The Welsh government will start phasing out the additional CCP virus restrictions that were brought in after Christmas, First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Friday.
The removal of rules will start on Jan. 15, and if “conditions allow,” Wales will return to alert level zero on Jan. 28.
Drakeford said the decision came as the latest data suggests that although the level of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus infections continue to be high, the number of cases seem to have peaked, and there have been “positive signs of recovery.”
Under the current level two restrictions, triggered by the arrival of the Omicron CCP virus variant, up to six people are allowed to gather, both indoor and outdoor, unless the group is from one large household.
A two-metre (6.5 feet) social distancing rule is in place for all public spaces and workspaces, and it’s an offence to go to the office if it’s possible to work from home.
Nightclubs have been ordered to close, and the number of people allowed to attend events is limited, with indoor events capped at 30 attendants and outdoor events at 50.
According to the government’s phased plan, on Saturday, the number of spectators allowed at outdoor sports events will increase from 50 to 500.
The rest of the rules will be removed over the following two weeks, subject to weekly reviews.
On Jan. 21, restrictions for outdoor activities are expected to be lifted.
If CCP virus infections continue to drop, the rule of six will no longer apply for outdoor gatherings, events, as well as in outdoor hospitality settings, where table service will cease to be mandatory.
From Jan. 28, the two-metre social distancing rules are expected to be removed, indoor gatherings will not be limited by the rule of six, and licensed premises will no longer be limited to table service and no longer have to collect visitors’ contact details.
Nightclubs can also reopen on Jan. 28, and working from home will become a guidance instead of a legal requirement.
However, compulsory indoor mask-wearing, self-isolation rules, and COVID Passes as a condition for entry for night clubs, large indoor and outdoor events, cinemas, theatres, and concert halls will remain.
After January, the Welsh government will review the rules every three weeks, with the first changes, if any, announced on Feb. 11.