Face masks to remain mandatory in Wales as restrictions ease

Almost all coronavirus restrictions in Wales will be lifted next month but it will remain the law to wear a face mask on public transport and in most indoor settings, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford (pictured) said Wales will move fully into alert Level 1 from July 17 – following a four-week pause due to the rise of the Delta variant.

If infection rates then remain stable and even more people are vaccinated, Wales will move to Level 0 on August 7.

Mr Drakeford set out a detailed plan to see the legal restrictions eased and freedoms restored.

From July 17, up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation, organised indoor events can take place for up to 1,000 people seated and up to 200 standing, and ice rinks can reopen.

Mr Drakeford said: “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 be reasonably confident that vaccination has weakened the link between infections and serious illness.

“But there is still a risk that this third wave of the pandemic could cause real harm – either direct harm from the virus or indirect harm from, for example, people having to isolate.

“We can move to alert Level 1 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 0, which will have fewer legal restrictions but which will still need all of us to take steps to protect ourselves.”

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