Hospitality businesses in Wales have welcomed news that fully-vaccinated adults will soon not have to isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive.
The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that the change will come into effect on from 7 August, the same day Wales is expected to move to alert level zero.
Children and young people under 18 will also be exempt from the need to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of a positive case.
Announcing the changes to the self-isolation rules, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Self-isolation on symptoms or a positive test result continues to be a powerful measure in helping to break the chains of transmission and stop the spread of the virus.
“It is important we retain this, even for people who have been fully vaccinated.
“But we know a full course of the vaccine offers people protection against the virus and they are far less likely to contract it when they are identified as close contacts.
“This means they no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days.
“We can remove the need for self-isolation for the two million adults who have completed their vaccine course, helping to keep Wales safe and working.
“We are also removing the need for children and young people under 18 to self-isolate, recognising the impact long periods out of school and college is having on their well-being and education.”
UKHospitality Cymru director David Chapman said: “This represents a real breakthrough for Welsh hospitality businesses and it’s a very positive response to our regular reporting to Welsh government of the shackles imposed on businesses by the ‘pingdemic’.
“We have been telling Welsh government over the past few weeks of the havoc that the self-isolation regime has created for many businesses that already struggle to recruit sufficient staff to cope with the summer demand and preparations for a full reopening on 7 August, when Wales is due to relax remaining restrictions.
“The message has certainly hit home. We’re delighted that our members now have a chance to fully reopen next week and to try to make the most of the visitor economy high season after months of economic turmoil.”