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Guidance on how you can keep safe and what rules are in place to protect people at alert level 2.

Part of:
First published:
14 May 2021
Last updated:

General

What restrictions are in place?

Alert level 2 restrictions mean that:

  • people must not enter other people’s homes, except for very limited purposes
  • face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions) and on public transport and in taxis
  • people should try and work from home if they can
  • people should maintain social distancing, including outdoors
  • people should wash their hands regularly and follow other advice on hygiene
  • people must self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.

What happens if I don’t follow this guidance?

Most of what is set out in this guidance reflects requirements in the Regulations, which is the law and so may be enforced by the police or local authority enforcement officers. However, even when things are permitted, we ask you to think carefully about what is the most sensible thing for you to do to protect your family, friends and your community, rather than thinking about what the law allows you to do.

Where you breach the law, you may be told to go home or removed from where you are and returned home. You could be asked to pay a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will rise to £120 for the second breach and continue to increase for further breaches. For more serious offences, penalties start at £500. Or you could have criminal proceedings brought against you, and if found guilty, you will have to pay a fine.

How long will these measures stay in place?

The national measures are kept under constant review.

Seeing other people at home

Can people from another household come into my home?

Generally, people from another household must not come in to your home unless you have formed an extended household with them. There may also be other circumstances where people may need to come in to your home, including compassionate groundsproviding care and working in people’s homes).

Meeting people from another household socially indoors in another person’s home is not allowed under the rules, unless the household is part of your extended household. This is because it significantly increases the risk of spreading the virus.

Up to six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households) are permitted to meet outdoors, including in private gardens and private outdoor spaces. Where this is the case, visitors can go through the house to reach the garden or outdoor space, but must not stay in the house. You should not use kitchen equipment, cutlery or anything else in another household.  Where items are being passed between households, you should ensure items are thoroughly washed and you maintain good hand hygiene. If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.

There is also an additional penalty for taking part in house parties and a higher penalty for organising such parties.

Please see guidance on gathering with other people for further details.

What is an extended household?

An extended household is an agreement between two households which allows them to meet with each other in their homes and certain other places. This creates a ‘bubble’ that enables people to meet one another in each others homes. This is similar to the support bubble arrangements that have been in place during lockdown, but now the arrangements apply to any two households.   

Can I form an extended household?

Yes. Your household is able to join together with one other household to form an exclusive extended household. This means you can spend time with them in your home or in their home. This includes staying overnight in each other’s homes.

Please see guidance on gathering with other people to see the rules on who can be in an extended household, how to choose who to form one with and how it works for people with different types of living arrangements.

A third household can join an extended household in limited circumstances.  The following households can join two other households to form an extended household:

  • a household with an adult living alone
  • a household with a single responsible adult*
  • a household where you are 16 or 17 living alone or with others of the same age, with no adult

For more information on extended households and what is meant by a single responsible adult, please see guidance on gathering with other people. 

*For example, if Laura lives with her parents and acts as a carer for them, and also has two young children living with her, she is effectively the sole responsible adult in the household. Her household would therefore be able to join a support bubble with one other household of any kind.

Can I form a support bubble?

Support bubbles were allowed to help people who lived by themselves or households with a single responsible adult, or a child under one to meet indoors with one other household during alert level four lockdown.

If you were in a support bubble, you can still maintain that arrangement as an extended household. But you  may also be able  to join with another two households with have formed and extended household as long as your extended household meets the rules described above.

For more information on extended households, please see our guidance on gethering with other people.

Are there any limits on who I can form an extended household with?

There are no rules saying your extended household has to be within any set distance of your home. There are also no rules preventing extended households being formed with households outside Wales, including abroad , although if you form an extended household with someone outside Wales you should be aware of the rules in place in that other country and also any limitations and requirements on international travel

We recommend that extended households are formed locally wherever possible.

Can I change my extended household?

We recommend people avoid changing extended household unless absolutely necessary, in order to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus between households.

