COVID restrictions will be eased in Wales from tomorrow morning, first minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

Wales was placed under alert level two restrictions from Boxing Day due to the spread of the Omicron variant, meaning nightclubs were closed, fans could not attend sports matches and limits were placed on meeting others.

But, with cases now falling, Wales will now see most restrictions eased back.

From 6am on Friday, January 28, Wales will move back to alert level zero. This means:

  • Nightclubs can re-open;
  • The legal requirement for two-metre social distancing will be removed;
  • There will be no limit on the number of people who can meet up;
  • Licensed premises will no longer need to only provide table service and collect contact details;
  • Working from home will no longer be a legal requirement.

Despite the restrictions being eased, face coverings will still be mandatory in most indoor public places, including on public transport, and a Covid Pass will still be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

People must continue to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus but the Welsh Government has reduced the self-isolation period from seven to five days. People are advised to take two negative lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on days five and six.

The self-isolation support scheme payment will return to the original rate of £500 for all those who are eligible.

“We have passed the peak of this omicron wave and there are encouraging signs that cases of coronavirus may be starting to stabilise,” said Mr Drakeford. “But we all need to continue taking steps to stay safe – unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet.

“We are moving to alert level zero and we will retain some important protections, such as face coverings in most indoor public places and risk assessments.

“We can do this thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone in Wales and the remarkable success of our vaccine and booster programmes. Thank you all.”

The restrictions will now be reviewed every three weeks, with the next review coming on February 10.

The first minister also provided an update on vaccine uptake in Wales, with more than 1.8 million people receiving a booster jab, and more than 36,000 people getting their first dose of the vaccine since the start of December.