FAMILIES and friends will be able to meet outside in Wales from Monday, revealed First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The First Minister announced that, starting next week, two households will be able to meet outdoors, although they will still need to follow social distancing measures. 


However, the new guidance asks people to stay within five miles of home when meeting other households.

Mr Drakeford stressed this was advice, not legislation, recognising people in rural areas may need to travel further. He asked these people to use their best judgement on how far they travel.


"That five-mile rule of thumb will have to be applied carefully and sensibly by people using their own judgement in the different geographies of Wales," he said.

"This is so important, as the need for care is clear. Coronavirus has not gone away, it remains a silent spreader.

"These changes are emphatically not an invitation to act as if the crisis were over.

"The best way to reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus remains to have as little contact with other people that you can, and to stay as local as possible.

"If you have to travel a longer distance than the five-miles now to get food or medicines, you will be allowed to do so under the 'stay local' regulations as well."

Mr Drakeford said he believed the Welsh people were "comfortable" with his "careful and cautious" approach, given the R-rate had not dropped over the past three weeks.

"I don't think people in Wales are keen on a dash to lift lockdown," he said.

"They and I want us to be able to move out of lockdown, but we have worked so hard together to get on top of this virus that none of us should be willing to do things in a precipitate way that will put us all back to where we started."

People living within five miles of the English border are allowed to travel into England, where they will then be subject to the English regulations.

The First Minister again discouraged people from visiting Wales from England, reiterating for them to 'Visit Wales, later.'

Mr Drakeford confirmed activities such as sunbathing in parks or at beaches was allowed under the new guidance, as long as you complied with social distancing and were within five miles of home.

The First Minister also used his press conference to urge non-essential retail businesses to prepare to reopen after the next review of the regulations on Thursday, June 18. 

He said only shops which could assure they could apply social distancing guidelines would be able to open.

Other areas under consideration for the next review include increased childcare and public transport services, allowing people to move house, and reopening outdoor activities and training facilities for "non-professional elite athletes" to train.

So what will change on Monday?

The biggest change to the lockdown in Wales is that an unlimited number of people from two households will be able to meet outside, so long as they are socially distancing - two metres apart - are following handwashing guidance, are are staying local - within five miles of their home.

People will now be able to go and spend unlimited time at park or beaches, as long as they are following the restrictions above.

As well as meeting in public outdoor spaces, the changes allow meeting in private spaces - such as gardens.

Beauty and tourist spots will remain closed.

Other changes to the regulations include allowing weddings and civil partnerships to take place if the bride or groom is terminally ill.