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Live reaction: Plan to return Wales to alert level zero measures

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford. Credit: Matthew Horwood

A plan to return Wales to alert level zero measures has been set out by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The move comes as the latest public health data suggests cases of coronavirus have started to fall back from their very high levels. More than two-thirds of people aged 12 and over have received a booster or third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The full move to alert level zero will be dependent on the public health situation continuing to improve.

Credit: Welsh Government

Reacting to today’s announcement, Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said:

“The reduction in Covid restrictions will be welcomed by businesses across Wales which have endured enormous economic hardship throughout the pandemic.

“A roadmap to a more open economy will reinvigorate activity in our towns and cities, while bringing much-needed relief to beleaguered sectors like hospitality and entertainment.

“CBI Wales now looks forward to working with the Government to define a future strategy for living with the virus – and its variants. This will be vital for confidence and to avoid the economic damage which results from fluctuating between periods of restrictions and normality.”


Michael Kill CEO Night Time Industries Association says:

“Finally a common sense approach from the Welsh Government! Following intense campaigning from the industry and trade bodies we have put an end to the uncertainty.”

“While we are relieved that we finally have clarity on Welsh Government’s intentions, it has come at a cost to businesses, staff and supply chain.”

“It is difficult to accept that we remain subject to Covid passes for nightclubs in Wales. They were sold as the solution to nightclubs and similar settings remaining open, and that they are an effective way of managing transmission within these environments”

“It is clear from the period of closure and restrictions that this is not the case, it is also clear that there is no evidence base that has been presented by Welsh Government to support this decision.”

“I would urge the Welsh Government to realise the farcical basis of this mitigation, with no scientific evidence or data to support it, and end it in line with the date that restrictions for nightclubs are withdrawn on the 28th January.”

“This policy seems only to have exacerbated market distortion, segregation, impact on trade and compromise staff and customer safety.”


Paul Slevin, President of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:

“The steps set out for the phased return to alert level zero and easing of restrictions will be welcomed by businesses across Wales, particularly those in the hospitality, leisure and events sectors.

“Preparation is key as long as the virus is with us as businesses will need to adapt to working around the virus and any future variants. This roadmap brings much needed clarity for businesses, allowing them to plan ahead more accurately and with confidence.”


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Wales has welcomed the announcement by Welsh Government of a timetable for the lifting of restriction measures which responds to FSB calls for clarity for businesses.

Responding to the latest statement from the First Minister following the Welsh Government’s Coronavirus review, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair stated:

“FSB and our members appreciate the importance of keeping Wales safe, and the serious health implications of the Omicron variant. We fully recognise the challenges posed by the virus and the spread of the Omicron virus. Businesses in Wales have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep Wales safe and have diligently followed the guidance and advice placed forward by Welsh Government.

In return, the FSB has called on the First Minister to ensure businesses are fairly funded and informed of what lies ahead. We are pleased that our calls for clarity have now been recognised, with the First Minister’s announcement of a roadmap, which outlines a lessening of restrictions over the course of the next two weeks. This brings much needed clarity for businesses in Wales, who are facing an increasingly challenging economic landscape.

However, we remain concerned that as an important sector of our economy, hospitality has borne the brunt of the impact of these restrictions and continues to face a precarious situation. We call therefore on the Welsh Government to consider bringing forward the plans to remove the additional requirements on indoor hospitality to the 21st to release the pressure on these businesses. These are businesses which made a sacrifice to help Wales combat the threat of Omicron and have made a significant contribution to the success of the effort as outlined by the First Minister. We would ask that Welsh Government consider the reduction in the self-isolation period, bringing the regulations in line with England.

We are pleased to see that the numbers of cases are more favourable than previously expected and we hope to see this trend continue to allow our communities and economy to recover. However, Welsh Government will need to continue to ensure that appropriate support is in place over coming months to help embed recovery for our smaller businesses.

During this time, we would remind the Welsh public to continue to support smaller businesses, and show understanding to business owners and staff who will continue to work tirelessly to deliver safe environments for their customers and communities.”