PEOPLE from two different households in Wales will be allowed to meet up outdoors from Monday, first minister Mark Drakeford is due to announce later today.

Under the new rules people who live in the same local area will be allowed to meet up as long as they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene measures.

Mr Drakeford will say: “We know people have missed seeing their families and friends over the last three months while the stay-at-home regulations have been in place.

“From Monday, people from two different households in the same local area will be able to meet up outdoors. They must continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene.

“We are also asking people to stay local – by local we mean, as a general rule, not travelling more than five miles from home to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading as people begin to travel more.

"There will be exceptions – for example, travelling to work, to seek care and shopping for essentials if they aren’t available locally.

“Staying local will help keep Wales safe.”


The five-mile travel limit proposals has been criticised by a Welsh Conservatives shadow minister, who believes it is 'too arbitrary'.

Plaid Cymru agree with what they call Mr Drakeford's 'cautious' approach to easing lockdown measures, but believe a clearer roadmap out of restrictions is necessary. 

Sout hWales Central MS and Tory shadow minister for rural affairs Andrew RT Davies has written to Mr Drakeford asking him to amend any such regulation before today's official announcement. 

If not, Mr Davies has asked the Welsh Government to publish the scientific evidence on which this regulation has been based. 

"First and foremost, I welcome the Welsh Government's decision to allow people from different households to meet, which is great news to many people and families in Wales," said Mr Davies.

"However, whilst this is the right course of action, the First Minister is in danger of giving with one hand and taking away with another by imposing this arbitrary five mile travel rule. It must go. 

"Not everyone in Wales lives in a town or city close to family and friends and this will unfairly impact on those in our rural communities. 

I therefore politely ask the First Minister to change this regulation prior to tomorrow's announcement and ensure everyone in Wales can have the pleasure of seeing their family and friends next week.

"If he chooses not to, then the Welsh Labour Government should share the scientific evidence on which this decision has been made with the public."

Plaid Cymru's shadow health minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS largely welcomed the proposals, but wants a clearer strategy so ‘isolated’ public know what lies ahead in coming weeks and months.

He pointed to the Republic of Ireland’s multi-phase plan as a good example of a clear approach to lifting restrictions, although he warned that dates for relaxing various restrictions must be changeable, depending on patterns of the pandemic over time.

Mr ap Iorwerth had urged Welsh Government to consider steps such as allowing open air meetings between families on the grounds of wellbeing, as long as the science and risk modelling backed that. He says that evidence must remain transparent at all stages, with Welsh Government ready to respond quickly to any changes in the figures.

“The people of Wales have generally adhered well to lockdown restrictions, and understand the need to take a cautious approach," said Mr ap Iorwerth.

“Plaid Cymru advocates such a cautious approach, but given how isolated many people are feeling, I had urged Government to look at steps such as allowing families to meet in the open air, on the grounds of welfare, as long as it was based on science and risk management.

“But the public would also benefit from having a clearer plan of how restrictions will be managed. I don’t think the current ‘traffic light’ system offers that. I hope Welsh Ministers will look at the model they have in Ireland, where there’s a phased approach for all to see.

“Key to lifting of restrictions, of course, will be the robustness of the Welsh test and trace scheme, due to start next week. We’ll be watching closely to gauge its effectiveness. Welsh Government must get that right, or the relaxing of restrictions puts people at renewed risk, and they need to be ready to backtrack if there are negative consequences.”