Cardiff city centre direct people to aid social distancing
Yellow markings along the pedestrianised area of Cardiff city centre direct people to aid social distancing. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Groups of up to 30 people can now meet outside in Wales while maintaining social distancing, with pubs and restaurants in the country opening indoors.

Children under the age of 11 no longer need to keep two metres from each other or adults, following scientific evidence that the risk of transmission is lower among that age group.

The relaxing of coronavirus regulations on Monday also includes bars and cafes being able to reopen indoors as well as bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls.

Licensed wedding venues will be able to reopen to provide wedding ceremonies - though indoor receptions are still banned.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said swimming pools, gyms, leisure centres and children's indoor play areas would be able to reopen from August 10 if conditions allow.

The Welsh Government will then look to offer people "more opportunities" to meet indoors from August 15, he said.

On Sunday, Public Health Wales said that a further three deaths had been reported, taking its total for Wales to 1,565 deaths.

A further 37 positive cases were recorded, bringing the total figure in Wales to 17,315.

Dr Robin Howe, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said people should always stick to social distancing guidelines.

"The restrictions preventing more than two households or extended households meeting outdoors will be changed to allow up to 30 people to meet outdoors," Dr Howe said.

"Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.

"Pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes will be able to reopen indoors. As will indoor bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls.

"Licensed wedding venues will be able to reopen to provide wedding ceremonies. However, indoor receptions will not be able to take place for the time being.

"Finally, children under the age of 11 will no longer have to maintain a two metre distance from each other or from adults.

"This reflects scientific evidence which indicates the risk of transmission is lower among this age group.

"However, it is very important older children and young adults continue to follow social distancing and the other measures to keep them safe."

Dr Howe said Public Health Wales supported the extension of the self-isolation period from seven to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

The measure will provide "additional protection to others in the community", he said.

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"We continue to caution and remind the public and business owners that we all have a vital role in preventing the spread of coronavirus by always sticking to social distancing guidelines - staying two metres away from others, and washing hands regularly," Dr Howe said.

"When travelling you should also avoid car sharing with people outside your household.

"Anyone with suspected symptoms of Covid-19 infection - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of smell or taste (anosmia) - must self-isolate and seek an urgent test.

"Confirmed cases must now isolate for 10 days, with members of their household isolating for 14 days until the risk of passing on further infection has gone.

"Combined, these simple but effective actions will ensure the virus does not spread."

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