Wales is set to return to a full lockdown from Friday, in the wake of a surge in coronavirus cases across the country.

Non-essential shops as well as pubs and restaurants will be among the businesses closed in the ‘firebreak’ lockdown which is due to last for two weeks.

Certain other businesses will remain open under the lockdown – but just what are the rules on the new restrictions?

Here’s what you need to know…

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What are the rules of the firebreak lockdown in Wales?

The March-style shutdown will see people being asked to stay at home unless they are ‘critical workers’ or cannot work from home, in which case they will be allowed to leave the house to do their jobs.

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Outdoor exercise is also permitted under the restrictions.

However people have been told they are not allowed to meet anyone they don’t live with either indoors or outdoors, unless they live alone, in which case they can form a support bubble with one other household.

Travel is also only permitted for buying essential items – such as food or medication – travelling to work if it cannot be done from home, seeking medical attention, providing care to someone or getting tested for Covid. Travelling for holidays will not be permitted during the lockdown.

Non-essential retail will also have to close along with community centres, recycling centres, libraries, hotels and close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians – while places of worship will only be allowed to open for weddings or funerals.

Indoor leisure centres and gyms will also close during the new lockdown, but outdoor gyms, parks and playgrounds can remain open.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide a takeaway service for the 17 days of lockdown.

Will schools close again?

The start of the lockdown coincides with the half-term break in Wales, meaning schools will already be closed for the first week.

However, only primary schools and secondary schools up to year eight will return in the second week, with the remainder of students learning remotely for the rest of the lockdown period.

University students in Wales have been told to stay in their accommodation, with teaching switching to online for the duration.

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