However, we recognise that people’s relationships and circumstances may change over time. Those eligible can form a new extended household provided that:

  • households end their current extended household
  • households refrain from mixing with any other household (including your new extended household for a period of 10 days before forming the new extended household.

If someone in your previous extended household develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus up to 48 hours after members of the extended household last met, if told to do so by a contact racer, members of the extended household or must self-isolate. You must not form a new extended household until you have completed your self-isolation.

For more information, please see our guidance on gathering with other people.

Are the rules different if I live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or supported living?

No. If you live within a shared building (a House in Multiple Occupation or HMO) the same rules apply; you can be in an extended household with one other household from outside of your shared home. Please see the guidance on supported living for more information.

If you share facilities such as bathrooms or kitchens you should be aware of the increased risks and take appropriate precautions to minimise that risk – see Public Health Wales guidance for further information.

What if I do not have a home, or I am in unsuitable accommodation?

Your local authority should help find you suitable emergency accommodation and support if you do not have a home or are in unsuitable accommodation, they have funding to support this.

If you are in need of support then you should contact the housing options team in your local area, their contact details will be located on your local authority’s website.

The Welsh Government also funds Shelter Cymru to provide independent housing advice and support. Further information, advice and support can be found on the Shelter Cymru website.

My child does not live with me but there are regular arrangements in place so we can continue to have contact with each other – can these arrangements continue?

Yes – for children who do not live in the same household as their parents and have existing arrangements in place to visit and safely have contact, these arrangements can continue. This could include children in foster care, children’s homes and adoptive placements.

Meeting people outside the home

Who can I meet up with outdoors?

Up to six people from up to six households (excluding any carers or children under 11 from any of these households) can meet outdoors at any one time. This includes public outdoor spaces such as parks and outdoor areas of regulated premises and private outdoor spaces such as gardens.

However, we ask you to

  • please try and reduce the number of different people you see. It is better to see the same people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
  • please maintain social distancing and hand hygiene

You must not meet up with people from outside your extended household  indoors.

Please see guidance on gathering with other people for more information.

What are regulated premises?

Regulated premises are:

  • The premises of any business or service open to the public, including but not limited to retail premises, museums, theatres, concert halls, gyms, leisure and fitness facilities, community centres,  close contact service premises, cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants, registry offices, places of worship and libraries
  • Public transport vehicles, including taxis, trains and buses
  • Any building where work is carried out, including factories and office buildings

Are the rules on who I can meet different indoors and outdoors?

Up to six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households are permitted to meet outdoors, including in outdoor areas of regulated premises, private gardens and private outdoor spaces.

Up to six people from up to six households (excluding carers or children under 11 from any of these households) are permitted to meet in most indoor areas of regulated premises, for example, cafes, restaurants and pubs. The only exception to this would be within premises such as gyms and retail premises that may seek to restrict the numbers of people who may enter at any one time.

If your household is more than six people you can still meet in these places.

You can only meet members of your extended household indoors in private homes.

What are the rules for meeting members of my extended household outdoors?

If you are meeting only with members of your household, the maximum number of six does not apply. In these circumstances, the entire household could meet up together outdoors, including in outdoor areas of regulated premises such as cafes or pubs, even if the number of people in the group exceeds six.

If you are meeting only with members of your extended household outdoors, the maximum number of six does not apply unless you are meeting in outdoor areas of regulated premises. In these circumstances, your extended household will be counted as a separate household and therefore count towards the total number of six people from up to six households that can gather.

If you are meeting other households as well as your extended household outdoors, you still need to ensure that no more than six people from up to six households are meeting at once.

For example, if you are going for a walk with one person from your extended household, the maximum number of additional people who can join you from other households would be four. Children under 11 years of age or carers from any of the households present do not count towards the total numbers.

Do I always have to meet the same people or can I vary who I meet?

You can vary the people you meet as long as the maximum number of people meeting at one time, that do not live together, is six from a maximum of six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households).

