WALES is being slapped with fresh restrictions from Boxing Day that will bring back the hated Rule of Six for pubs, restaurants and cinemas.
In a tightening to tackle Omicron, two-metre social distancing indoors will also return and all large gatherings will be banned.
People must where face masks in boozers except while they're sitting down to drink.
And any no more than 30 people are allowed to meet indoors or 50 indoors – even in private homes.
Fans at grassroots sports matches will also be limited to 50 people.
First Minister Mark Drakeford warned the country was "facing a very serious situation" as imposed Alert Level 2 restrictions.
His tightening of the rules piles fresh pressure on Boris Johnson, who is considering a circuit-breaker after Christmas.
The PM has ruled out any more measures before December 25 but is facing growing calls to take action after Boxing Day.
Nicola Sturgeon's and now Mr Drakeford's decision to go harder will likely ratchet up demands for similar measures in England.
Announcing the cracdown in Wales Mr Drakeford said: "We are facing a very serious situation in Wales.
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"A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way.
"This new form of coronavirus could infect large numbers of people in Wales, disrupting daily lives and businesses and could cause an increase in the number of people who need hospital care in the coming weeks.
"We will do everything we can to protect people’s health and livelihoods in Wales – this means taking early action to try and control its spread.
"We are changing the rules for businesses and some public spaces, where lots of different people mix daily and issuing strong and clear advice to help people stay safe in their own private homes and when meeting others."
The Senedd has been recalled and Mr Drakeford will make a virtual statement from 1.30pm and members will then have the opportunity to ask questions.
It comes as the number of identified Omicron cases in Wales grew by 204 on Tuesday to 640.
Meanwhile, workers in Wales could be fined £60 for going to their office under new coronavirus laws if they are able to work from home.
The Welsh Government has amended legislation to make attending a workplace unnecessarily a criminal offence, amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
This is a breaking story. More to follow…
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