Welsh freedoms arrive a week early thanks to fall in cases: Gyms, sports centres and swimming pools reopen and two households can meet indoors in latest lockdown-easing today
- Two households are being allowed to meet indoors as part of a ‘bubble’ system
- Organised children’s indoor activities and adult indoor fitness classes allowed
- Re-openings have been pushed forward by a week due to falling infection levels
Gyms, sports centres and swimming pools are today reopening in Wales as the country continues its march out of lockdown.
Two households are also being allowed to meet indoors as part of a ‘bubble’ system for the first time in four months.
Organised children’s indoor activities and indoor adult fitness classes can also resume.
The Welsh Government said the changes – which were brought forward a week amid tumbling Covid infection levels – mean Wales is now under Alert Level 3 restrictions.
Speaking about the changes, First Minister Mark Drakeford said last week: ‘The public health situation continues to improve and our vaccination programme remains a success.
Gyms, sports centres and swimming pools are today reopening in Wales as the country continues its march out of lockdown. Pictured: Library image of a gym instructor cleaning equipment
Speaking about the changes, First Minister Mark Drakeford said last week that the ‘public health situation continues to improve and our vaccination programme remains a success’
‘Thanks to the efforts of people across Wales, we are in a position to further ease the restrictions, in the way we have previously signalled, to allow more elements of normal life to return.’
However the First Minister issued a stark warning about the importance of following social distancing rules, adding: ‘The virus has not gone away.
‘We all still need to take those vitally important steps, that we are now all so familiar with, to protect ourselves and each other from this dreadful virus.
He urged people to continue to wash their hands regularly, use masks in enclosed public spaces and continue to follow social distancing rules.
He added: ‘By working together, by following these rules, the quicker we will return to normality. Together, we will continue to keep Wales safe.’
Restrictions on gyms and indoor sports centres in Wales were due to be lifted on May 10.
But, amid pressure from gym industry leaders, the Welsh government said on Thursday that it was bringing the lifting of the restrictions forward, citing an improvement in the Covid figures.
On Thursday, Mr Drakeford announced the Covid infection rate had dropped to 21 per 100,000. It has dropped even further since.
Meanwhile, the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital beds was 89 on Thursday – the lowest figure since 22 September.
The next review of the coronavirus restrictions is due by May 13, which will take place after the Senedd elections on May 6.
Indoor hospitality and all tourism accommodation can reopen from May 17, subject to confirmation by the party that forms the next Welsh Government.
Wales has the lowest level of virus infections in the UK and is third in the world in terms of vaccine delivery, while case rates are currently below 15 per 100,000 people.