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Non-essential shops, hairdressers and more may re-open soon

Coronavirus cases at their lowest since September

On 19th February, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that the government may ease restrictions on non-essential shops, hair dressers, schools and many other close contact services. The Welsh government has confirmed that its a part of the next 21-day review which will end on 12th March, 2021.

The government is also considering to resume face to face teaching for all primary school goers, some older secondary schoolers and college students from the 15th March 2021.

Stay-at-home restrictions will continue to remain till any further notice. However, four people can now meet outdoors for exercising, but these four people: cannot belong to more than two households, should be living in the same area and cannot drive around to places for exercising purposes.

Close contact services with eased restrictions include hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers. No specific date has been confirmed yet as this will be a staggered approach.

The re-opening of all non-essential shops and close contact services will depend on the fluctuation of infection rate in the next three weeks. Public health Wales’ latest figures show that the infection rates on 13th February have dropped to 83.7 per 100,000 people which is the lowest since September last year.

No restrictions were eased for travelling across the country. Non-essential travel still remains banned since the 20th of December last year.

Mark Drakeford also added that so far everything is going in a “positive direction”. The infection rates are continuing to fall, the positivity rates are continuing to fall and the R number is below one. He said: “The public health situation today has improved significantly thanks to everything we have done together over the last couple of months. Because you have been staying at home and following the rules, overall cases of cornonavirus are now at their lowest level since the end of September.”

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