Wales' lockdown restrictions will be eased next week, with people from two households allowed to meet outdoors and weddings permitted – if the bride or groom is terminally ill.

And non-essential retail businesses which can comply with the two-metres rule have been told to start to prepare to reopen over the next three weeks ahead of the next lockdown review on June 18.

After the latest review of lockdown restrictions, First Minister Mark Drakeford said that family and friends will be able to meet up once again under the new regulations, which come into force from Monday.

People from two different households will be allowed to meet up outdoors – and this doesn't have to be the same two households each time.

They can also meet in outdoor spaces such as gardens, but the Government warned that the risk of infection would increase if they had to pass through somebody's house to get into the garden.

And beauty and tourist spots will remain closed

Weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place only if the bride or groom is terminally ill.

There are, however, several limits on people's ability to meet up.

People will not generally be able to travel more than five miles from home – and must continue to maintain social distancing, staying two metres apart.

The changes follow the third statutory review of the regulations by Welsh Ministers. The review is based on the latest scientific evidence from SAGE and the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.

Wales has passed the first peak of infection and rates are falling but the R rate remains at 0.8. Both SAGE and the World Health Organisation has advised changes should only be made one step at a time.

Prof Drakeford said: “We recognise what people have given up to help Wales slow the spread of coronavirus. I want to thank everyone for everything they have done – by sticking to the rules, we are all helping to protect each other and help our NHS respond to the pandemic.

“We know people are missing seeing their family and friends – the latest evidence, which underpins this review, means we can make some changes, to enable people to meet again, if it is done outdoors and locally, and people continue to follow the social distancing guidance.

“We are learning more about this virus every day and we know the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors. That’s why, if we all remain two metres apart, two households will be able to meet outdoors, including in private gardens.

“However, a lower risk doesn’t mean no risk. Even in these circumstances it is vital we all maintain social distancing so we can continue to tackle the spread of this virus.

“Now and in the days and months ahead we all have a personal responsibility to make sure our actions don’t contribute to the spread of coronavirus. Please help keep Wales safe by staying local.”

At the next review on June 18, the Welsh Government will examine options for:

  • Re-opening non-essential retail
  • Increasing capacity for childcare and public transport to allow people to return to work.
  • Allowing people to move house to stimulate the housing market.
  • Re-opening outdoors sites, including outdoor markets, sports courts, outdoor showrooms, and outdoor museums.
  • Re-opening facilities for non-professional "elite" athletes to train safely – which could indicate

The First Minister added: “I am signalling to businesses across Wales that they may begin preparations to be ready to resume activity in these areas should the evidence support reopening.

“This will allow us to restart activity as soon as possible if the conditions allow. We will continue to work closely with the public sector, trade unions, businesses, the third sector and others to achieve this.”