Wales is set to ditch ALL remaining Covid laws on March 28

Wales is set to ditch ALL remaining Covid laws on March 28 and ‘gradually’ end free tests next month as First Minister Mark Drakeford finally admits that the country can ‘look to the future with growing confidence’

  • FM expected to announce Wales will remain at alert level 0 for three more weeks
  • But legal requirements could go on March 28 following a review on March 24
  • Last night he said Wales ‘can look to the future with growing confidence’

Wales could be free of all Covid restrictions by the end of the month under plans expected to be unveiled by its First Minister today.

Mark Drakeford is expected to announce Wales will remain at alert level zero for the next three weeks.

But legal requirements could go on March 28 following a review on March 24, if the public health situation remains stable.

Wales has been among the most cautious of the home nations in keeping coronavirus restrictions in place.

But last night Mr Drakeford admitted it has reached a ‘significant moment in this pandemic’, adding: ‘We can look to the future with growing confidence that the next year will be one in which we have a different relationship with the virus.’

The new approach will see free Covid LFTs phased out with ‘universal and routine symptomatic and asymptomatic testing and the requirement to self-isolate’ replaced by ‘a more targeted approach aimed at vulnerable people’. This will bring it into line with measures in place in England. 

Mark Drakeford is expected to announce Wales will remain at alert level zero for the next three weeks.

But legal requirements could go on March 28 following a review on March 24, if the public health situation remains stable.

Wales dropped to alert level zero in January after gign to level 2 in the face of the Omicron variant.

Nightclubs have already reopened but Covid passes are required for entry. 

The rule of six and social distancing have already gone along with laws covering working from home – but the later ‘remains important’.

Rules requiring self-isolation after a positive test and face coverings in indoor settings remain in place.

The country’s response to coronavirus will vary depending on whether the country is assessed as being in a ‘Covid Stable’ or ‘Covid Urgent’ state, but it is believed that Covid Stable will be he most likely scenario – with an expectation of waves of infection not large enough to put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

A battery of measures the Welsh government is to adopt include booster vaccinations for the elderly and most vulnerable in spring and a Covid-19 vaccine programme in the autumn.

A ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ programme aimed at protecting vulnerable people is to replace universal and routine testing and the requirement to self-isolate.

Measures to deal with the spread of infectious respiratory diseases, like washing hands, are still to be encouraged, while businesses will be expected to build on elements of infection control already implemented.

The Welsh Government also said the plan includes the adaptation of public services, suggesting a move to a more localised approach to risk assessments and outbreak control plans.

Mr Drakeford added: ‘The pandemic isn’t over – this virus is full of nasty surprises and we are likely to see fluctuations in global patterns of infection for several years.

‘We need to be ready to respond quickly to any future outbreaks or new variants as we learn to live safely alongside coronavirus in the long term.’

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