Further easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales through July; face coverings to be compulsory on public transport

(Title Image: Senedd Research Service)

A further, more significant, easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions is being gradually introduced in Wales over the coming weeks with the leisure, tourism, personal services and hospitality sectors set to be the main beneficiaries.

The First Minister said: “the threat from coronavirus has not gone away and only by all of us acting responsibly will we be able to keep Wales safe. This means maintaining social distancing, thinking carefully about where we go and why.”

Subject to complying with social distancing and other Covid-safe practices:

  • From July 13th 2020 (yesterday), hairdressers and barbers are allowed to open on an appointment-only basis; restaurants, pubs and cafes can serve customers outdoors; outdoor cinemas, indoor visitor attractions and places of worship can reopen if safe to do so – though underground attractions (i.e. showcaves, mining museums) should remain closed.
  • Gatherings of up to 30 people can take place outside for supervised sport and exercise classes.
  • From July 20th 2020, playgrounds, community centres and outdoor gyms can reopen subject to safety precautions.
  • From July 25th 2020 tourist accommodation with shared services (i.e. campsites) can reopen.
  • From July 27th 2020 the following can reopen if safe: beauty therapists, tattoo studios, masseurs; indoor museums, art galleries and archive services. The housing market can also fully resume.

Talks are ongoing as to how to safely reopen indoor gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres, with the next review of regulations set to take place on July 30th 2020.

Yesterday (13th July), the Welsh Government announced that three-layered face coverings will be compulsory on public transport and taxis from 27th July 2020 in order to increase capacity. This is to take into account that maintaining¬† a 2 metre distance on public transport is difficult, if not impossible, as increasing numbers of people return to work ahead of the phasing-out of the UK Government’s furlough scheme.