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Golf courses and outdoor sports facilities can re-open in Wales this weekend as lockdown restrictions lifted

Golf courses and outdoor sports courts in Wales will be able to re-open from Saturday, March 13.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is set to make the announcement at his lunchtime Welsh Government press conference on Friday, March 12, from 12.15pm.

Outdoor sports facilities including basketball and tennis courts will be able to welcome visitors back from this weekend while four people from two households will also be able to meet outdoors to socialise.

Currently rules permit four people from two households to meet up to exercise, with the rule coming in from February 20 allowing people to go for a walk, bike ride, or run together. It is yet to be confirmed whether this will also apply to outdoor exercise at facilities which can now re-open.

Key to allowing outdoor sports facilities to resume trading is the Welsh Government lifting its “stay at home” requirement and replacing it with “stay local” from Saturday, marking a departure from restrictions which meant exercise had to start and finish at your front door and not include driving. The “stay local” rule is likely to be similar to what people in Wales were asked to adhere to last summer when they were told to stay within a five-mile radius of their home.



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You can follow live updates on Wales’ latest lockdown-easing announcements via our live blog here from 6am on Friday.

Other restrictions which are being eased include meeting up in gardens, while updates have been issued on non-essential retail and hairdressers – which you can read in full here.

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The First Minister will also announce an additional £150m to support businesses affected by ongoing restrictions.

Mr Drakeford will say: “We are taking a phased approach to unlocking each sector – starting with schools.

“We will make step-by-step changes each week to gradually restore freedoms. We will monitor each change we make, so we know what impact each change has had on Wales’ public health situation.”

  • From Saturday, March 13, the existing ‘stay at home’ message will be replaced by a ‘stay local’ rule
  • Also from Saturday up to four people from a maximum of two households will be able to socialise together outdoors, including in gardens
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as basketball and tennis courts and golf courses can also open again from Saturday
  • Care home visits will be able to resume from Saturday, March 13, on the basis of a single designated visitor
  • From Monday, March 15, all primary school pupils will return to face-to-face teaching, as will exam-year students in secondary schools. Wholesale school re-opening will not take place until after the Easter break
  • Hairdressers and barbers can re-open for appointments from Monday, March 15
  • Non-essential retail will begin to re-open on a gradual basis from Monday, March 22. At that stage shops such as supermarkets, which are currently entitled to remain open, will see restrictions on what they can sell removed while garden centres can re-open from that date
  • All shops, including close contact services, will be able to re-open from April 12

All gyms and fitness and leisure centres in Wales were forced to close on December 20 last year when new “alert level four” lockdown restrictions – the most serious – were enforced.

Due to an increase in coronavirus-related hospital admissions it was decided that the date for increased lockdown measures, originally set for December 28, would be brought forward.

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