Gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres and indoor fitness studios are reopening in Wales after being closed because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Unlike the rest of the UK, children’s indoor play areas can open their doors but some facilities that cannot be easily cleaned, such as ball pits, will have to remain shut.
The latest changes to coronavirus regulations in Wales have come into force one week after pubs and restaurants in the country were able to open indoors for the first time since lockdown began in March.
The Welsh Government said it is “continuing to explore” whether people can be allowed to meet indoors others who are not already part of their extended household from August 15.
It has also boosted powers given to local authorities to ensure newly reopened businesses and workplaces adhere to laws designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
They include making sure people keep a two-metre distance where possible, and taking measures to avoid close interaction like using protective screens, improving hygiene, and wearing face coverings on public transport.
Enforcement officers will be allowed to issue a Premises Improvement Notice to highlight breaches of the rules and state what measures need be taken in order to comply with them, or face being temporarily shut down.
Signs will be displayed in a prominent place for businesses or workplaces that are given a Premises Closure Notice informing the public that improvement is needed or that it has had to close.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said following the rules is “essential” if the country is to avoid following other parts of the world and entering another lockdown.
“As more parts of our society and economy reopen, it is vital we all keep in mind our personal responsibility to do the right thing and make sure we continue to protect ourselves and others from the virus,”
“This means keeping a two-metre distance from others, washing our hands often and wearing a face mask on public transport. These are simple steps to take that benefit us all.
“The rules we have in place are not optional, they are there to protect us all. They are essential if Wales is to avoid another lockdown.”
He added: “As we have seen in many places around the world, this pandemic is far from over, and we must remain vigilant. There is a significant risk cases in Wales could rise again, and we will have to take further action if this were to happen.
“Only by us all continuing to do our part can we keep Wales safe.”
Published: 10/08/2020 by Radio NewsHub