Welsh First Minister defends Covid restrictions as guidelines eased on outdoor gatherings

Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford has justified current the Covid restrictions in Wales as “necessary and effective”, as he explained plans to ease restrictions going forward.

Mr Drakeford told a press conference this afternoon that from tomorrow, 15 January, rules on outdoor gatherings will be eased, permitting the number of gatherings from 50 to 500.

All outdoor activities are set to be shifted to alert level zero from 21 January, meaning limits on the number of people permitted to socialise in outdoor events including  sporting events and hospitality will be lifted.

Covid vaccination certificates or evidence of exemption will be remain mandatory for entry to large events however. 

Only from 28 January will limits on indoor gatherings be eased, with Mr Drakeword explaining that there “may be turning a corner” with “some early positive signs of improvement” in targeting Omicron..