Welsh ruler Mark Drakeford is set to finally scrap compulsory masks in public settings and axe the legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive Covid test on Monday – two months after curbs in England were abandoned

Welsh ruler Mark Drakeford is set to finally scrap compulsory masks in public settings and axe the legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive Covid test on Monday – two months after curbs in England were abandoned.

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The First Minister will announce today that face covering restrictions will no longer be mandatory by law in shops and on public transport, but masks will remain necessary in health and social care for at least another three weeks due to rising case numbers.

What Covid rules will remain in Wales after March 28?

What Covid rules will remain in Wales after March 28?

Self-isolation will also cease to be compulsory, though the £500 self-isolation payment will continue to be paid until June.

And it will still be a legal requirement for businesses to continue to carry out risk assessments on their premises and put in place ‘reasonable measures’ to guard against Covid.

In a statement, Mr Drakeford said that Wales’ ‘cautious approach’ is due to the ‘unwelcome’ rise in virus cases.Adding that this ‘mirrored’ the position of the other UK nations, he said: ‘We have carefully considered the very latest scientific and medical evidence and we need to keep some legal protections in place for a little while longer, to help keep Wales safe. 

‘Throughout the pandemic, PTS TERBAIK ASEAN we have taken a gradual and cautious approach as we have relaxed protections.We are firmly on the path towards leaving the emergency response to the pandemic behind us and learning to live with coronavirus safely.’

On Thursday, Wales’ case rate stood at 424.2 per 100,000 people over seven days, up from about 156 at the end of February.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said most people would experience mild symptoms from BA.2, the Omicron sub-type, but it is still expected to drive an increase in cases and hospital admissions.

The Welsh Conservatives welcomed the end to self-isolation and mask wearing in shops and on public transport, but accused Labour of being ‘anti-business’.

Tory health spokesman Russell George said: ‘At a time when the Government should be doing all it can to boost jobs and productivity, is it right that businesses should continue to have fill out paperwork with little value?We need to trust businesses to do what is right to keep their staff and customers safe.’

His counterpart in Plaid Cymru, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said: ‘With a jump in cases, many will be concerned at the timing of the lifting of these measures.  

A man wearing a surgical face mask sits on a bench near social distancing signage on Queen Street in Cardiff

A man wearing a surgical face mask sits on a bench near social distancing signage on Queen Street in Cardiff

A woman wearing a face mask brings a tray of drinks to customers at Barkers Tea Rooms in High Street Arcade, Cardiff

A woman wearing a face mask brings a tray of drinks to customers at Barkers Tea Rooms in High Street Arcade, Cardiff

The First Minister will announce that face covering restrictions will no longer be mandatory in shops and public transport, but masks will remain necessary in health and social care for at least another three weeks due to rising case numbers

The First Minister will announce that face covering restrictions will no longer be mandatory in shops and public transport, but masks will remain necessary in health and social care for at least another three weeks due to rising case numbers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wears a mask with the Ukrainian flag on it during the International Friendly match at Hampden Park, Glasgow

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference at the end of a Group of Seven (G7) Leaders meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2022

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon sparked fury as she U-turned on plans to remove the country’s last remaining Covid laws by keeping mask rules in place.Meanwhile in England, Boris Johnson axed all remaining Covid curbs last month

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-bee4dbd0-ac0b-11ec-a099-0599a369c49f" website UK: Wales to scrap self-isolation and masks on Monday

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