By Zoe Kramer | News Editor
The changes to the law would involve allowing nightclubs to reopen as well as relaxing guidelines on social distancing in offices. There would no longer be limits on the number of people who can meet indoors and there will no longer be a law on social distancing. Face masks would still be required in most public indoor spaces with the exception of hospitality, and those who are able to work from home will be asked to continue doing so where possible.
Following a spike in COVID-19 cases, Wales has been at Alert Level 1 since the 17th of July, which allows for private gatherings of up to six people to meet indoors and public gatherings of up to 200 standing and 1000 seated individuals. Adopting the new Alert Level 0 status would mean Wales still has more COVID-19 rules in play than England.
Scotland is pursuing a similar path, with current plans to end all restrictions on August 9th. As of the 19th of July, two hour pub and restaurant slots were no longer required and up to 10 people from up to four households were allowed to meet outdoors.
The Welsh policy is proceeding cautiously, with risk assessments replacing most restrictions.
According to First Minister Mark Drakeford: “We are entering a new phase of the pandemic. Cases of the virus have risen sharply since the Delta variant emerged six weeks ago but, thanks to our fantastic vaccination programme, we are not seeing these translate into large numbers of people falling seriously ill or needing hospital treatment.
“We can move to alert level one for indoor spaces from July 17 and go further for outdoor spaces because we know the risk of transmission outdoors is lower.”
“We are also publishing plans for a new alert level zero, which will have fewer legal restrictions but which will still need all of us to take steps to protect ourselves.”
England has similar guidance coming into play from the 19th of July, with the chief difference being that face coverings will not be required by law, whereas in Wales they will be required in shops and other public indoor spaces. In England, venues such as nightclubs will be encouraged to screen their patrons with the NHS COVID Pass to gain entry, however this is not required by law.
This affects travel restrictions as well. Recommendations against traveling to “amber list” countries will no longer be in place. Minors as well as fully vaccinated adults will also no longer be required to self-isolate after visiting these countries.
In areas with high numbers of Delta variant cases such as Manchester and Liverpool, guidelines dictate to continue social distancing two metres apart, meet with others outdoors, and minimise travel.
For more information about the new government rules and guidelines coming into effect from the 7th of August, follow this link: https://gov.wales/coronavirus