Extended families to meet up as regulations eased in Wales

14 August 2020, 00:02

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

People will be able to see more of their families and friends under plans to further ease the coronavirus restrictions in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said that should conditions remain stable over the next week then from August 22, up to four households will be able to join together to form a single extended household.

Up to 30 people will also be able to attend a meal indoors after a wedding, civil partnership or funeral if social distancing can be maintained.

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The Welsh Government will not be making any changes to the rules on people meeting indoors with people who are not part of their household or extended household.

This means that people should only visit pubs, restaurants or other places indoors with people from their household or extended household.

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Amendments to the regulations will also come into force next week to make it obligatory for hospitality businesses and other high-risk settings to collect contact details of customers.

Collecting this information is essential for Wales' Test, Trace, Protect strategy for testing the general public and preventing the spread of coronavirus.

"Wales has come together to tackle the spread of this virus and the action we have taken together has made a real difference," Mr Drakeford said.

"The number of cases continue to fall and this means we will be able introduce new changes to allow up to four households to come together and form an extended household.

"These are cautious, step-by-step changes. We are learning from what is happening across the UK and outbreaks are mainly linked to people meeting others inside the home.

"That is why it is so important we don't invite people outside our extended households into our homes.

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"We have made so much progress and we mustn't jeopardise this. That means we are not at a point where we should be visiting anyone's home at any time.

"There are also indications from other parts of the UK where pubs opened earlier than Wales that outbreaks have been linked to those places.

"If we are to avoid introducing local lockdown measures that could require the whole sector to close, it is vital we can quickly respond to any outbreaks.

"Providing our contact details when attending these premises will mean people can be contacted quickly by our Test, Trace, Protect teams if they may have been exposed to coronavirus.

"Only by us all doing our part and taking personal responsibility for our actions can we continue to tackle the scourge of coronavirus.

"This pandemic is far from over and we all still have a duty to do our part to keep Wales safe."

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The Welsh Government recently strengthened the powers local authorities have to enforce the regulations.

This enables enforcement officers to issue a Premises Improvement Notice to highlight breaches and specify measures that need to be taken on premises to comply with the law.