If you want to see different people, we recommend that you leave time in between meeting different groups of people to ensure that you have not developed symptoms of coronavirus from anyone in the first group of people you met.

We are asking people to think about what is the most sensible thing for you to do to protect your family, friends and your community, rather than thinking primarily about what you are allowed to do.

Can I meet people I don’t live with in my garden?

Yes. Up to six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households)are permitted to meet in private gardens. Visitors can go through the house to reach the garden, but must not stay in the house. You should avoid sharing kitchen equipment, cutlery or anything else in another household. Where items are being passed between households, you should ensure items are thoroughly washed and you maintain good hand hygiene. If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.

Are picnics with people outside my household or extended household allowed?

Yes, if you remain outside and a maximum of six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households) meet at once. You should maintain physical distancing and should avoid sharing or using the same items as people outside your household, for example plates, cups and food packages. Any item that is passed between people in different households will increase the risk of the spread of the virus.

Can an unlimited number of children aged under 11 meet outdoors?

Outside of the home, the number of children aged under 11 who can gather is not limited in law. However, this is limited to children from no more than six households.

Young children are not included in the number because studies have found that young children are less likely to transmit the virus, whether to other children or to adults, and the virus appears to take a milder course in children than in adults for most cases. This has been done to enable parents with multiple children under 11 to meeting with other adults.

However, as young children can still transmit the virus, parents of young children should still exercise their good judgement, and take care especially to encourage their children to follow hand hygiene measures and keep close contact to a minimum wherever possible. Even with children it is safer to meet in smaller numbers, and to meet the same people regularly rather than a range of different people.

Children aged 11 or over are covered by rules in the same way as adults.

Please see guidance on gathering with other people for more information.

Are there any circumstances in which gatherings of more than six people from up to six households are permitted?

There are some situations in which people may well need to come together in groups of larger than six from up to six households, which would be permitted. Examples include accessing education, for work purposes, to attend a place of worship or to participate in court proceedings.

Gatherings of more than six people (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households) from up to six households are also permitted in order to attend  organised activities,wedding or civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, and funerals and wakes.

If you are meeting in indoor regulated premises with other households as well as your extended household outdoors, you still need to ensure that no more than six people from up to six households are meeting at once.

Finally, if your individual household (the people you live with) is more than six people you can still meet together outdoors and within indoor areas of regulated premises. If you are meeting with your extended household indoors in regulated premises, you still need to ensure that no more than six people from up to six households are meeting at once.

Vaccination and testing

When will I receive the vaccine?

Health boards in Wales started administering vaccines on 8 December. NHS Wales will vaccinate people in order of clinical risk (on GOV.UK). When you are eligible for the vaccine (on Public Health Wales), you will be invited to a dedicated clinic.

For more information, please see the coronavirus vaccination programme page.

Can I meet up with a group of people if one or all of us have had the coronavirus vaccine or have recently had a negative test for coronavirus?

The rules are the same for people who have had the vaccine or have received a negative test as for everyone else. You must not meet indoors with anyone you do not live with except in limited circumstances. A maximum of six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households) can meet outdoors. 

Can I meet up with someone if I’ve just been tested and I didn’t have coronavirus?

The rules are the same for you as for everyone else. Even if you do not currently have coronavirus, you are at risk of catching it from other people and then passing it on to others.

Childcare, care and support

Are childcare and play services allowed to operate?

Yes childcare services are still open, including day care, child minding, sessional, crèche; out of school/holiday provision, staffed playwork provision and Flying Start provision, as long as it is legal for the premises from which they operate to be open. Nannies can also continue to provide childcare. 

There is guidance to help childcare settings ensure that their services are safe. This is not expected to change immediately, although we will be keeping it under review. Guidance for operating open access play settings remains in place and will not change.

I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can I still see them?

Where parental responsibility is shared, existing arrangements can continue and the child can move between both parents, and therefore between both parents’ households (and extended households where relevant).

