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Up to 30 people can meet outdoors in Wales as lockdown eased

Public Health Wales said physical distancing must be maintained ‘at all times’.

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First Minister Mark Drakeford marked the reopening of indoor hospitality at Page’s Fish and Chip restaurant in Cwmbran (Matt Horwood/PA)

First Minister Mark Drakeford marked the reopening of indoor hospitality at Page’s Fish and Chip restaurant in Cwmbran (Matt Horwood/PA)

First Minister Mark Drakeford marked the reopening of indoor hospitality at Page’s Fish and Chip restaurant in Cwmbran (Matt Horwood/PA)

Up to 30 people can now meet outside in Wales while maintaining social distancing, with pubs and restaurants in the country able to open indoors.

Children under the age of 11 no longer need to keep two metres from each other or adults, following scientific evidence that the risk of transmission is lower among that age group.

Changes to coronavirus regulations in Wales on Monday also include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes being able to reopen indoors as well as bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls.

Licensed wedding venues are able to reopen to provide wedding ceremonies – though indoor receptions are still banned.

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First Minister Mark Drakeford speaks to the owner of Page’s Fish and Chips restaurant, John Page (Matt Horwood)

First Minister Mark Drakeford speaks to the owner of Page’s Fish and Chips restaurant, John Page (Matt Horwood)

First Minister Mark Drakeford speaks to the owner of Page’s Fish and Chips restaurant, John Page (Matt Horwood)

First Minister Mark Drakeford marked the reopening of indoor hospitality with a visit to Page’s Fish and Chip restaurant in Cwmbran, where he praised the efforts of businesses across Wales in complying with Covid-19 regulations.

He said: “I’ve been so impressed with all of the businesses across Wales who have shown care and resilience and adapted in these strange times. I know it has not been easy.”

He added: “The careful and cautious approach we have taken in Wales, which has been carried out by people who have put their communities front and centre, means coronavirus cases continue to fall here in Wales.

“I’m asking everyone to continue in the same spirit – carefully and cautiously. When you go and enjoy some of the things that are now open and that you have been missing, like eating in your favourite local restaurant, keep yourself and others safe by washing your hands regularly and keeping a two metre distance.”

The owner of the restaurant, John Page, said: “I was delighted to welcome the First Minister on our reopening day and I give my support for his measures throughout Covid-19.

“Under Covid we had to adapt. As soon as we got told restaurants were closing we kept our takeaway open and started doing home deliveries which have been very popular.

“We now have a number of delivery vehicles and we intend to keep deliveries going as well as running our busy takeaway and restaurant.”

On Monday, Public Health Wales said there were no further deaths from people who had tested positive for Covid-19, with the total number of deaths in the country remaining at 1,565.

A further 24 positive cases were recorded, bringing the total figure in Wales to 17,339.

Dr Giri Shankar, incident director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said the public and businesses still had a responsibility to keep to public health guidelines.

“We continue to caution and remind the public and business owners that we all have a vital role in preventing the spread of coronavirus by always sticking to social distancing guidelines – staying two metres away from others, and washing hands regularly,” he said.

“When travelling you should also avoid car sharing with people outside your household.”

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said swimming pools, gyms, leisure centres and children’s indoor play areas would be able to reopen from August 10 if conditions allow.

The Welsh Government will then look to offer people “more opportunities” to meet indoors from August 15, he said.

PA