Nightclubs reopen in Wales

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Past the peak of Omicron variant: Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford
Past the peak of Omicron variant: Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford

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Nightclubs in Wales have been allowed to reopen as the country moves into alert level 0 as coronavirus cases begin to stabilise, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

The move on Friday 28 January completes the Welsh government’s phased lifting of the alert level 2 protections, which were put in place on Boxing Day as the Omicron Covid variant swept across the country.

Other restrictions affecting the hospitality sector include the removal of the rule of six that applied to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.

Licensed premises will no longer need to only provide table service and collect contact details. However, the Covid Pass will continue to be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

No face masks for sector

Face covering rules, which apply on public transport and in most public indoor places will remain in force with the exception of hospitality settings such as pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes.

Drakeford said: “We have passed the peak of this Omicron wave and there are encouraging signs that cases of coronavirus may be starting to stabilise. But we all need to continue taking steps to stay safe – unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet.

“We are moving to alert level 0 and we will retain some important protections, such as face coverings in most indoor public places and risk assessments.

“We can do this thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone in Wales and the remarkable success of our vaccine and booster programmes. Thank you all.”

Approaching endemic phase

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru health spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth told the BBC​ said: “The positive signs are there that we may be approaching an endemic phase – although we’re not there just yet.

“The Welsh government must now get robust measures in place so we can learn to live with Covid as an endemic disease but be able to respond quickly should circumstances change.

“They must also get a plan in place to ensure that our NHS itself makes a full recovery.”

The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 10 February, when all the measures at alert level 0 will be reviewed.

England exited Plan B restrictions on Thursday 27 January​ while there has been easing of rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland too.

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