(Photo: Christmas Tree - Source: Canva)
At today's Welsh Covid review Mark Drakeford will announce the upcoming guidance and regulations for the Christmas period and into the new year.
Whilst there are no changes to the regulations over Christmas week, the Welsh Government is urging people to follow five steps.
Get fully vaccinated against Covid
Take a lateral flow test before shopping or meeting people
Meet outdoors wherever possible, and always in well-ventilated areas
Space out socialising to allow test days in between
Adhere to social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing hands
From Monday 27 December new legistlation will come into force.
Under the new rules, nightclubs in Wales will be closed, mandatory two-metre social distancing will come into effect in offices from the same date, with measures like one-way systems and physical barriers introduced in businesses to protect customers and staff. Regulations will also be changed to include a requirement to work from home wherever possible.
Gareth Davies MS for Vale of Clwyd commented:
" I don’t think any of us anticipated or wanted to be heading into another festive period with the potential of further risks or restrictions related to Covid-19.
"The uncertainty of upcoming changes has been a cause of worry for many businesses and residents, and whilst the introduction of any restrictions is less than desired, this timeline is welcome to give people reassurance and the ability to make personal choice with respect to their Christmas plans.
"I hope that the hospitality and businesses affected by the Welsh Government's regulations coming into force from the 27th December will be aqaquately supported throughout this period"
Responding to the review, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies MS said:
“Personal responsibility has always been crucial during the pandemic and that will remain the case moving forward.
“Many people will have been concerned about the potential impact of government restrictions on their Christmas plans, but today’s announcement provides some much-needed clarity and comfort for families across Wales.
“The First Minister’s decision to tighten in some areas after the festive period, and close venues such as nightclubs, is an admission that restrictions such as vaccine passports have failed and were never going to work in Wales.
“At such a heightened time, public health messaging is incredibly important and whilst this announcement appears sensible on the surface, there does seem to be a gap emerging between some of the rhetoric and the decision-making from Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay.
“This is having a wide-ranging impact on Welsh firms in various sectors and the Labour Government must now use the hundreds of millions of pounds left over in COVID support funding to help businesses and protect jobs.”