COVID-19: Wales to ease certain lockdown restrictions – one week earlier than previously planned

Wales has announced that it is easing certain coronavirus restrictions a week earlier than previously planned.

"Improvements" in the public health situation mean two households will be able to meet indoors from 3 May – with gyms and leisure centres also set to open ahead of schedule.

On Thursday, it was announced that COVID cases in Wales had dropped to under 21 per 100,000 this week.

The number of people with coronavirus in hospital was at 89 – the lowest figure since 22 September.

This – combined with the vaccination programme – has prompted Wales to accelerate some plans to relax lockdown.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will now be able to take place from 26 April instead of 3 May – including wedding receptions.

Gyms, leisure centres and other fitness facilities will then be able to reopen from 3 May instead of 10 May.

The dates are "subject to the public health situation remaining favourable", the Welsh government said, and this schedule is set to be confirmed on 22 April.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "The public health situation in Wales continues to improve thanks to everything you are doing to help us control this awful virus.

"Cases of the virus are falling and our incredible vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength.

"Last week, we set out our programme to further reopen the economy and relax the restrictions we have lived with for so long, as part of our careful, step-by-step approach to keeping everyone safe.

"This week, because of the improvements we continue to see, we can bring forward some of our plans.

"This is only possible because of the efforts everyone is making to protect themselves and their loved ones."

The relaxation of restrictions on Monday is due to continue as planned, with schools returning and the borders between Wales and the rest of the UK reopening.

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