So whilst Mark Drakeford reminds us that Wales, has a different set of plans compared to that of England (and indeed Scotland and Northern Ireland), it is worth noting what Boris Johnson said in yesterdays update. Whilst, these are an indicative set of guidelines - Mark Drakeford and the Welsh Government are renewing their policies on or around 12th March - I, personally, believe that he may broadly align Wales with England, indications of which are below.
Stage one is in two parts:
- All schools and colleges will reopen
- University students can return for practical courses. There will be a review by the end of the Easter holidays for all other students
- Face coverings are recommended in class for secondary school students and also for parents and staff in primary schools
- Wraparound childcare can also return for vulnerable pupils and where it is needed for parents or carers to go to work, support groups or to seek medical care
- Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include "a coffee on a bench"
- One nominated person can visit care homes, but will need PPE, a lateral flow test and to "keep physical contact to a minimum"
- Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances - 100 %THIS DOES NOT APPLY IN WALES
- People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the "rule of six", including in private gardens
- The stay at home rule will end but people should stay local as much as possible
- Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including tennis and basketball courts
- Formally organised outdoor sports can also restart
- Parents and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work
No earlier than 12 April:
- All shops allowed to open
- Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol
- Gyms and spas can reopen for individuals and households
- Hairdressers, beauty salons and other "close contact services" can reopen
- UK "staycations" away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household
- Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them
- Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
- Libraries and community centres can reopen
- Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place We do not believe this is feasible and we do not think that Evening Entertainment will be permitted.
No earlier than 17 May:
- People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
- Six people or two households can meet indoors
- Up to 30 people can meet to celebrate weddings or other life events, like christenings - we think that Evening Entertainment may be permitted on account of the below, but this is subject to clarification. We believe we can hold weddings, for 30 people with Evening Buffets and Guest Accommodation.
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
- Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children's play areas can open
- Performances and large events will be subject to limits though. For indoor events they can be at half capacity or 1,000 people, and outdoors they can be at half capacity or 4,000 people - whichever is lower. For large venues (at least 40,000 capacity) up to 10,000 will be allowed to attend
- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen to household groups
- International travel will resume no earlier than 17 May
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can start up again
No earlier than 21 June:
- All legal limits on social contact will be removed
- No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events. From April, the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings, festivals and work conferences. This will help to determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing
- Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen
If at the next review on 12th March indicates any changes, I personally believe that Wales will broadly align itself with the above and issue its own roadmap - with a roadmap we will be able to give wedding customers an update and more definitive guidance.
"Meanwhile - we believe in essence"
12/04/21 - we may be able to offer self catering in self contained accommodation within Castle Apartments - details to be advised in due course.
17/05/21 - we may be able to offer Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and serve meals and alcohol. Weddings with 30 people.
21/06/21 - we may then be able to offer weddings in excess of 30 people in the day and night.
If you have a wedding before 17/05/21 our advice is that you contact us (we are contacting those affected) as we suggest that you consider moving your wedding to beyond July, if your wedding is between 17/05/21 and 21/06/21, if you are looking for higher than 30 at your wedding, then again our suggestion is you contact us to arrange moving your date (we will contact those affected) and if your wedding is after 21/06/21, based on the above, your wedding should be able to go ahead as normally planned - however, you can contact us to arrange a postponement.
All Craig Y Nos Castle Coronavirus Wedding related postponements are free and any legally imposed reductions in numbers are charged at a pro-rata rate. Any new weddings arranged because of a Coronavirus related issue, will carry the same rates and tariffs even if you have to move dates/days.
We aim to contact all our Wedding Couples on or around 12th March pending the next Welsh Government Review.
What the papers say about Weddings
Lockdown to continue for further three weeks as pupils return to school
Key points from update:
- Stay at home message continues for next 3 weeks
- Schools to re-open from 22nd Feb
- Non essential retail might be able to re-open at the next review (12th March) if things remain on track and the science allows.
- As soon as conditions allow, the re-opening of Tourism and Hospitality sector will be reviewed - self contained will be first to re-open - may be in time for Easter- if things remain on track and the science allows.
- Discussions will continue to happen in the coming weeks with the tourism and hospitality sector about what will be possible about re-opening our sector. The First Minister indicated re-opening will follow the pattern of last summer, with self contained accommodation opening first.
- The Welsh Government’s traffic-light Coronavirus Control Plan has been revised to take account of the emerging new variant strains of the virus and the impact of the vaccine programme and can be read here.
- Following the latest review of coronavirus restrictions, the Welsh Government also announced some minor changes to the current rules:
- From Saturday 20 February, four people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors for socially distanced local exercise. This doesn’t apply to private gardens.
- From March 1, the law will be changed to allow licensed wedding venues, such as visitor attractions and hotels, to re-open but only to perform wedding and civil partnership ceremonies - we believe that this means up to 42 people can attend a ceremony with face coverings and social distancing but no alcohol. Guidelines should be be updated here from the Welsh Government.
- Sport Wales will make arrangements for more of our talented athletes to resume training and playing.
- With more people living and working in older people’s care homes being vaccinated, we will look again at our guidance for care home visiting.
- Read the Welsh Government update here
Read all what was said here
Specifically relating to Tourism and Hospitality:
We still are unable to doing wedding viewings at the Castle in person.
Easter opening could include some B&Bs and hotels
The First Minister has said that the partial re-opening in Wale for Easter would include B&Bs and hotels with room service as long as they are self-contained.
He said: "That's the test, that you have to have facilities that are not shared with other people."
The First Minister has told PA that the partial opening of tourism at Easter would include B&B's and hotels with room service as long as they are self-contained.
Nothing else was mentioned apart ftom "then in 3 weeks might allow non essential stuff, but it will be after that to think about the beginning of reopening self contained accommodation" but it will be "6 weeks at least before any decisions and hospitality will come on the agenda"
Specifically relating to the Stay at Home Rule:
More people allowed to exercise outdoors
As many as four people from two different homes will be able to exercise together from Saturday, as long as they say local.
Mark Drakeford says the Welsh Government is now able to make "modest changes" to lockdown regulations and taking "some first cautious steps to relax some of the strictest lockdown restrictions we have all been living with for so long".
He told the briefing: "From tomorrow, we will change the rules to allow up to four people from two different households to exercise outdoors together, helping people who have been struggling with lockdown.
"But this does not mean you can now drive somewhere to exercise and it does not mean socialising."
Specifically relating to Retail:
'Glimmer of hope' for retail sector
The First Minister has said that he hopes to see the gradual re-opening of non-essential retail in Wales from March 15.
Responding to this news, Sara Jones, head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: "Many retailers have been hit hardest in this third, and hopefully final, lockdown and today we have a glimmer of hope that we will soon be able to re-open our doors to the Welsh public once more.
"We want to play our part in the rebuild of the Welsh economy, to trade our way to recovery and we look forward to constructive discussions with the Welsh Government on these issues next week.
“So called non-essential shops are well placed to reopen safely and should be trusted to do so, as they did so successfully at the end of the national lockdown last June and again at the end of the firebreak.
"We do not believe there is any need to pursue a phased approach to re-opening different sections of non-essential retail. Retailers have been playing their part to make stores safe, spending many millions of pounds on coronavirus safety measures, including implementing social distancing measures and increased cleaning procedures.
“It’s therefore essential the Welsh Government maintains it commitment to prioritising the re-opening of our high streets, whilst outlining an ongoing economic stimulus package to encourage consumers to start shopping again and providing an immediate statement on business rates relief post March. What Welsh retailers want most of all is to get back to trading, looking after our customers and providing the goods and services we all need and want.”