// Non-essential retailers in lockdown can gradually open from March 22
// Hairdressers and barbers can reopen from Monday
// All high street shops – including other close contact services – can reopen on April 12
Wales’ First Minister has confirmed that non-essential retailers in the country can gradually exit lockdown and reopen from March 22.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mark Drakeford said the reopening of the Welsh retail sector would form part of a phased lockdown exit place for the country.
Non-essential retail was originally considered for reopening from next week, but this was pushed back by a week.
- Northern Ireland confirms phased lockdown exit plan
- Scotland to ease lockdown for non-essential retailers from April 26
- Government confirms: Non-essential retailers in England can reopen April 12
However, hairdressers and barbers can reopen for appointments from Monday (March 15), the same day that all primary pupils and those in qualifications years can return to schools.
Most non-essential retailers will still remain closed from March 22 onwards, but all high street shops – including all other close contact services – will be able to open from April 12, the same date as in England.
Elsewhere in the UK, non-essential retail will be able to reopen from April 26 in Scotland, while the Northern Ireland Executive said it would follow a data-driven phased exit rather than provide specific dates to work towards.
Businesses in Wales that will be affected by ongoing restrictions will be supported by an additional £150 million from the Welsh Government.
Meanwhile, people from two Welsh households will be able to meet in gardens from Saturday, and there are plans to reopen self-contained accommodation for the Easter period – although people from outside of Wales may not be able to visit until late spring.
Drakeford also confirmed that Wales would move to a “stay local” requirement for at least the next three weeks, during which people should stay within five miles of their homes.
“Of course there will be people, in rural Wales particularly, who don’t live five miles away from a shop – they would have to travel further, and they’ll be able to do that over the next two weeks,” he told Today.
“People can interpret it with some flexibility in their local circumstances.”