Can family or friends provide informal childcare?

Yes. Children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill. Adults dropping off children for childcare should not enter someone else’s home, unless it is the other home within their extended household.

I have caring responsibilities for somebody I do not live with – can I visit them?

You are allowed to provide care for or to help someone who needs it, such as an older person, a child or a vulnerable adult, even if they are not part of your household or extended household. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

When considering whether there is a need to visit someone outside your household or extended household, especially indoors, you should remember we all have a responsibility to recognise the risks the virus presents to ourselves, our families and friends and our wider communities.

People need to make judgements for themselves about what is reasonable, in line with that overarching principle. Keep in mind that the purpose of the restrictions is to prevent the spreading of the virus, including to those we care about.

Can I visit a loved one living in a care home?

Routine indoor care home visits can take place, and up to two indoor visitors may visit at the same time.

Outdoor visits and visits within visitor pods or similar enclosed spaces can continue to take place.

All visitors should be tested prior to an indoor visit and rapid testing has been made available to care homes to facilitate this.

The  decision on how visits take place rests with the individual provider.  However we expect and encourage providers to facilitate visits where possible.  In each case, the provider needs to put in place appropriate risk assessments, social distancing and safety measures, and you should contact them before travelling to arrange  to visit.

Routine visits will be temporarily suspended in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at the home.  Visits in exceptional circumstances can continue to take place including, but not restricted to, end of life.

For more information, please see the care home guidance

What do you mean by compassionate grounds?

You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone in exceptional circumstances where that person may be suffering from a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement, is isolated, or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.

Visits to places such as supported accommodation, children’s homes or hospitals are permitted in exceptional circumstances, where they are allowed by the relevant setting. In each case, the service provider needs to put in place appropriate social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling.

I am a parent of a young child, what support can I get from family and friends?

Extended household arrangements have resumed and parents with children will be able to form an extended household with one other household. For parents with children under the age of 1, this extended household arrangement replaces the previous support bubble arrangement.  Such a household will be able to form an extended household with no more than one other household.

To help parents with young children, our rules also allow for informal childcare arrangements with friends or family outside of the extended household to continue. The rules also allow meetings with friends or family if extra support and help are needed, but only if there are no other reasonable methods by which the support and help can be provided.

Even though this extra support is permitted, we ask that everyone thinks carefully about the most sensible thing to do to protect their family, friends and community, rather than just thinking about what the law allows them to do. If you do require extra help or support from family or friends, you should minimise the number of people you engage with for support, and the number of meetings, as much as possible.

Please visit the parenting help and support pages for information on sources of advice and support for parents.

I am a disabled person, or a parent of a disabled person with care responsibility, can I access help and support?

Our rules allow for disabled people to access support or care if required. This can be formal support through carers or informal support from families or close friends.

Even though providing extra support may be permitted, we ask that everyone thinks carefully about the most sensible thing to do to protect their family, friends and community, rather than just thinking about what the law allows them to do. If you do require extra help or support from family or friends, you should minimise the number of people you engage with for support, and the number of meetings, as much as possible, particularly if you are, or the person you are providing support to is, clinically extremely vulnerable.

Self-isolation

What is a duty to self-isolate?

People who have tested positive or have come in to close contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus will be required by law to self-isolate for 10 days when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. This notification will come through a phone call, text message or email. Failure to do so can lead to you being issued a fixed penalty notice or criminal prosecution.

We also strongly advise you to self-isolate if you are notified through the NHS Covid-19 app that you should do so. However, there is no legal duty to do so because the privacy and anonymity protections on the app mean that it does not collect any personal details.

We also strongly advise you that if you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, you should follow the general self-isolation guidance and should arrange to have a test (although again this is not covered by the legal duty).

What exactly does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation is where you stay home and limit all unnecessary contact with others outside of your household. This includes not going to work outside your home. This is to ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 prevent passing it on to their friends, family and wider community, including their work colleagues.

