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Further relaxation of COVID rules for Welsh businesses but masks for health and social care remain

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The legal requirement for businesses in Wales to undertake specific coronavirus risk assessments will end on Monday 18 April the Welsh Government has announced.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that businesses will continue to be encouraged to take steps to operate in a Covid-safe manner however.

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His comments come as the Welsh Government has carried out the latest three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations.

The First Minister also advised that the legal requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings will remain in place for the next three weeks, in efforts to offer protection to those most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus.

Mark Drakeford said: “Retaining face coverings in health and social care settings will help to control the spread of coronavirus in places where some of the most vulnerable people in our society are being treated and live, while also helping to protect staff.

“We’re keeping this specific requirement in place while we continue with our gradual and cautious approach towards moving beyond the emergency response and away from the legal protections, which have been in place for the last two years.

“This doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. Unfortunately coronavirus is still with us – we’ve seen a spike in infections over the last month, with large numbers of people falling ill and a surge in hospital admissions.

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“We hope we are beginning to turn the corner. But it’s really important we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and each other. Everything we do can and does make a difference to the people around us – just as it has since the start of the pandemic.

“Together we can keep Wales safe and enjoy a brighter future.”

People are also being urged to get vaccinated, including booster shots when offered. A spring booster vaccine is available for people aged 75 years and over; people living in care homes for older adults and people aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed.

Health boards are sending invitations to all those who are eligible.

Invitations are also being sent to families with children aged five to eleven years who are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine primary dose.

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The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 5 May.

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