ANOTHER bank holiday has yet again been impacted by the lockdown rules, but this year people will have a bit more freedom to see their friends and family.

There is no doubt that residents across the country have sacrificed so much in the fight against coronavirus.

But with declining rates and the increasing vaccination programme, there is now 'light at the end of the tunnel'.

With the first May bank holiday coming up, and some freedoms restored, many people will be gearing up to spend time with loved ones after months apart.

The Leader previously reported that Welsh Government brought forward key dates for easing restrictions due to the declining Covid rates.

On April 24, the rule of six changed to allow six people from any number of households to meet.

From April 26, outdoor hospitality re-opened at cafes, pubs and restaurants, outdoor attractions including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks reopened and outdoor organised activities for 30 people can take place such as sports clubs and wedding receptions.

The next key date of note is May 3 when gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen and indoor organised activities for 15 adults will be allowed, including exercise classes and swimming lessons.

Indoor supervised activities can also resume, , community centres can reopen and two households can meet indoors as extended household.

Over the border in England, the route out of lockdown is slightly different. On April 12, non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and outdoor attractions reopened, while bars and restaurants were allowed to serve customers outdoors, and groups limited to two households or by the "rule of six".

The next key date for England is May 17 when outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 will be illegal

Indoors, the rule of six or a larger group of up to two households will be allowed. Indoor hospitality will be allowed and advice on social distancing between family and friends, including hugging, will be updated. Large indoor performances and sporting events with a capacity of 1,000 people will also be allowed.

Currently, there are no travel restrictions into and out of Wales, but rules on Covid restrictions must still be met.

So, what can you do in Wales this weekend? Here's what Welsh Government say.

Meeting with other people

Welsh Government say that generally, people from another household must not come in to your home except for in limited circumstances. Up to six people are permitted to meet outdoors, including in private gardens and private outdoor spaces and can go through the house to reach the garden or outdoor space, but must not stay in the house. When meeting people, Welsh Government asks to try and reduce the number of different people you see. As it is 'better to see the same people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally'.

Are picnics with people outside my household or support bubble allowed?

Yes, if you remain outside and a maximum of six people from up to six households (not including carers or children under 11 from any of these households) meet at once. You should maintain physical distancing and should avoid sharing or using the same items as people outside your household or support bubble, for example plates, cups and food packages. Any item that is passed between people in different households will increase the risk of the spread of the virus.

Can I go shopping?

Yes, all retail and close contact services are open and there are no travel restrictions currently in place into or out of Wales, but people are advised to avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors. Spas are also allowed to reopen for beauty and therapy treatments only. Spa gyms, spa pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and swimming pools must remain closed. There are no longer any additional restrictions in place on alcohol sales, normal licensing laws now apply. However, licensed premises may only sell alcohol for consumption outdoors or off the premises.

Visiting places

Self-contained accommodation can open, this includes any accommodation which does not require guests to share washing facilities, toilets or kitchens. All accommodation providers will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of the virus.

Camping and caravan sites are permitted to open as long as shared facilities and communal areas remain closed. This includes facilities such as toilets, showers and laundry areas but it does not include water points and waste disposal points which can remain available. This means that camping in a tent will not be possible, but staying in units or vehicles with self-contained facilities is permitted.

Travel out of Wales to countries within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area (CTA) is permitted. However, there may be restrictions in place within some countries within the CTA.

I live in Wales, can I go on holiday in Wales or elsewhere?

You are allowed to go on holiday within Wales to self-contained accommodation with your household or support bubble.

Overseas travel is not permitted, except in limited circumstances. It is not currently a reasonable excuse to travel to other areas of the UK or abroad for holiday purposes.

Who can I stay with in holiday accommodation such as hotels, caravans or self-catering accommodation?

You will only be able to share holiday accommodation with the people you live with in your household, and people in your support bubble (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household). This helps to reduce the risk of coronavirus being transmitted significantly, as sleeping in close proximity to other people carries a high risk of transmission due to the length of time you spend near each other.

Visiting restaurants, cafes and pubs

Outdoor hospitality, including cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars providing outdoor services. are allowed to open There are no longer any limits to when alcoholic drinks can be sold as normal licensing laws now apply.

You can visit outdoor hospitality venues with your household or up to six people from no more than six households (not including any children or carers from any of these households).

What visitor attractions and entertainment venues can open?

All outdoor visitor attractions can open. This includes:

  • outdoor funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks
  • outdoor swimming pools
  • outdoor areas of museums
  • outdoor areas of farm attractions
  • outdoor areas of zoos
  • outdoor areas of heritage sites
  • outdoor areas of historic monuments (such as castles)
  • outdoor areas of a historic parks or gardens (such as those run by the National Trust).

Any indoor elements of these attractions must remain closed other than for access to the outdoor areas of these attractions or to access toilet facilities.

Drive-in events are permitted as long as all reasonable measures are taken to minimise the exposure to coronavirus.

Can I visit a loved one living in a care home?

Routine indoor care home visits are permitted for two designated visitors. Indoor visits are also permitted for non-designated visitors in exceptional circumstances, including, but not restricted to, end of life.

Outdoor visits and visits within visitor pods or similar enclosed spaces can continue to take place. All visitors should be tested prior to an indoor visit or visit within a visiting pod or similar enclosed space, and rapid testing has been made available to care homes to facilitate this.