Wales travel restrictions to end and tourism to return in July, says Drakeford

Wales plans to end its five-mile restriction on travel next month and allow holidaymakers to return a week later, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford said tourism businesses have three weeks to prepare for the potential changes, which will allow the use of self-contained accommodation such as caravans and cottages.

On Friday, Mr Drakeford said the further headroom to lift restrictions has been created by the efforts of the public to bring coronavirus under control in Wales, where the R number shows Covid-19 is receding at a faster rate than in England.

He told BBC Radio Wales ahead of Friday’s press conference that he wanted people to do “one last lap” of the “stay local” instruction, which restricts travel to five miles, ahead of scrapping it on July 6.

“The ‘stay local’ restrictions will end provided that the virus is still where we need it to be,” he said.

“Once the ‘stay local’ restriction is over, it’s over for all purposes and all distances.”

Coronavirus cases in Wales
(PA Graphics)

On reopening the tourism industry, Mr Drakeford said: “I will be saying to the visitor economy in Wales that they should use the coming three weeks to prepare to reopen self-contained accommodation in Wales during the month of July.

“‘Self-contained’ is very important because coronavirus spreads where people come together and where they share facilities.

“So, if you have a static caravan that’s got its own kitchen and its own bathroom, if you’re renting a cottage, if you’re going to a hotel that has turned itself into self-contained accommodation, there’ll be a clear signal from me today that you should use the next three weeks to get everything in place.”

The First Minister will formally announce what he calls the most “comprehensive package of measures” announced yet for Wales at the Welsh Government’s press briefing on Friday afternoon.

As well as allowing all non-essential retail businesses to reopen from Monday, it is also expected to include allowing private prayer in places of worship, enabling house viewings to take place in empty properties, and house moves where a sale has already been agreed, and lifting restrictions on outdoor non-contact individual sports like tennis.

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