The tourism sector in Wales will be able to start re-opening from Saturday in time for Easter as a ‘stay-local’ rule is lifted.

Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, will be able to reopen to people from the same household or support bubble.

The rule to stay local will be replaced by an interim all-Wales travel area, which will remain in place until April 12, subject to the public health situation.

But only those with a reasonable excuse, such as work, will be able to travel into or out of Wales for the next two weeks, first minister Mark Drakeford confirmed.

Existing restrictions on international travel for holidays will remain in place.

The relaxation of tourism accommodation rules continue the Welsh government’s step-by-step approach to relaxing Covid-19 restrictions, taking account of the highly-infectious Kent variant, which is now the dominant form of the virus in Wales.

Lockdown was imposed in Wales at the end of December after a rise in cases increased pressure on the Welsh NHS.

The UK government does not plan to ease stay at home restrictions in England until March 29, but ministers will urge people to remain local as much as possible.

Trips to self-catering accommodation in England will not be allowed until April 12.

Announcing the changes in Wales, Drakeford said: “These further relaxations are part of our careful and phased approach to unlocking the restrictions and enabling people and businesses to resume their activities in the safest possible way.

“We’re only able to do this because of the sacrifices everyone across Wales has made over the last few months – everything you are doing to keep your loved ones safe is also keeping Wales safe.

“The public health position remains stable; our incredible vaccination programme goes from strength to strength – we have headroom to make these changes.”

Other changes include:

  • Six people from two different households, excluding children under 11, will be able to meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens;
  • Organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under 18s will be able to resume;
  • There will be a limited opening of outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens;
  • Libraries and archives will be able to re-open.

Drakeford added: “We are taking a step-by step approach to relaxing restrictions and want to carry on being able to open up Wales.

“To do that we need everyone’s help. That means staying vigilant for signs of infection; isolating if we have symptoms and arranging to get tested.

“It also means following the basic steps to keep us all safe while we’re out and about – keeping our distance from others; not mixing indoors; avoiding crowds; washing our hands regularly and wearing face coverings.”