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Covid: Two households can form bubble after Wales’ lockdown

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

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image copyrightGetty Images

image captionPeople in Wales are being asked to stay at home until 9 November

Two households in Wales will be able to form a bubble and meet at home after 9 November.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced some of the rules that will be in place when the firebreak ends.

There will be no travel restrictions within Wales, but people will not be able to leave the country except for essential purposes like work during the English lockdown.

Groups of 15 will be allowed to meet for organised indoors activities.

Outdoors, 30 will be able to meet for organised activities.

All businesses that were closed throughout the firebreak will be able to reopen, Mr Drakeford told a press conference.

But it is not clear under what terms pubs and restaurants will be required to operate.

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The first minister said plans for the “unexpected” English lockdown, which is due to start on Thursday, have an impact on the next steps following the stay-at-home period.

“The English lockdown will have an impact on people who live in Wales but work in England; on companies operating in both England and Wales and on businesses trading along the border.

“It’s really important that as we open up, Wales doesn’t become an escape for people seeking to circumvent the new tighter restrictions imposed by the prime minister.”

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionRetailers have been required to shut during the firebreak lockdown

After 9 November people will be able to meet others from their extended household bubble at home.

There will be new arrangements in other indoors settings – but Mr Drakeford said there would be further consideration of how hospitality operates in light of the English lockdown.

Ministers met over the weekend to discuss the measures that would be put in place after the end of the Welsh firebreak lockdown.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at the weekend that England would go into a month-long lockdown, the Welsh Government reiterated that the Welsh version would end on 9 November.

Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops have been required to shut, and people were told to stay at home. Supermarkets were instructed to stop selling non-essential items.

How will travel ban work?

Mr Drakeford stressed that people who live and work on different sides of the Wales-England border will still be able to travel between the two nations.

The Welsh Government will introduce a “restricted list of essential purposes” to allow people to travel between the countries.

He said “it will be the same broad system on both sides of the border”.

“People who live in Wales but work in England will have a reasonable reason for travelling to work,” he said.

“And people who live in England and work in Wales really clearly have a reasonable excuse for coming across the border to work here.

“But it will be a restricted list of essential purposes, rather than the normal too-ing and fro-ing across the border that you would have seen in less fraught and difficult times”.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAll businesses closed during the firebreak will be able to reopen

No trips abroad but holidays can happen in Wales

The first minister says people living in Wales can go on holiday in Wales when the Covid firebreak comes to an end next week.

People in Wales will be subject to the same ban on international travel as people in England.

Mark Drakeford said: “I can confirm that people will be able to travel within Wales, they won’t be confined to their local authority area as was the case during the firebreak.”

He added that “tourism will be able to reopen”.

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