TODAY marks one year since the UK entered lockdown for the first time.

On March 23, 2020, Boris Johnson addressed the nation.

"From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home," the prime minister said.

What followed was a year of 'Stay at Home', restrictions unlocking, and then restrictions tightening again.


Below is a timeline of the key dates and milestones from the past year:

March 23 2020: Boris Johnson announces a UK-wide lockdown.

March 27: The Principality Stadium announced to become a field hospital, as part of announcement of funding from Welsh Government to develop additional bed capacity across Wales.

March 28: New testing plan announced, which included the introduction of a new antibody test.

March 29: Declaration that coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health in Wales

March 30: Wales’ First Minister announces a £1.1 billion fighting fund for businesses and a £500 million Economic Resilience Fund to provide additional support to the Welsh economy, businesses and charities.

April 4: Social distancing is introduced in the workplace, with businesses being ordered to “take all reasonable steps to ensure the two-metre social distancing rule”.

April 5: The number of cases in Gwent passes 1,000, as the cumulative UK death toll passes 10,000.

April 6: First Minister Mark Drakeford (below) said he expects the coronavirus lockdown measures to continue beyond the original three-week period.

April 8: The “deadliest” day of the first wave, with 1,459 deaths occurring in the UK.

First Minister Mark Drakeford

First Minister Mark Drakeford

April 16: Mark Drakeford announces ‘Stay at Home’ will continue for another three weeks following a COBRA meeting.

April 17: Cumulative UK death toll passes 25,000.

April 24: The ‘Stay at Home’ regulations are revised to clarify that people who leave their home with a reasonable excuse (such as for essential shopping, healthcare or work) cannot remain outside to do other things. The First Minister also unveils a seven-step plan to exit lockdown.

April 30: The UK Prime Minister says at the daily press conference that “we are past the peak of this disease.”

May 3: Wales passes more than 10,000 cases of coronavirus.

May 5: Wales’ death toll passes 1,000. The Health Minister sets out the Welsh Government’s plan for a ‘test, track and trace’ programme.

May 11: ‘Stay at Home’ continues, but new rules allow exercise more than once a day – as long as its done locally, and does not involve any significant travel. Lockdown is extended for a further three weeks.

May 12: The Chief Medical Officer for Wales said in a statement that he is “not recommending the compulsory wearing of face coverings by everyone when they leave .”

May 16: No new coronavirus deaths recorded in Gwent. After the news that more than 12,500 people living in care homes have died with Covid-19, Minister for Health, Vaughan Gething, announces all care home residents and staff are able to access tests.

May 18: Home testing made available in Wales.

May 22: Cumulative UK death toll passes 50,000.

June 1: Wales moves to ‘Stay Local’, having been announced on May 29. Five-mile rule introduced, and two households could now meet outdoors. Contact tracing begins in Wales.

June 8: New measures for all UK arrivals, including a 14-day self-isolation period, come into force.

June 9: The Welsh Government recommends “three-layer face coverings should be used in situations where social distancing measures can be more difficult,” such as on public transport. However, these are not mandatory.

June 18: The UK daily death toll drops below 100 for the first time since March 19. It returns above 100 on June 24 and June 25, then remains below 100 until October.

Shoppers queuing outside River Island in Cwmbran when it reopened after the first lockdown last June

Shoppers queuing outside River Island in Cwmbran when it reopened after the first lockdown last June

June 22: All non-essential retailers can reopen.

June 29: Children return to school in Wales in a phased approach.

June 30: The requirement for people arriving or returning from overseas to self-isolate for 14-days will remain in place in Wales, the first minister announces.

July 2: The first of nine consecutive days where no coronavirus deaths are recorded in Gwent.

July 4: Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopen in England.

July 6: No new coronavirus deaths recorded in Wales - the first time this has happened since March 18. ‘Stay local’ guidance is lifted, outdoor attractions can reopen, and two households can meet indoors.

July 11: Holiday accommodation with self-contained kitchens and bathrooms, such as bed and breakfasts and caravans, reopens.

July 12: First day of a run where no new coronavirus deaths are recorded in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area through until September.

July 13: Pubs, bars and restaurants reopen outdoors, and hairdressers, most indoor visitor attractions, and places of worship reopen. UK chief medical officers agree to move down to Covid-19 alert level three.

July 25: Tourist accommodation with shared facilities, such as camping sites and all hotels are able to re-open in Wales.

July 27: Face coverings become mandatory on public transport.

August 10: Gyms, pools, and leisure centres allowed to reopen in Wales.

August 17: ‘Essential travel’ restriction on public transport is lifted in Wales.

August 22: Up to four households can join together in Wales to form "extended households."

August 28: Indoor visits to care homes resume in Wales.

Caerphilly lockdown

Caerphilly lockdown

September 8: Local lockdown introduced for Caerphilly (above). No-one can enter or leave Caerphilly without a reasonable excuse, and face coverings become mandatory for indoor spaces in the borough.

