Covid in Wales: Lockdown review ‘will give hospitality certainty’

3 weeks ago
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A beach at Barry Island

Wales’ first minister will set out the next steps for reopening society on Thursday to give hospitality “the certainty that it’s looking for”.

But Mark Drakeford warned he would not give “false assurances too far into the future”.

He said he would set out “the prospectus through the whole of April and into May”.

But he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show it was “inherently an uncertain time”.

Mr Drakeford said he hoped people would be able to enjoy outdoor hospitality by the end of April but meeting indoors would “likely have to wait until May”.

“At the moment things are heading in the right direction, but we know how quickly this virus can change, and I’m not prepared to give people false assurances too far into the future,” he said.

On Saturday, Wales became the first UK nation to lift travel restrictions within its borders.

People enjoying Barry seafront on Saturday

The Welsh government’s outline of the next steps in its Coronavirus Control Plan says, on Thursday, it will set out restrictions to be lifted from 12 April, namely a full return to schools, colleges and other education, all shops to open as well as close contact services, such as nail salons and tattooists.

In the next three-week review cycle, which will be outlined on 22 April, the Welsh government will consider reopening outdoor hospitality, as well as gyms, outdoor attractions, weddings, community centres, organised activities and restrictions on extended households.

All changes will be subject to the public health situation continuing to improve.

Mr Drakeford told Marr that he would be meeting with the other three UK governments on Tuesday to discuss the issue of vaccine passports.

He said: “I think there are definitely prizes to be won through domestic vaccine certification, but there are some very big practical and ethical challenges to face as well.

“I don’t say that these problems can’t be solved. But I am saying that we’ve got to work together to make sure that if we are to introduce such a system, it has to be fair, and it has to be reliable.”

Andrew RT Davies, the Conservative leader in the Senedd, has previously called for Welsh ministers to work with the UK government to provide “consistency” in areas where all four UK chief medical officers “undoubtedly agree”.

And Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price has previously said that businesses needed more detail on what they can expect.

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BBC News – Wales

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