10th July 2020

In_pictures Coronavirus in Wales: Playgrounds to reopen from 20 July

In_pictures Coronavirus in Wales: Playgrounds to reopen from 20 July

In_pictures

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Playgrounds in Wales will open in just over a week’s time

Playgrounds and community centres will reopen in Wales from 20 July.

The announcement is part of the next three-week plan to lift coronavirus restrictions, to be announced later.

It includes confirmation for pubs, restaurants and cafes to resume trading on Monday, outdoors.

Hairdressers will be able to take appointments the same day, while the wider beauty industry, including tattooists, will be told to prepare for reopening on 27 July.

Playgrounds have been closed since the start of lockdown – the Welsh Government said it was allowing them to reopen ahead of the summer holidays.

A spokesman said the measures announced on Friday will see “large parts of Wales’ visitor, hospitality, leisure and tourism industries reopen”.

The Welsh Government did not say overnight what all the measures are. Individual changes will be phased in each Monday.

More details are expected when First Minister Mark Drakeford holds a press conference at lunchtime.

Wales is the last part of the UK to set a date for when indoor hospitality, including pubs and restaurants, can reopen.

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Hairdressers can reopen from Monday, by appointment only

Unions have called for an opening date for the hospitality industry – while the pub industry has called for social distancing rules to be relaxed.

But after pictures emerged of crowds when English pubs reopened last weekend, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he did not want to see similar scenes in Wales.

While pubs will be able to reopen in outdoor licenced areas on Monday, pub group Wetherspoon said it would not do so, while Brains said it would only be able to open one or two of its managed pubs.

In_pictures ‘Lives and livelihoods’

The Welsh Conservatives called for the 2m rule to be relaxed and demanded a ten-point plan of action, including the reopening of campsites, face coverings on public transport and in shops, and the reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

“This pandemic is about lives and livelihoods. It has never just been a public health emergency, it’s an economic one too, but the Welsh Labour-led Government is dragging its feet on the reopening of our economy and society,” Darren Millar, Welsh Tory spokesman for Covid-19 recovery, said.

Plaid Cymru health spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth said a “much clearer strategy” was needed for using the available capacity to test for the virus.

He called for regular tests for all healthcare workers and for test results to be faster.

“Waiting times have been getting longer, undermining the ‘early warning system’ needed to stamp out covid outbreaks,” he said.

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Mark Drakeford will take the daily Welsh Government press conference on Friday

The reopening of hairdressers by appointment has been one of several measures already announced by Mark Drakeford.

The Welsh Government usually trails potential moves with the caveat that it will depend on the trajectory of the pandemic, and Covid-19 cases continuing to decline.

Friday will be the latest in a string of three-week reviews, which have become a regular occurrence since lockdown began in March.

Last Monday travel restrictions were ended and outdoor visitor attractions were allowed to reopen.

From 11 July self-contained tourist accommodation can take bookings.

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