Making the announcement, First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the public health context in Wales was favourable, with cases falling and the country’s vaccination programme going “from strength to strength”.
He said that because meeting outdoors continued to be lower risk than meeting indoors, he was able bring to bring forward changes to allow any six people to meet outdoors.
“This will provide more opportunities for people, especially young people, to meet outdoors with their friends. This will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on people’s wellbeing.”
Confirming that outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26 April, he said: “These changes will help the hospitality sector recover after a difficult 12 months.”
Drakeford’s announcement follows calls from UKHospitality Cymru (UKHC) to bring forward the indoor reopening of Wales’ hospitality businesses to 17 May in line with the reopening roadmap in England and Scotland.
“Covid-19 cases in Wales are currently the lowest number since we were open for business in last Autumn, below 20 per 100,000. Our vaccination programme is a huge success,” said UKHC Executive Director, David Chapman.
“This week Scotland joined England in announcing opening indoors on 17th May. We are opening on a very limited basis outdoors on 26 April, some two weeks after England, yet we have been closed longer. The indoor opening ‘soft target’ remains before the end of May.
“There are simply no reasons now why our First Minister, in his three-weekly review on 22 April, couldn’t indicate that we could be open before England and Scotland or at the very latest alongside England and Scotland on 17 May.
“UKHC is asking him to reopen the industry. Customers are keen; businesses are desperate; workers want stability and a release from uncertainty and anxiety about their jobs. An early opening would help key businesses survive, boost local communities and the Welsh economy as a whole and lift the mood of Wales tremendously.”
From Saturday 24 April, up to six people from up to six households, excluding children, will be able to meet outside in Wales.