Mark Drakeford announcement: Prime Minister reveals full timetable for easing Covid restrictions in Wales

Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has outlined the plan to lift restrictions in Wales by the end of January.

Wales will return to alert level zero – and minimum coronavirus restrictions – within the next two weeks if the public health situation continues to improve and the number of cases continues to fall.

Mr Drakeford said rates had fallen from 2,300 per 100,000 people in Wales last Friday (January 7) to 1,200 this week, and that it had given the Welsh government “room” to lift the restrictions.

Watch live Covid updates today as he gives a press conference and gets questions from journalists

The prime minister outlined the timetable for the easing of restrictions and said it would be a four-stage process.

These are the dates:

Saturday January 15 – the number of people who can participate in an event outside the home rises from 50 to 500.

Friday 21 January – all outdoor activities go to alarm level zero. No limit on the number of people who can participate in outdoor activities, crowds can return to sporting events.

Friday January 28 – Wales will go to alarm level zero for all covered places and nightclubs will be able to open. Reviews come back every three weeks.

Major events, cinemas and nightclubs still require Covid passes.

Drakeford told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday: “The data and science tell us that – as the modeling in Wales predicted – we seem to have passed the top of Omicron and are coming down the other side very quickly, and that gives us confidence that over the next two weeks we can gradually and cautiously increase the level of protection we needed over the Christmas and New Year period, when it will be safe from a public health point of view to do so.”

Wales has been at alert level two since Boxing Day. It means hats for people who gather indoors and out, hospitality must adhere to rules about table service and groups no larger than six, and has seen a ban on crowds at sporting events. Nightclubs were also forced to close their doors.

The restrictions were put in place due to fears of the impact of the Omicron variant

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