Wales’ lockdown rules are changing again this week with all schoolchildren back to the classroom and shops re-opening.
On Thursday the Welsh Government published a revised timetable of key lockdown dates for coronavirus restriction easing in Wales.
The move was made as coronavirus cases fell to their lowest rate since September.
The Welsh Government say the public health situation – and vaccination rates – continue to improve. The pressure on hospitals is also easing.
Confirmed cases in hospital beds continue to reduce, and now stand at 89. This is 26% lower than last Thursday and is the lowest position since September 22, 2020.
Things changing from this Monday, April 12, have been confirmed as follows:
All shops can re-open
Essential retail has remained open throughout the pandemic but many shops deemed non-essential have been closed.
Supermarkets were also banned from selling non-essential items but that restriction was lifted on March 22.
From April 12 all shops will be allowed to re-open.
Schoolchildren back into the classrooms
Foundation phase children returned to school on February 22 with some older children following on March 15.
But from April 12 all children will return to schools for face-to-face learning.
The Welsh Government say that was a “priority”.
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Universities can re-open
University campus’ will be able to open for blended face-to-face/online learning for all students as will further education and training centres.
Close contact services resume
While hairdressers and barbers have been able to re-open already other close contact services like beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers can once again open customers from April 12.
Mobile services can also resume.
Driving lessons can resume
Under alert level four rules driving lessons and tests were not allowed except for limited emergency tests for people who need to drive as part of their job.The rules have meant thousands of people across the country have been unable to take lessons or had tests delayed or cancelled since December’s lockdown.
Driving instructors had said they were struggling to survive .
The UK Government, which has powers over driving tests, says that it hopes to allow car driving lessons, car and trailer driving lessons, large goods vehicle (LGV) training, and driving instructor training to resume and theory tests, motorcycle tests, LGV driving tests and car and trailer driving tests to get going again from April 12.
People can travel to Wales from England (and vice versa)
In the changes announced ahead of the Easter holiday the Welsh Government lifted the “stay local” rule which allowed people to travel around Wales but said people could not enter Wales without a reasonable excuse. From April 12 that will be lifted.
A spokesman said: “Travel restrictions on travelling into and out of Wales will be lifted. However restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse remain in place. The Common Travel Area means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland.”
Travel to other parts of the United Kingdom and Common Travel Area are dependent on the rules of each area.
From April 12 the UK Government will allow members of the same household to take a holiday together in England in self-contained accommodation.
International travel remains banned
A ban on international travel remains in place with travel only permitted in limited circumstances.
Viewings at wedding venues can begin
Couples will be able to book viewings at wedding venues as long as they make an appointment.
Canvassing for elections will be allowed
Until now those campaigning for elections, including the Senedd elections on May 6, have not been allowed to go out knocking on doors or canvassing people. That will be allowed from April 12.