Following in England’s footsteps, Wales is now preparing to scrap emergency measures as it looks to plan how to safely live with coronavirus in the long term.
Measures in the region have been in place for two years but the government has now announced that by March 28 all legal requirements may be removed, in consideration of the public health situation.
In a statement, first minister Mark Drakeford commented on the sacrifices the public have made in order to keep others safe.
He continued: “As we publish this longer-term plan, there is no doubt we have reached a significant moment in this pandemic and we can look to the future with growing confidence that the next year will be one in which we have a different relationship with the virus.”
Drakeford further noted that the pandemic was not over, stating “we are likely to see fluctuations in global patterns of infection for several years”.
Wales’ plan involves a gradual transition out of its emergency measures, with the introduction of two core planning scenarios: Covid Stable, which expects new waves that won’t affect the NHS, and Covid Urgent, which considers the possibility of a new variant that overrides the vaccine.
Following the Covid Stable plan, which the government has said is more likely, it plans to move away from routine testing and self-isolation requirements and provide businesses with the ability to build on elements of infection control.