// Wales poised to go back into full lockdown for the third time from December 28
// However, non-essential retailers will not be allowed to reopen after close of business on Christmas Eve
// It comes after Wales went through a 17-day lockdown earlier in autumn
Wales poised to go back into full lockdown for the third time from December 28, although non-essential retailers will be closed from Christmas Eve, the Welsh Government has announced.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said a “sustained rise in coronavirus” meant that the country would have to move into its highest level of restrictions.
He also said the planned five days of relaxed measures would remain in place following talks between the four UK nations.
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Some measures will come into force on Christmas Eve with all non-essential retail, businesses offering close contact services and all leisure and fitness centres forced to close from the end of the day.
All hospitality premises will be forced to close from 6pm on Christmas Day.
However, tighter restrictions for household mixing, staying-at-home, holiday accommodation and travel will only apply from December 28, with the planned easing of Covid restrictions over Christmas remaining in place between December 23 and 27.
The news comes after Wales went through a 17-day “firebreak” lockdown in late October until early November. It also endured a three-month, UK-wide lockdown over the spring.
“Many of you will have seen the warnings from senior clinicians about the huge impact coronavirus is having on the whole of our health service,” Drakeford told the Welsh Government press briefing today.
“The situation we are facing is extremely serious. We must move to alert level four and tighten the restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus and save lives.
“This new set of higher-level restrictions will apply to the whole of Wales.
“This means all non-essential retail, including close contact services and all leisure and fitness centres will close at the end of trading on Christmas Eve.
“All hospitality premises will close from 6pm on Christmas Day.
“And on December 28, at the end of the five day Christmas period, tighter restrictions for household mixing, staying-at-home, holiday accommodation and travel will apply.”
with PA Wires