Pubs, restaurants and cafes in Wales will be able to serve customers indoors from Monday and international travel for Welsh citizens will be allowed, the first minister has said.

Mark Drakeford confirmed Wales will move into alert level 2 after the weekend as coronavirus levels remain low and vaccination rates remain the best in the UK.

Drakeford said: “Thanks to everyone’s hard work and ongoing efforts, we can take another step towards relaxing the coronavirus restrictions.

“Indoor hospitality will be able to reopen, a move that will be welcomed by many of us as we look forward to enjoying a drink, a meal and the company of friends and family in a cafe or pub.

“But the pandemic isn’t over – the new, so-called Indian variant of concern is another unwanted twist in this pandemic, which we are monitoring closely.”

The changes to the restrictions coming into force from Monday include:

  • Indoor hospitality can reopen – six people from up to six households (not including children under 11) can eat or drink together.

  • All holiday accommodation can reopen fully.

  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor-play centres and areas, casinos, amusement arcades, and theatres can reopen, as can indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries.

  • Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities and up to 50 people in organised outdoor activities. This includes wedding receptions and wakes.

International travel will resume from Monday. A traffic light system, aligned with England and Scotland, will be introduced. Countries will be classified as green, amber and red. This means people living in Wales will be able to travel to a small number of foreign destinations without the need to quarantine on their return. Mandatory quarantine for countries not on the green list remains in place.

Also from Monday, a paper-based vaccination status will be available for people in Wales who have had two doses of vaccination and need to urgently travel to a country that requires Covid vaccination proof.

However, the Welsh government continues to advise people to only travel abroad for essential purposes.

The announcement came shortly after Drakeford unveiled his new cabinet. Two-thirds of the cabinet are women, while climate change, new green jobs and pandemic recovery are at the heart of the new Labour-led administration’s programme.

A significant change is that Vaughan Gething, who was health minister during the Covid pandemic, has been made economy minister. Eluned Morgan, a former MEP, becomes minister for health and social services.

This content first appear on the guardian

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