Coronavirus: Wales is changing its lockdown rules so people go home quicker

Coronavirus lockdown measures are being tightened in Wales from Saturday.

The Welsh government is tweaking its rules to make it clear that people who go out for essential reasons must return straight home afterwards.

One target is to stop people venturing to a second property, with Welsh ministers asking four police forces to investigate whether the rules here need tightening.

Other rules are being relaxed slightly to help vulnerable people.

Businesses that offer a “click and collect” service will be allowed to open from the weekend – so long as they ensure all customers and staff remain two metres apart.

And the definition of “vulnerable people” is being expanded to include people who could benefit from more support – such as those with dementia.

From Saturday, those with health conditions or disabilities will be allowed to leave home to exercise more than once a day.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The changes we are introducing supplement the rules already in force but they respond to some challenges being faced in parts of the country and by families throughout Wales.

“Our message has not changed – anyone can get coronavirus, anyone can spread it. So please, stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.”

On Friday, Mr Drakeford will reveal the seven tests that must be passed before any parts of the lockdown in Wales can be lifted.

Sky News understands they will include making sure that any move has a positive impact on the economy, wellbeing and equality.

The UK government – which has jurisdiction over health in England – has revealed its own five tests for lifting lockdown measures.

And in Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid out plans for redesigned classrooms and changed working practices in offices to help slowly ease restrictions.

Britons are facing lockdown until at least Thursday 7 May – when the four governments will again review and decide whether to strengthen, extend or loosen the stay-at-home rules.

So far more than 18,000 hospital patients have died across the UK with COVID-19. Once those who have died in care homes and the community are included, the figure could be substantially higher.

As questions turn to how parts of society and the economy can re-open, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed plans to adopt contact tracing – which involves tracking people who have been near or in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

He added that from Friday all those deemed “key workers” and their households will be able to get coronavirus tests on the website.

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