The keep Wales message has been extended for three weeks, until at least March 12, but Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has started to ease some lockdown measures.
Wales can look forward to “more positive days and weeks to come” following signs that the worst of the second wave of coronavirus has passed, Mr Drakeford said.
Mr Drakeford confirmed that the improvement in the public health situation opened the possibility of restoring “other freedoms” when the restrictions were revised on March 12, to accompany the return to school for all pupils in the primary.
He also suggested that the Welsh hospitality sector, including pubs and restaurants, could reopen at a similar time to other UK countries later in the spring.
Mr Drakeford said he would provide a return date for drop-ins “as soon as the public health post is safe enough for us to do,” and when one is given, “it will be a reliable date, and a date when people will be able to act on “.
But he said the timetable for doing so would “not be much different” from elsewhere in the UK, with Boris Johnson announcing that companies in England could offer a foreign service from April 12 at the earliest and a service interior from May 17th.
Children aged three to seven returned to school in Wales on February 22, with all primary school children in Wales due to resume face-to-face teaching from mid-March on condition that the coronavirus situation in the country “continues to improve”.
Mr Drakeford also confirmed that from February 20, up to four people from two different homes will be able to meet for a local social distancing exercise – excluding the private gardens.
In addition, from March 1, the law will be amended to allow the reopening of authorized wedding venues, such as tourist attractions and hotels, but only for marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.
On February 19, the Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that ‘self-contained’ holiday homes in Wales could also reopen in time for the Easter period. Mr Drakeford said Easter was an “important time” for the tourism and hospitality industry in Wales and the government “was discussing with them what might be possible”.
People have also been allowed to reform their support bubble, as part of the latest review of the level four restrictions that have been in place since December 20.
However, vulnerable people in Wales have been advised to continue to protect themselves in their homes until March 31.
All non-essential shops, hospitality and gymnasiums are currently closed under these restrictions, but some aspects of non-essential retail, as well as personal services such as hairdressing, could start to reopen in Wales from March 15, Mr Drakeford said.
The Welsh government officially reviews Covid-19 regulations – including school closures – every three weeks, with the next review expected on March 12.
Wales currently has the lowest rate among the four countries, with 65.7 cases per 100,000 population in the seven days leading up to February 24.
This is the lowest rate for Wales since the seven days to September 22, 2020.