THEY have been firm fixtures in Wales' pandemic response since 2020, but from today rules around mask-wearing and self-isolation are no more.

Monday marks the first day of a new chapter in the pandemic in Wales, after Mark Drakeford lifted most of the nation's remaining legal Covid requirements.

From today, you do not have to wear a mask in any public places except health and care settings.

That means there is no legal requirement for shoppers and public transport passengers to cover up.

And anyone who develops Covid symptoms or tests positive for the virus will no longer have to isolate, by law.

However, Mr Drakeford has encouraged people to do the "right" thing and continue to try and protect themselves and others.

On Friday, when he announced the rule change, he likened the move to other viruses including measles.

“We have to manage it like we would other conditions," he said at the time. "If you have measles, you wouldn’t go to work with it. That’s not law, it’s what is right.”


Businesses in Wales will continue to carry out coronavirus risk assessments for their premises, but otherwise today also marks what is probably the closest thing to normality for traders since March 2020.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales this morning (Monday), Matthew Hunt, the director of Filco supermarkets, said the change had been welcomed by some - but not all - staff.

"The feedback from the team is overwhelmingly [of] relief we're not going to have to wear these [masks] day in, day out anymore," he said.

"Certainly, from my point of view there's an awareness that there could be an anxiety around some of those in the staff team who perhaps see the value and safety in wearing the masks - and that's also from a customer point of view".

He said mask wearing was "such a polarising issue".

"You either approve of mask wearing and see the value of that, or you're totally against it," Mr Hunt said. "There's very little middle ground in it."

Business risk assessments generally could mean some companies decide to recommend, or even insist, on continued mask-wearing - but this would be a rules imposed by a private firm, not the government.

Mr Hunt said this policy did create "conflict and confusion" for businesses.

"It would be nice if it wasn't there," he said, adding that he didn't think it was "possible" for his own firm to enforce continued mask-wearing.

"The majority of people will say that that's had its day and we're not prepared to continue with that," he told the BBC.