Wales' First Minister hints at lockdown easing from next week

22 May 2020, 17:05

Mark Drakeford has hinted people may be able to meet with their family members from next week
Mark Drakeford has hinted people may be able to meet with their family members from next week. Picture: PA
Daniel Bevan

By Daniel Bevan

Wales’ First Minister has hinted that people in the country may be able to see family and friends from next week.

Mark Drakeford said he’s hopeful he will can make an announcement on when people from other households can meet up when restrictions are reviewed on 28 May.

But Mr Drakeford has insisted any changes to lockdown will only be put in place based if the scientific evidence indicates it is safe to do so.

Speaking to LBC during today’s daily press briefing, he said: “I hear from people in Wales that, eight weeks into lockdown, the thing they are missing the most is that human contact with family and friends.

"All the opinion work we are doing tells us that people in Wales are on the side of the approach we are taking in being careful and cautious by not rushing our way into things that could run the risk of coronavirus spreading again.

"But by now the thing they miss most is the ability to see and talk to other people.

READ MORE: Lockdown measures in Scotland to be eased from next week - and schools reopen in August

READ MORE: Key evidence on plans to reopen schools next month released by No10's scientific advisers

It is hoped people may be able to meet with those outside their household if measures are relaxed
It is hoped people may be able to meet with those outside their household if measures are relaxed. Picture: PA

"Over the week that leads up to the changes in lockdown restrictions in Wales, we will be focusing very much on this issue. "We’re looking at models that would allow people to do more of that provided it is done in the safest of conditions.

"We’re not there yet, on being sure on how that will best be delivered but it is the most active of our discussions and I’m hopeful we’ll have something to say on that next week."

Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, new fines have come into force in Wales which could see repeat offenders fined up to £1,920.

The Welsh Government’s current message remains to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives - after the country's leaders refused to follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson's easing of restrictions telling people to "Stay Alert".

READ MORE: UK's coronavirus R number stays between 0.7 and 1 for second week

READ MORE: Children '56 per cent less likely to catch coronavirus than adults'

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Mr Drakeford's statement comes the day after Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland's coronavirus lockdown measures will start to be relaxed next week.

The First Minister said that from 28 May, people will be able sit in parks with people from one other household while observing social distancing.

Golf, tennis, bowls, fishing and other non-contact outdoor activities will be allowed to resume, along with letting people travel a short distance to take part in recreation.

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