Wales could move to ‘stay local’ rule following this week’s review of Covid regulations, says first minister
Wales could be set to return to a “stay local” rule following a drop in coronavirus cases in the country.
The Welsh Government is set to review the current alert level 4 restrictions on Friday, which prevent all but essential travel.
Wales has been in a level four lockdown, which includes a strict stay at home message, since December 20.
Since then the rolling seven day average for Wales has dropped from 558.6 cases per 100,000 on December 27 to 46.4 cases per 100,000 today.
On Friday details of when non-essential retail and self-contained tourist accommodation could re-open is also expected to become clearer.
First Minister Mark Drakeford discussed what the review is likely to entail during an interview with the BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement programme this morning.
He said: “I said at the last review that I hope that this will be the last three weeks of the stay at home regulation, so that is what we will be trying to make happen on Friday of this week.
“I think there is a case for an intermediate between stay at home and being able to travel anywhere across Wales.
“We will be looking carefully this week at whether there needs to be a period of stay local -people are used to that, we had that last year in Wales – whether that will be a first step on a journey.
“Remembering that we are trying to approach the whole business carefully, cautiously, step by step, not doing too many things at once so we can monitor the impact of changes, and then restore freedoms to people and to the economy once we are confident that it’s safe to do so.”
In relation to tourism, Mr Drakeford said some parts of the industry such as self-contained accommodation could be able to open in time for Easter.
He said: “The cabinet will be trying to draw together a package of measures that meet the current public health circumstances.
“We will be looking at our top priority to get children and young people back into school, we’ll be following up the announcements we made on Thursday about resuming care home visits, we will be looking at people’s personal life, who we can meet and how we can meet them, and we’ll be looking to see whether we can take the first tentative steps in reopening the economy in non-essential retail.
“And then I do hope to be able to say something for the week beyond the next three weeks.
“That will indeed look to Easter and see whether there is any emerging headroom for us to do what we would like to do, but we’ll only do it if it is safe, and that is to offer the prospect of re-opening self-contained accommodation in the tourism industry, recognising the significance of Easter to that industry.”
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