I have tested positive for coronavirus. How long do I need to self-isolate for?

If you test positive for coronavirus and you know when your symptoms started, you need to self-isolate until at least 10 days have passed from the day you had symptoms.

But if you test positive for coronavirus and you cannot tell contact tracers when your symptoms started, or you have not had symptoms, then you must self-isolate until 10 days has elapsed since your test. Read the full Self-isolation guidance.

I haven’t tested positive for coronavirus, but I have been told by contact tracers to self-isolate. How long do I need to self-isolate for?

You will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

If you do not live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 10 days starts from when you last had close contact with them. Contact tracers should advise you of what is required.

If you do live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 10 days starts on the day they reported their symptoms. Or, if they have not displayed any symptoms, the 10 days starts from the time of their test.

When a contact tracer calls you, they will also advise you to book a PCR test as soon as possible, and again on day 8. Testing of asymptomatic contacts provides further opportunities to identify more index cases and their close contacts that would otherwise be unknown to TTP, helping to further break chains of transmission.

Taking a test is not an alternative to self-isolating. If the tests are negative, you will still need to self-isolate for the full 10 day period because it can take up to 10 days or more for symptoms to develop, or for the virus to appear in your system.

If any of the test results (immediate test or day 8 test) come back positive, you will start a new 10 day period of self-isolation from the day you took your test.

I have been told to self-isolate – are there any situations in which I can still leave home?

There are a few exceptional circumstances where you are able to leave self-isolation:

  • to seek medical assistance, where this is urgent or you are advised to do so by a medical professional
  • where you are at serious risk of harm, such as to avoid domestic abuse or sexual violence
  • to meet a legal obligation or participate in court proceedings, if this cannot be done remotely from home
  • for compassionate reasons, such as attending the funeral of a family member or close friend if you are invited
  • to shop for basic necessities, but only if nobody else can do this for you and you cannot get them delivered
  • to move house, if you have to because it is no longer possible for you to stay where you are living
  • to access veterinary services, if nobody else can transport the animal to and from those services

However, although you are allowed to leave home for these purposes, you should think carefully about whether you have an alternative to doing so.

If you have to leave home and have no alternative, in all of the above cases, you must stay away from home for the shortest possible time, and you should take every possible precautionary measure to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. This includes maintaining the greatest possible distance from other people, avoiding public transport, and wearing a face covering.

These exceptions do not apply to people required to self-isolate when arriving in Wales from a country under additional measures. In these instances you must follow the advice outlined in the self-isolation guidance for travel in to Wales.

What support is available to people who have to self-isolate?

People can apply to receive a £500 payment if they have tested positive for coronavirus or they are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service or the NHS Covid-19 App because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. 

The payment is available to people on a low income who are unable to work from home and would lose income as a result of self-isolating. To be eligible, people must be self-isolating and in receipt of Universal Credit or another specified benefit.

People can also apply to their local authority for a discretionary payment if they are unable to work from home and are losing income and facing financial hardship. Parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate through their education setting are also able to apply. 

The Self-Isolation Payment scheme has been live since 16 November. People are able to apply for the payments via their local authority website and claims must be made within 21 days of the period  of self-isolation ending. Please see the self-isolation support scheme page to find out more.

People who are self-isolating may also be able to access help from voluntary organisations in their area if they do not have any friends or family who can help them with getting food and other essentials.

My child has been told to self-isolate. Are they under a duty to self- isolate?

Children aged 16 and 17 are generally notified directly by NHS Wales Test Trace Protect. In those circumstances the child is treated as an adult and must isolate according to the same rules.

In the case of younger children it will be the parent, guardian or other responsible adult who will be notified about a child’s requirement to isolate. In those cases the parent, guardian or responsible adult is required to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the child complies with the requirement to isolate. In the rare circumstances where a parent, guardian or responsible adult is notified about a child aged 16 or 17, this requirement to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the child self-isolates will apply.

