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Welsh Covid rules could be axed at end of March

THE last few remaining Covid regulations in Wales could be axed by the end of the month.

This is the first time that Welsh ministers have given a date that could see the end of laws that require people to wear masks and self-isolate.

The Welsh Government confirmed that all remaining legal measures on Covid could be stopped from March 28 as long as the public health situation stayed at a stable level, however a final decision will be made in three weeks time.

Wales is the last country in the UK to lift its coronavirus restrictions with First Minister Mark Drakeford confirming the phasing out of free mass testing by saying that there would be “no cliff-edge end to testing as we’ve seen in England”, this would allow testing to be targeted at vulnerable people whilst free mass testing is gradually phased out.

Mr. Drakeford said they cannot sustain testing just for those who “might like to find out whether I am suffering from coronavirus”.

The future of the Welsh testing regime has been in doubt since Westminster, which funds much of the service, confirmed that free mass testing would end in England on April 1.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru’s spokesman for health, welcomed the news, but said that clarity on “who exactly will be identified as vulnerable groups” was needed.

Mr. ap Iorwerth said: “We have to know that testing will remain free,” and went on to suggest that health care services needed to have built-in resilience and a long-term plan that offered solutions to future pandemic problems.