People in Wales asked to do 'one last lap' of restrictions before shops reopen

19 June 2020, 17:31

Much of Wales is still closed, although non-essential shops are being opened on Monday
Much of Wales is still closed, although non-essential shops are being opened on Monday. Picture: PA

By Mike Hughes

People in Wales are being asked to do “one last lap” of the 'stay local' restrictions, as non-essential retail is given the green light to reopen from Monday.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford said the sector could begin trading again as long as businesses comply with social distancing rules.

However, the 5-mile limit on travel will remain in place until at least the 6th of July when it will be lifted, provided the rate of infection remains manageable.

“This means we are asking people to stay local, to keep Wales safe, for two more weeks”, Mr Drakeford said.

“The reason we are doing this is simple - coronavirus is not over. Every day people are being infected, and we have seen an outbreak linked to food production in Anglesey this week as just one example. Very sadly people are still dying every day.

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“Two more weeks of staying local will help us all stay on the path we have created together - careful and cautious, but still gaining ground and building on what we have all achieved.” 

People will be given flexibility to travel beyond five miles should their journey be on compassionate grounds, such as caring for a family member.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the sector could begin trading again as long as businesses comply with social distancing rules
First Minister Mark Drakeford said the sector could begin trading again as long as businesses comply with social distancing rules. Picture: PA

Other restrictions will also be lifted from Monday:

The housing market will be allowed to conduct property viewings and sales that had been postponed can be completed. 

Outdoor sports courts will be allowed to reopen, and elite athletes can resume training, although contact sport will not be permitted. 

Places of worship can begin to reopen

The Welsh Government has faced repeated calls to reopen the tourism sector to allow businesses to operate during the summer.

The First Minister announced that with the removal of the travel limit from 6 July, the tourism sector can reopen from the same date. 

He urged businesses to use the next three weeks to prepare to reopen self-contained accommodation.

Hairdressers have been told they can prepare to resume trading in three weeks by appointment only, The hospitality sector, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, have not been given a date on when they could reopen.

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The First Minister told the Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus press conference that discussions with the sector are ongoing about a possible phased reopening.

"We are now making concerted steps to resume something approaching a new normal while living alongside coronavirus", Mr Drakeford said. 

"Through all our efforts we have succeeded in bringing the fire of coronavirus under control, but that fire is not out.      

"We all need to continue to play our part and to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

"Wales remains the only part of the UK where the creation of household ‘bubbles’ is not permitted.

But Mark Drakeford indicated that the issue was under review and that an announcement could be made in the next three weeks.

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