Wales to introduce new restrictions, including social distancing at shops, after Christmas

New Covid restrictions and social distancing at shops
Photo: iStock

The Welsh Government Thursday said they will introduce new Covid-19 restrictions, including for businesses and services, from 27 December to control the spread of the Omicron variant.

The measures will include a 2m rule on social distancing in shops and workplaces and putting extra measures in place to protect customers and staff, such as one-way systems and physical barriers. Nightclubs will also be closed.

The government added that up to £60 million will be available to support businesses affected by the new restrictions.

The government also issued a new guidance for the public to stay safe in the run up to Christmas, advising everyone to follow five measures, namely:

  • Get vaccinated – and if you’ve had your booster appointment, please make attending your priority.
  • If you’re going out, going Christmas shopping or visiting people – flow before you go. Take a lateral flow test. If it’s positive – don’t go out.
  • Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
  • Space out your socialising – if you’ve got events arranged, please leave at least a day between them.
  • And don’t forget about social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands.

First Minister Mark Drakeford urged everyone to follow these five steps for a safer Christmas, as he reminded that the more people we see in the run-up to Christmas, the more opportunities the virus has to spread.

“Delta will continue to be the main cause of coronavirus infections in Wales up to Christmas. But we are seeing cases of omicron increasing rapidly every day in Wales – and across the UK. We need a plan to keep us safe this Christmas and we need stronger measures to protect us afterwards, as we prepare for a large wave of omicron infections,” Drakeford said.

The regulations will also be changed to include a requirement to work from home wherever possible.