Wales to introduce new national measures after firebreak ends

A new set of national rules are being introduced across Wales once the 17-day firebreak ends, First Minister Mark Drakeford said.

Some of the new measures are still being finalised following the announcement over the weekend about a month-long lockdown in England, which will start on Thursday.

Mr Drakeford outlined the new measures during a Welsh Government press conference on Monday and they will come into force on November 9.

First Minister Mark Drakeford
First Minister Mark Drakeford (Ben Birchall/PA)

The new national measures include:

– The need to maintain two-metre social distancing and wear face masks in enclosed public places, including on public transport and taxis, will continue;

– The requirement to work from home whenever possible will remain;

– People should only meet with their "bubble" in their own home and only two households will be able to form a "bubble". If one person from either household develops symptoms, everyone should immediately self-isolate;

– Up to 15 people can take part in an organised indoor activity and up to 30 in an organised activity outdoors, providing all social distancing, hand hygiene and other Covid-19 safety measures are followed;

– All premises, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and gyms, closed during the firebreak will be able to reopen. Following the announcement about the English lockdown, ministers are having ongoing discussions with the hospitality sector about the detailed rules for reopening. This includes about meeting in public indoor spaces;

– As part of keeping risks to a minimum, people should avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. There will be no legal restrictions on travel within Wales for residents, but international travel should be for essential reasons only.

Mr Drakeford said that in addition, all schools will reopen, churches and places of worship will be able to resume services, local authority services will resume and community centres will be available for small groups to meet safely indoors.

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Supermarkets in Wales hit by ban
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Supermarkets in Wales hit by ban
BLACKWOOD, WALES - OCTOBER 24: A general view of an isle in a supermarket which has used signage to advertise non essential goods which are restricted from sale due to the Welsh firebreak lockdown restrictions on October 24, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - OCTOBER 24: A general view of a supermarket which has used mannequins and advertisements to cordon off non essential goods which are restricted from sale under the Welsh firebreak lockdown restrictions on October 24, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - OCTOBER 24: A general view of an isle in a supermarket which has used signage to advertise non essential goods which are restricted from sale due to the Welsh firebreak lockdown restrictions on October 24, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - OCTOBER 24: A general view of a supermarket which has used mannequins and advertisements to cordon off non essential goods which are restricted from sale under the Welsh firebreak lockdown restrictions on October 24, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - OCTOBER 23: Non-essential items are blocked off in a Tesco supermarket on Western Avenue on October 23, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales will go into a national lockdown from Friday until November 9. People will be told to stay at home and pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops must shut. Primary schools will reopen after the half-term break, but only Years 7 and 8 in secondary schools can return at that time under new "firebreak" rules. Gatherings indoors and outdoors with people not in your household will also be banned. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - OCTOBER 23: Non-essential items are blocked off in a Tesco supermarket on Western Avenue on October 23, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales will go into a national lockdown from Friday until November 9. People will be told to stay at home and pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops must shut. Primary schools will reopen after the half-term break, but only Years 7 and 8 in secondary schools can return at that time under new "firebreak" rules. Gatherings indoors and outdoors with people not in your household will also be banned. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A view shows empty shelves in a supermarket during the first evening of the welsh lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tenby, Wales, Britain October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
A view shows empty shelves in a supermarket during the first evening of the welsh lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tenby, Wales, Britain October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
A view shows empty shelves in a supermarket during the first evening of the welsh lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tenby, Wales, Britain October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
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He said: "Each of us has an important part to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Wales and saving lives – we cannot do this without your help.

"Everyone has made so many sacrifices this year already. To make sure we do not lose all this hard work, we need to carry on looking after each other and keeping ourselves safe.

"This is a virus which thrives on human contact.

"Social contact is important to all of us but to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we need to think carefully about all our meetings and contacts with other people and try and reduce them to reduce our risk of infection.

"Rather than us asking what we can or can't do, we need to ask ourselves what should we be doing to keep our families safe.

"Government rules and regulations are here to help. But the real strength we have is in the choices we make and the actions we take together."

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