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Wales coronavirus rules: Up to four people will be able to meet in cafés and pubs after fire-break

Wales’ First Minister has said up to four people will be able to meet in cafés and pubs under new coronavirus rules after the fire-break lockdown ends.

The limit of four will be implemented after listening to young and single people who had made it clear how important socialising was to them, Mark Drakeford said on Tuesday.

Mr Drakeford confirmed that all shops, gyms, and other premises normally open to the public but which were required to close during the fire-break will be allowed to reopen from Monday, November 9.

To begin with Mr Drakeford has asked people visit these places in as small a group as possible, which means for many this will only be the people they live with. The limit of four people only applies to a group who are not all in one household. It means a family of six, for example, who all live as a single household can still go to the pub or to a restaurant together and would not be breaking the rules.

He said: “We have listened to those young people and single people who told us how important it is for them to meet some friends and other family members.

“So the regulations will allow groups of up to four individuals to meet in a regulated setting such as a restaurant, café, or pub. But this is subject to strict protections discussed with the hospitality sector including advance booking, time-limited slots, and verified identification. As in all aspects of our lives maintaining the basics of good hygiene and keeping our distance will be crucial in these settings.”



Pubs and cafés will be able to welcome customers back in groups of up to four from Monday

Mr Drakeford warned that this did not give people carte blanche to head out and socialise unchecked, instead stressing that people still need to follow social distancing measures.

He added: “This is a permission, not something we are encouraging people to do. It is the most challenging change from a public health perspective and will be kept under continuous review. Its success depends on the actions of the sector and each of us to use this permission responsibly and sparingly.”

Mr Drakeford said the 10pm curfew on alcohol sales would remain in place for now. You can follow the latest news and how businesses respond to the latest announcement on our live blog.

Certain organised activities for groups of up to 15 people indoors, and 30 people outdoors, will be allowed with risk assessments and all reasonable measures taken to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus. These activities will not be able to involve the sale or consumption of alcohol. People will also not be able to meet in gardens with anyone other than their extended household, it’s been confirmed. Read more about that here.

From Monday it will also be possible for groups of up to four people from different households to meet outside, for instance in a park or to go for a walk, providing they adhere to social distancing guidelines.



Customers will still have to adhere to strict protections discussed with the hospitality sector, including advance booking, time-limited slots and verified identification

Mr Drakeford said he had tried to keep the new national rules “as simple as possible” and there would be no return to local travel restrictions.

“People will be able to travel anywhere within Wales but we are asking everyone to behave responsibly, to stay close to home, and continue to limit their contact with others,” he said.

“We all need to take steps to keep each other safe. Many people have made huge sacrifices to live within the rules before the fire-break. I am grateful to them. Over the winter period we must all live our lives differently so that the effort we have made together is not wasted and we do not have to undergo a further fire-break later in the year.

“We must all keep our contacts with others to an absolute minimum, keep the circle of people we meet as small as possible, and consider other ways of keeping in touch.”

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