Coronavirus: Lifting of Wales’ travel limits to get final go-ahead

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People in Wales have been told to stay local – restrictions that have not been in place in England

Plans to lift Wales’ “stay local” travel restrictions on Monday will be confirmed by the first minister later.

Mark Drakeford said two weeks ago that travel into and around Wales would be possible from 6 July, providing coronavirus was still under control.

People are currently required to stay within five miles of their home as a guide.

From 6 July, people from two separate households will also be able to join together as one “extended household“.

From Monday, they can meet indoors and stay overnight, in a similar fashion to other “support bubble” arrangements elsewhere in the UK.

It follows the Welsh Government’s announcement on Thursday, that restaurants and pubs can open outdoors from 13 July.

Venues will be able to open in spaces they own and have licences for – as long as Covid-19 cases continue to fall.

Outdoor tourist attractions may also be able to open from 6 July, International Relations Minister Eluned Morgan said on Thursday.

At the Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus news conference on Friday, Mr Drakeford will say that, while some restrictions are being eased in Wales, it is vital that everyone continues social distancing and respects the places and communities that they visit.

On 19 June, he asked people to do “one more lap” and observe the “stay local” message for two more weeks.

“It has really helped to bring the virus under control in Wales,” he said.

“We need you to go on doing it and if you do, then in two weeks we should be in a position where all this can be over.”

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Mark Drakeford will confirm the news at a Friday lunchtime news conference

Visits beyond people’s local area on compassionate grounds, such as to family, care homes or young offenders institutions, have been allowed since 22 June.

Both the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru have called for the five-mile travel advice to be scrapped.

Darren Millar, Welsh Conservative spokesman on Covid-19 recovery, said: “I welcome news that the Welsh Labour-led Government’s arbitrary and cruel five-mile rule is finally being scrapped in Wales but I urge the first minister to bring this forward to today to avoid another lost weekend for those wanting to see their loved ones.”

The Scottish government ended its five-mile travel restriction for leisure and recreation purposes on Friday, apart from around a cross-border coronavirus cluster in southern Scotland and north west England.

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