Wales scraps most of its remaining Covid rules as fully-jabbed can avoid isolating

7 August 2021, 08:25

Wales has moved to alert level zero
Wales has moved to alert level zero. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Wales has scrapped most of its remaining coronavirus restrictions, dispensing with limits on meeting others and allowing businesses like nightclubs to reopen.

The country moved to alert level zero from 6am on Saturday, which its first minister said was a "big step closer to life".

Fully-vaccinated adults and people aged under 18 will not need to self-isolate if they become a close contact of someone who has Covid.

However, anyone who test positive or shows symptoms must still quarantine for 10 days.

Face masks are still needed in shops, on public transport and in health and care facilities.

Read more: Why Wales will let fully-vaccinated avoid isolating before England

Venues are required to produce coronavirus risk assessments, a law designed to encourage them to keep spaces ventilated or retain social distancing where necessary.

First minister Mark Drakeford said Wales was on the "final lap" of emerging from the pandemic.

But he warned: "Alert level 0 does not mean the end of coronavirus and it very certainly does not mean a free-for-all here in Wales.

"We still have people who are clinically vulnerable in our communities and most people in Wales want to go on acting carefully to protect their health and the health of others."

He said more than eight in 10 adults have had both jabs of a Covid vaccine and the country's case rate is 130 infections per 100,000 people.

"Our high vaccination rates, some of the best in the whole of the world, have helped to weaken the link between coronavirus infection, serious illness and hospitalisation," Mr Drakeford said.

"Having reached this important milestone, we now need to carefully monitor the impact of lifting so many restrictions and we therefore do not expect to make any further changes at the next review."

He also warned that if a new variant were to emerge, or under a scenario where vaccines are less effective, then "measures" would need to be used to address the problem.

Looking ahead, Mr Drakeford admitted the winter will be "challenging" for the NHS but mask wearing and other measures will help fighting infections other than coronavirus.

The Government will not look into making vaccine passports mandatory for venues for some weeks, he said.