Where a child is required to self-isolate as a known contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the household setting, only the child (not the whole household) is required to complete a period of self-isolation.

Does my employer have to let me self-isolate?

Yes. Employers should enable any employee who is required to self-isolate to do so. The Self-isolation guidance provides information on the evidence that can be provided to your employer confirming the requirement for you to self-isolate.

Can I still work from home when isolating?

If you are able to work from home, then we encourage people to continue to do so wherever possible, if they are well enough. Your employer should support you to work from home as much as possible while isolating. If you cannot work from home, then you may be eligible for a self-isolation payment or for statutory sick pay due to COVID-19 (on GOV.UK).

I have had the coronavirus vaccine – do I still need to self-isolate?

Yes – the rules are the same for people who have had the vaccine as for everyone else.

Do I still need to self-isolate if I’ve been tested and I didn’t have coronavirus?

Yes – if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect then you must do so for the full 10 days. If you catch coronavirus from someone, it can take time for you to develop the virus – that is why self-isolation is important.

Do I still need to self-isolate if I’ve previously had coronavirus?

Yes – the rules are the same for people who have previously had coronavirus as for everyone else. You might have some immunity to coronavirus, but it's not clear how long that immunity will last. You may therefore still be carrying the virus and at risk of passing it on to others.

Although rare, there are cases of reinfection from COVID-19.  In general, reinfection means a person was infected once, recovered, and then later became infected again.

Work

What are the rules about working from home?

We are still encouraging people to work from home where possible. However, people who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces, can do so, provided their workplace is permitted to open.

Our guidance to employers is that employees should not be required or placed under pressure to return to a workplace setting if there is not a clearly demonstrated business need for them to do so. Employers who are considering requiring their staff to return to workplace settings should first assess whether alternative arrangements could meet the majority of the employer’s needs. This should be discussed with staff or representatives of staff.

What can I do if I am worried about the safety measures in my workplace?

The coronavirus restrictions impose obligations on people responsible for premises where work takes place to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. The Welsh Government expects that businesses and others understand the severity of the situation we are facing as a society and will take the reasonable steps necessary.

If you have concerns that your health and safety is being compromised at work, you should discuss this with your employer in the first instance. If you are unable to find a resolution, you should contact your trade union or seek advice from Acas.

If you were previously shielding or are worried about being a higher risk of more serious symptoms, you can complete the COVID-19 workforce risk assessment. You should discuss the results with your employer who may take appropriate action. You should also speak to your trade union representative if you are a member of a union.

Can I carry out work in someone’s home?

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople undertaking building, repair or maintenance work, home tutors or close contact service providers, can continue as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus.  Physical distancing  will need to be observed whenever you can.

Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure they mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information.

It is also recommended that no work should be carried out in any household where someone is isolating, unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing, or carrying out an adaptation to allow that household to remain in their property. If attendance is unavoidable (because of an urgent or emergency situation), additional precautions should be taken to keep workers and householders completely separate from each other. In these cases, Public Health Wales can provide advice to tradespeople and households. But no work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Does my business have to close under the new restrictions?

We have published a full list of businesses that are required to close.

Minimising any contribution to the spread of the virus is important, which is why certain businesses are required to close.

I run a business that is required to close or impacted by residual restrictions. Is there any support available?

A further package of support has been announced to help those businesses, which remain affected by restrictions, to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website at midday on 17 May so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

Businesses will be able submit applications by the end of the month (May) and they will receive between £2,500 and £25,000 depending on their circumstances. Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

More information about the funding and how it can be accessed, as well as wider business advice is available on the Business Wales website.

Over £610m in non-domestic rates relief in 2021-22 has been provided. All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or below will receive 100% non-domestic rates relief in 2021-22.  This means that, in total, over 70,000 Welsh businesses will pay no rates at all for the year.

Read the guidance on the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief scheme.

