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Events in Wales will be able to resume from 17 July with capacity caps before all restrictions are lifted on 7 August, first minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

From 17 July, Wales will move to Alert Level 1, which permits organised indoor events for up to 1,000 seated or 200 standing take place. Six people can also meet indoors.

From 7 August the country will move to Alert Level 0 where most of Wales’ Covid restrictions will end, although not all will be lifted. Capacity caps on events will be removed entirely, although the wearing of face coverings will remain mandatory in public places. Organisers and venues are likely to be encouraged to ensure event attendees also wear masks.

Social distancing rules will cease to exist in law, but event organisers will be asked to thoroughly risk assess their events to avoid the possibility of overcrowding.

Despite the opening, first minister Drakeford told a press conference: “This is not a free-for-all,” insisting the caution is still urged.

“There will continue to be some important protections to help keep us all safe, especially those who are clinically vulnerable and who are perhaps the most anxious about an easing of restrictions,” he added.

Fiona Stewart, owner of the 25,000-capacity Green Man Festival due to take place on 19-22 August, described it as a great day for Welsh festivals: “There are many amazing festivals in Wales, it’s a great day and I am very relieved events are finally able to open up again.”

Around the UK

All restrictions will be lifted in law in England on 19 July with events permitted to proceed without capacity caps subject to restrictions.

Event restrictions in Northern Ireland are due to be reviewed on 22 July ahead of a potential further easing on 26 July.

Scotland will be in Alert Level 0 from 19 July, meaning there will still be limits on the size of events and stadia attendances, but these will increase outdoors to 2,000 seated and 1,000 standing, and indoors to 400. Masks and social distancing will remain.