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Coronavirus

Non-essential Welsh retail to begin reopening from 22 March

The easing of restrictions on the retail industry came as part of Mark Drakeford’s final Covid-19 briefing before the Senedd election

Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales, has announced an easing of lockdown restrictions, starting with the reopening of non-essential retail on Monday (22 March).

While historic sites and gardens are currently under review with a final decision expected next week, garden centres will open first alongside the rest of non-essential retail.

The easing of restrictions on the retail industry came as part of Drakeford’s final Covid-19 briefing before the Senedd election.

The first minister also revealed plans to lift its “stay local” restrictions from 27 March, on the pretence that Covid-19 cases continue to fall.

Drakeford said: ”If conditions remain positive, on 27 March we will lift stay local and begin the process of re-opening our tourism sector, starting with self-contained accommodation and organised outdoor children’s activities for the Easter holidays.”

However, during the announcement Drakeford recognised the “very likely” possibility of a third wave in Wales.

He said: ”The question is not whether it will happen, it’s how it will happen and how we will deal with it.

”Not having the same effect on our hospitals, not having the same effect on people falling ill. We continue to think about that and prepare for it.”

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