ALL NON-ESSENTIAL shops in Wales will be able to reopen from Monday, June 22, in what is the biggest change since the start of lockdown in Wales, the first minister has announced.

First minister Mark Drakeford announced the news at today’s Welsh government coronavirus briefing, where he said retailers will be able to resume trading if they take “all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing duty” to protect retail workers and shoppers.

The Welsh government has said that the changes are part of a “comprehensive package of measures” being introduced step by step every Monday over the next three weeks.

As well as the lifting of restrictions in retail, the new guidelines from Monday will include:

  • Enabling private prayer places where social distancing is maintained
  • Restarting the housing market by enabling house viewings to take place in vacant properties and house moves where a sale has been agreed
  • Lifting restrictions on outdoor sports courts but social distancing must be maintained. No contact or team sports will be allowed.
  • Enabling non-professional elite athletes to resume training. There are 47 people in this category.

Setting out the new guidelines, Mr Drakeford said: “The threat of the virus hasn’t gone away yet but thanks to the efforts we have all made over the last few months, the number of people contracting coronavirus each day in Wales is falling.

“Given the progress we have made, we are able to take some additional cautious steps to further unlock society and our economy.”

The first minister also confirmed that the stay local five-mile rule will come to an end on July 6 if things continue to go to plan, and from then people will be able to travel as far as they like.

This also means people from England will be able to visit Wales.

Over the next two weeks, the first minister reminded Wales that the rule is still in place, and people will be fined if found to be breaching it for no good reason.

Those exempt from the rule are those visiting people on compassionate grounds, meaning at a care home or a youth offender institution, for example.

The first minister has set a July 9 target date for tourism businesses to reopen in Wales as well as hairdressers but said hospitality sectors will not open besides them.

He said the reason for not opening hospitality was to "continue to maintain the cautious approach" which has got Wales to this point, but he said conversations will happen with those working in the hospitality sector over the next three weeks.

“I know the wider tourism industry is keen to reopen and to salvage some of this summer’s season, and I am signalling owners of self-contained accommodation should use the next three weeks to prepare,” he added.