Coronavirus Update – Further Easing of Covid-19 Restrictions in Wales:
Further to earlier LTBs, this is a summary update following Friday afternoon’s announcement by the Welsh Government’s First Minister Mark Drakeford.
The First Minister announced on Friday the easing of a number of Covid-19 control measures and restrictions in Wales, including the ending of legal requirements for face masks and Covid vaccine passports as part of a sustainable return to a normal way of life. He said that the public health situation continues to improve in Wales – community transmission is reducing steadily and the omicron wave is receding.
The First Minister stated that face masks will no longer be legally required to be worn in indoor settings and added that the wearing of face coverings in shops and other indoor public places will now move to “strongly recommended” but voluntary.
The legal rules on wearing masks and self-isolation are expected to end on 28 March.
From the same date, most people with symptoms will no longer be able to get PCR tests, and free lateral flow tests (LFTs) will end from June.
The country will be the last part of the UK to totally lift its Coronavirus restrictions.
While it will no longer be law to wear masks or self-isolate if people have Coronavirus when rules end, First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would be recommended that people do so in crowded places but it would be voluntary.
Summary For Wales
From The End of March:
- Wales’ last few remaining Covid restrictions are to be scrapped on Monday 28 March.
- People will no longer be required to wear face masks by law. (They will be recommended only in crowded places).
- Businesses will no longer need to carry out Covid-specific risk assessments by law.
- PCR tests will no longer be available for most people with symptoms from 28 March.
- At the end of March routine asymptomatic testing in most schools, childcare and workplaces will also end.
- Lateral flow device (LFD) tests will be available online for free for those people who have symptoms but tests will no longer be available for free from June.
- While self-isolation will no longer be law, people will still be advised to get a test if they have symptoms and isolate if positive.
- A “more targeted” testing scheme aimed at vulnerable people will replace the current regime.
- Wales will be the last part of the UK to totally lift its Coronavirus restrictions.
- The Welsh government has published a plan to “live safely with this virus”.
From The End Of June:
- Free LFD Tests cease to be available for testing people with symptoms.
- Contact tracing ends.
- Self-isolation support payments end.
- Self-isolation guidance will be changed – advising people to take precautions when ill with Covid-19, such as staying at home if possible.
- PCR tests will be kept for certain groups only, such as health and social care staff with symptoms, care home residents, and hospital patients.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer