Mark Drakeford MS will announce the lifting of the five-mile lockdown rule today

The First Minister will officially announce the lifting of the five-mile lockdown rule from Monday, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

Mark Drakeford MS told the public that the rule would be lifted as long as the R-rate in Wales remained below one.

And today, he will announce that the controversial five mile rule will be lifted from Monday onwards.

The lifting of the rule will be welcomed by many in Ceredigion, with some not having been able to see their families face-to-face for months.

Extended household rule expected to also be announced

Mr Drakeford is also expected to confirm that people can form ‘bubbles’ with one other single household.

The First Minister told the public last Monday that so long as Wales’ infection rate stayed at a manageable level, they would be allowed to form an extended household.

The Welsh Government has not mentioned whether Mr Drakeford will make the announcement today, but as Wales has not seen any new spikes of Covid-19, the First Minister is expected to still confirm the change.

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Why is the rule so controversial?

The five-mile rule has been one of the more heatedly debated lockdown rules, particularly in rural areas such as Ceredigion.

With many people in the county living far more than five miles from any family members, it meant that many of us haven’t seen close relatives in over three months.

And while the First Minister has said that the figure of ‘five miles’ was a guideline, it was a guideline that police were able to enforce with fixed penalty notices, suggesting that it was in fact a rule after all.

So many people, if not most, have followed the rule to the letter.

And this has left some people feeling incredibly isolated as they were unable to essentially have any real contact with their family members for months on end.

But others, including those who were unable to visit any relatives, have supported the rule, saying that the benefits of keeping a tight lid on the coronavirus.

And this rule may have helped contribute to the incredibly low number of cases in rural counties, particularly in Ceredigion.

Feature image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay