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COVID-19: Wales lockdown to ease slightly with cross-border travel allowed from 12 April

Written by on 31 March 2021

Pubs, restaurants and cafes could reopen outdoors in Wales from 26 April, while cross-border travel between the country and the rest of the UK will be allowed from 12 April.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will confirm the next steps in easing Wales’s lockdown at a briefing on Thursday, as he aims for the country to fully move down to Alert Level 3 by 17 May.

Under the Welsh government’s plan:

• On 12 April: Students in Wales will return to face-to-face education and all remaining non-essential retail and close contact services will be allowed to reopen. COVID rules will also be changed to allow travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the UK and the Common Travel Area
• On 22 April: The Welsh government will formally review COVID restrictions
• On 26 April: Subject to that review, outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality will reopen, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants
• By early May: The Welsh government plans to allow organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people to take place, and for gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities to reopen for individual or one-to-one training although not exercise classes.

Mr Drakeford will warn, however, that the next steps on Wales’ lockdown-easing roadmap remain subject to public health conditions “continuing to remain favourable”.

Wales moved to Alert Level 4 – equivalent to a lockdown – in December last year.

A “stay at home” order in Wales was lifted earlier this month and replaced with a “stay local” message, accompanied by a slight loosening of restrictions on socialising outdoors.

Outdoor sports facilities, including basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses, have already been allowed to resume in Wales, while hairdressers and barbers reopened on 15 March.

That was the same day that all primary pupils and those in qualifications years returned to school.