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Lockdown Changes To Allow Families To Meet

People from two households can meet if social distancing rules are maintained.

Friends and families across Wales are able to meet up for the first time in weeks as lockdown measures are eased slightly.

People from two homes - can meet in outdoor spaces but you must follow social distancing rules, hand hygiene and not travel more than 5 miles to see each other.

Meeting outdoors is key as the science tells us the virus survives only for minutes outside but for hours on indoor surfaces.

The changes follow the third statutory review of the regulations by Welsh Ministers. 

The review is based on the latest scientific evidence from SAGE and the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.

Wales has passed the first peak of infection and rates are falling but the R rate remains at 0.8. Both SAGE and the World Health Organisation has advised changes should only be made one step at a time.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "We recognise what people have given up to help Wales slow the spread of coronavirus. I want to thank everyone for everything they have done – by sticking to the rules, we are all helping to protect each other and help our NHS respond to the pandemic.

"We know people are missing seeing their family and friends – the latest evidence, which underpins this review, means we can make some changes, to enable people to meet again, if it is done outdoors and locally, and people continue to follow the social distancing guidance.

"We are learning more about this virus every day and we know the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors. That’s why, if we all remain two metres apart, two households will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

"However, a lower risk doesn’t mean no risk. Even in these circumstances it is vital we all maintain social distancing so we can continue to tackle the spread of this virus.

"Now and in the days and months ahead we all have a personal responsibility to make sure our actions don’t contribute to the spread of coronavirus. Please help keep Wales safe by staying local."

A decision about whether non-essential retail will reopen will be taken at the next review on 18 June and will depend on the scientific and medical evidence.

At the next review, the Welsh Government will examine options for:

Re-opening non-essential retail
Increasing capacity for childcare and public transport to support a wider return to work
Facilitating moving house to boost the housing market
Re-opening outdoors sites, including outdoor markets, sports courts, outdoor showrooms, and outdoor museums
Re-opening facilities for non-professional elite athletes to train safely.

The First Minister added: "I am signalling to businesses across Wales that they may begin preparations to be ready to resume activity in these areas should the evidence support reopening.

"This will allow us to restart activity as soon as possible if the conditions allow. We will continue to work closely with the public sector, trade unions, businesses, the third sector and others to achieve this."

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