image captionPubs and restaurant owners had been keen to know when they could reopen
Pubs and restaurants in Wales could reopen indoors in time for the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May.
The Welsh government also said two households could meet indoors from 10 May, if Covid cases remained low.
Travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the UK and Common Travel Area can go ahead from 12 April and hospitality could reopen outdoors from 26 April.
From 3 May, wedding receptions with up to 30 people can take place outdoors.
Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities will also be able to reopen from 10 May. This will include individual or one-to-one training, but not exercise classes.
Both the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru said gyms should be allowed to reopen immediately.
Spring Bank Holiday Monday is 31 May, but the Welsh government has not specified a date for reopening hospitality indoors.
It said after 17 May it would “consider enabling indoor hospitality and remaining visitor accommodation to reopen in advance of the Spring Bank Holiday”.
What lockdown restrictions are easing and when?
Provided cases remain low, the following things will be permitted:
Monday, 12 April
- Travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the UK and Common Travel Area
- Students return to face-to-face education
- All remaining non-essential retail and close contact services, like beauty salons, allowed to reopen
Monday, 26 April
- Outdoor hospitality, including cafes, pubs and restaurants
- Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks
Monday, 3 May
- Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people
- Outdoor wedding receptions attended by no more than 30 people
Monday, 10 May
- People will be allowed to form extended households again, allowing two households to meet and have contact indoors
- Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. Individual and one-to-one training will be allowed, but not exercise classes
Monday, 17 May
- Children’s indoor activities
- Community centres
- Organised indoor activities for adults, limited to a maximum of 15 people. This includes exercise classes
How have businesses reacted?
image captionLucy Hywel says throwing away stock has been painful
Tracy Lawler, who owns The Dressing Room Boutique in Prestatyn in Denbighshire, said she was excited to reopen on 12 April.
“I can’t wait, my customers can’t wait,” she told Claire Summers on BBC Radio Wales.
“I have a small boutique, because it is small and intimate I can keep it really ultra clean after each person has entered and left the store – it is probably a safer environment than some of the bigger stores.
“I’m probably one of the safest public places for people to come in and the government is saying to me that I can’t open up [yet]… very frustrating.”
Lucy Hywel, who owns That’s Lovely That in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire and is secretary of Y Fenni Business Community, added: “We’re hurt and we’re still hurting.
“I myself have thrown out loads of food, thousands of pounds worth of stock, even last week, stock I thought I may have sold in the lead up to Easter got chucked away and that pain is there every time you do something like that.”
But she said she was excited and could not wait to reopen.
The Chief Executive of North Wales Tourism Jim Jones said he was “slightly relieved” by the announcement.
“The most significant date, especially for us, is 12 April, because that is the time travel restrictions will be lifted and maybe 85% of our custom comes from elsewhere in the United Kingdom and outside of Wales,” he said.
But he said would like more answers for the hospitality sector: “People like to go to a cafe, they like to go to a restaurant – for them to wait two months, bearing in mind the amount of work they did to ensure they were Covid secure was incredible.”
image captionVictoria Hallimi says the past few months have been really tough
Victoria Hallimi, who owns Victoria’s Driving School in Swansea, gave her last lesson on 13 December but can now reopen on 12 April.
She said: “I’m feeling good today…
“My phone was going a bit crazy last night as soon as the announcement was made…
“I was up until about 11/11:30 last night scheduling everybody in”.
She said the past few months had been “really tough” and her husband had been doing a lot of overtime to make up for her not being able to work: “He can relax now,” she said.
image captionKelly John has not paid herself a wage since January
While hairdressers were able to reopen on 15 March, beauticians providing services which require them to be closer to their customers have not.
They will now be able to reopen from 12 April.
Kelly John, owner of KMW Beauty in Maesteg, Bridgend county, said she has not paid herself a wage since January to ensure she had enough money in her business account to buy supplies when she was allowed to reopen.
“Luckily my husband is working, otherwise I wouldn’t have a house,” the mother-of-two said.
“But being an independent woman, it is really hard. I can’t do anything – it’s Easter this weekend and I haven’t bought anything.”
image captionKelly John, pictured with husband Kieron and sons Callum and Ellis, says she has felt dependent on her husband
‘Moving Wales into Alert Level 3’
In a statement titled Moving Wales into Alert Level 3, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The sacrifices we have all made are having a positive effect in the battle against coronavirus.
“This last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us and again I want to thank everyone for their efforts.
“These efforts have allowed us to gradually ease the restrictions, to gradually introduce more elements of normal life.
“With the weather improving, with more opportunities to see family and friends, there are reasons for optimism. However, we can’t let our guard down yet. We all still need to be vigilant, we still need to do our part to keep this deadly disease at bay.”
While parts of Wales’ lockdown have eased quicker than elsewhere in the UK, the Welsh government had been reluctant to set out a full list of when different sectors would reopen.
Mr Drakeford was previously critical of the UK government for aiming to end all rules on social contact by 21 June at the earliest – saying that was very optimistic.
image captionFirst Minister Mark Drakeford has criticised Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown in England as otpimistic
What is the Covid case rate in Wales?
The announcement comes as latest figures show admissions to hospitals of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases have hit a record low – it stood at a daily seven-day average of 21 on Tuesday.
Seventeen confirmed and suspected Covid patients were admitted across Wales, with none at all in Cwm Taf Morgannwg hospitals for two days running.
Covid admissions now make up 2% of all hospital admissions.
Wales’ case rate stands at 36.8 per 100,000 people over seven days, compared with 40.6 a week ago.
The country has been below the 5% recommended threshold on the number of tests coming back positive for 26 days.
What has been the political reaction?
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said: “The Labour government must explain why it has taken them so long to provide businesses with greater certainty on when they can expect to reopen.
“Having been closed for so long, the least they deserve is more time to prepare.”
The Welsh Conservatives’ Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said: “Whilst we welcome the restart of non-essential retail, it’s regrettable Labour have not seen fit to give the green light to the safe reopening of gyms given two months ago ministers claimed it was a priority, and considering the huge toll lockdown has had on the physical and mental well-being of thousands of Welsh people.
“With the progress we’ve made on case rates and vaccination, we also believe consideration should’ve been given to the reopening of outdoor hospitality in Wales.”
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said: “Now that more and more of Wales is opening up and life is slowly returning to normal, it’s time to put our recovery first.
“I want to see support for those individuals who will lose their jobs when furlough ends, those who are likely to lose their homes when the ban on evictions is lifted and those whose mental health has suffered as a result of this pandemic.”