Nightclubs are on track to reopen and social distancing and rule of six requirements will be ended by the end of the month in Wales, the First Minister has confirmed.

Mark Drakeford said Wales would complete the move to alert level zero on January 28 unless the coronavirus situation deteriorates.

The phased plan to gradually relax the alert level two measures and move back to alert level zero will continue, Mr Drakeford said.

The latest public health data suggests Wales has passed the peak of the Omicron wave and coronavirus cases are falling back to levels similar to those seen earlier in the autumn.

There have also been reductions in the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital.

From Friday, Wales will move to alert level zero for all outdoor activities, meaning crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events and limits will be removed from taking part in outdoor activities.

The rule of six and social distancing will be removed from outdoor hospitality.

But the Covid pass will continue to be required for entry to larger outdoor events attended by more than 4,000 people, if unseated, or 10,000 people when seated.

Covid passes will still be required in all cinemas, theatres and concert halls which are currently open.

Mr Drakeford said: “The latest figures show we have passed the Omicron peak and we can continue to lift the alert level two protections as part of our careful and phased plan.

“We will lift the limits on the number of people who can gather for outdoor events.

“We remain cautiously confident the public health situation is heading in the right direction and next week we will be able to complete the move to alert level zero, unless the situation changes for the worse.

Cumulative UK Covid-19 vaccinations
(PA Graphics)

“We are in this position thanks to the efforts of everyone in Wales and our fantastic vaccination programme.

“It is important that everyone continues to follow the rules and the guidance to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including taking up the offer of a booster vaccine if they haven’t already done so.”

On January 28, Wales will complete the move to alert level zero, Mr Drakeford said.

This means nightclubs will reopen and the requirement for two-metre social distancing and the rule of six will end.

But businesses, employers and other organisations must continue to undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

Working from home will remain part of the advice from the Welsh Government but it will no longer be a legal requirement.

The Covid pass will continue to be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

The self-isolation rules for everyone who tests positive for Covid and the face-covering rules, which apply in most public indoor places, will remain in force after January 28.