September 14: Restrictions tightened to a maximum of six people – from the same bubble - can meet indoors at any one time, and face coverings are made compulsory in indoor public spaces.

September 17: Local lockdown announced in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

September 21: The four Chief Medical Officers for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland recommend that the Covid-19 alert level should increase to Level 4.

September 22: Local lockdowns introduced in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.

September 24: Hospitality businesses ordered to close at 10pm, and ban on selling alcohol after 10pm. NHS Covid-19 app launches.

September 26-27: Restrictions come into force in Llanelli (September 26) and in Cardiff and Swansea (September 27).

Locla restrictions in Torfaen

Local restrictions in Torfaen

September 28: Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan placed into local lockdown.

October 1: Local lockdowns in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham.

October 3: Changes for those living alone in areas under local restrictions allowing them to form a bubble with another household.

October 9: Local coronavirus restrictions are introduced in Bangor.

October 14: Three-tiered alert system introduced in England.

October 16: New restrictions preventing people living in areas with a high-prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from travelling to Wales.

October 23 – November 9: ‘Circuit break’ lockdown.

November 9: Only two households can form an extended household (or bubble); up to 15 people can take part in organised events indoors and up to 30 people can outdoors.

November 10: Exams cancelled for 2021.

November 17: The 560-bed Grange University Hospital opens as the new home of accident and emergency and intensive care treatment for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board region.

November 18: Merthyr Tydfil becomes the first area for a mass testing pilot in Wales.

November 24: UK Government and devolved administrations agree Christmas measures - between 23 and 27 December, up to two households can form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home.

November 27: Mass testing extended to the lower Cynon Valley.

December 4: Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes have to close by 6pm and cannot serve alcohol. Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions must also close. Travel between Wales and areas of the UK with high rates of coronavirus will not be allowed.

Brynmawr care home worker, Jiji Joseph, receives his coronavirus vaccine in Cwmbran

Brynmawr care home worker, Jiji Joseph, receives his coronavirus vaccine in Cwmbran

December 8: Vaccine roll-out begins in Wales - including the mass vaccination centre in Cwmbran - with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine given to care home staff, people aged over 80, and frontline health and social care workers who are most at risk.

December 14: Secondary schools and colleges in Wales move to online learning. All outdoor attractions close in Wales. The Welsh Government publishes a coronavirus control plan.

December 16: A care home in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board becomes the first in Wales to receive the vaccine, with health board staff taking the vaccine into care homes. The First Minister announces that Wales will move to alert level 4 from Christmas Day.

The run-up to Christmas and the festive season itself was disrupted by a new lockdown in December in Wales and the rest of the UK

The run-up to Christmas and the festive season itself was disrupted by a new lockdown in December in Wales and the rest of the UK

December 20: Alert level 4 (lockdown) restrictions brought forward. The rules which allowed two households to form a Christmas bubble over a five-day period would now apply on Christmas Day only.

December 22: People within the shielding group are advised to no longer attend school or work outside the home.

December 30: The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorises the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.

January 4 2021: UK Covid-19 alert level moved to level five, meaning that “there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed”. ‘Stay at Home’ brought in for England and Scotland.

January 7: Cumulative UK death toll passes 100,000.

January 8: The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna is approved in the UK.

January 15: New travel rules for arrivals into Wales where people arriving into Wales have to provide a negative coronavirus test result up to 72 hours before departing.

January 29: People in the clinically extremely vulnerable (or ‘shielding’) group advised to not attend work or school outside the home until March 31.

February 12: Everyone in the first four priority groups offered a vaccination in Wales.

February 19: The Welsh Government updates its Coronavirus Control Plan, scrapping the previous plan’s measures for moving between the alert levels.

February 20: Four people from two different households able to meet outdoors for socially distanced, local exercise.

February 22: Roadmap for lifting lockdown published in England. Three to seven-year-olds return to classrooms in Wales.

March 1: Licensed wedding venues can re-open but only to perform wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.

March 9: One million people across Wales have at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Members of the public receive a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at a vaccination centre at Cwmbran Stadium in Cwmbran. Picture: PA Wire

Members of the public receive a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at a vaccination centre at Cwmbran Stadium in Cwmbran. Picture: PA Wire

March 12: Shielding measures for the clinically extremely vulnerable should be paused from April 1.

March 13: ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions replaced by ‘Stay Local’, up to four people from two households can meet in their local area outdoors, including in gardens, outdoor sports facilities can reopen, and indoor care home visits can resume for one designated visitor.

March 15: Hairdressers and barbers reopen. All primary pupils and those in qualifications years return to school. More than a quarter of a million vaccination doses have been administered in Gwent.

March 22: Restrictions on supermarkets in Wales selling non-essential items are lifted.

March 23: One year since the start of the first lockdown. To date, the number of deaths in Wales since the pandemic began is now 5,488, including 952 in Gwent, according to Public Health Wales. Since the pandemic began, there have been 41,002 confirmed coronavirus cases in Gwent, out of 207,992 across Wales.