On 23 February - an additional £270m for the Development Bank of Wales’ Flexible Investment Fund was announced. This means more than £500m will be available through the fund up to 2030 to support the long term success and growth of firms.

Most businesses should also be able to access certain support available from the UK Government – including the Job Retention Scheme or the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.  

I work in a business that will be forced to close down/impacted by these regulations.  Is financial support being made available to support my job?

Yes, eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 should have access to the support available from the UK Government through the existing Job Retention Scheme (on GOV.UK) which will continue until the end of September 2021.

Is there any support available for people experiencing a reduction in income, for example, those on zero hour contracts?

There are a range of financial support options available if you are getting less work or no work because of COVID-19. You may be able to access support through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and apply for Universal Credit.

What support is available for self-employed people and freelancers?

Self-employed people may be eligible to claim financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (on GOV.UK).

Applications for further Welsh Government funding for freelancers will open at 12pm on Monday 17 May and close at 5pm on Tuesday 1 June, this funding will be administered by the local authorities in Wales.

Please look out for announcements on the opening of the new Freelancer fund on the Business Wales website.

My employer has had Welsh Government funding but is now making redundancies, what should I do?

Any employer in receipt of Welsh Government funding will need to continue to meet the conditions that are attached to that funding. The conditions attached to funding will vary and do not necessarily prevent an employer from making redundancies.  If you are at risk of redundancy you should speak to your trade union, or seek further advice from Acas on your rights during redundancy.  

Can I deliver housing-related support in emergency accommodation, supported accommodation or in someone’s home?

Homelessness, housing and support services can be delivered face-to-face but support providers should ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading. Service providers should also consider whether the support can be delivered by telephone or video calls.

Can I do voluntary work?

Yes. If you are looking for more local volunteering opportunities you can contact your local County Voluntary Council (CVC).

You can also go out to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them. But it is important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk.

Education

Can schools open?

Yes, all learners are able to return to on-site learning. 

For the latest information on how schools are operating, please see our schools guidance.

Are face coverings required in education and childcare settings?

If social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be worn anywhere on the school estate, including in the classroom by staff at primary and secondary schools and secondary school learners. The exception is at mealtimes when eating and drinking and when they are outside and able to maintain social distance, unless the school risk assessment indicates that additional measures are needed, for example, on a school yard where there are a large number of learners in a relatively small space without separation of contact groups and where social distancing cannot be maintained (such as when waiting to enter school).

Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on school transport.

Visitors to the school or setting should use a face covering, including parents when dropping off and picking up learners.

For more information, please see the schools guidance.

For colleges, face coverings should be worn by staff and learners in all areas where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. This includes when moving around the premises, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. This should form part of a provider’s risk assessment. 

Face coverings should also be worn on dedicated transport.

For more information, please refer to the college guidance

How can schools manage pupils that are required to self-isolate?

There are measures detailed within the keeping learners safe in education guidance that schools should take to minimise the numbers of potential contacts and to stop transmission – these include social distancing, reducing unnecessary mixing, and maintaining good surface, hand and respiratory hygiene measures as well as voluntary routine testing for older learners and staff.

Schools working closely with NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect contact tracers will work through the contact tracing process to identify only those pupils that have been in close contact with a positive case and, therefore, should be required to self-isolate. Additional guidance is available for schools on contact tracing.

Where a pupil is required to self-isolate they should be provided with sufficient and appropriate work to ensure they continue their learning. Schools should keep in contact with pupils including with individual check ins as appropriate.

I am a key worker – what happens if my child’s school has to close temporarily?

Schools which close their premises for more than two days for reasons related to coronavirus are required to make available on-site education provision for critical workers’ children from the third day of closure and onwards.

However, where a school has an INSET day then the school is ‘closed’ to learners. Therefore, these days do not count as a school being open for learners – either remotely or face-to-face.

My child has additional learning needs – is there support for them if their school has to close temporarily?

Schools who close their premises for more than two days for reasons related to coronavirus are required to make available on site education provision for vulnerable children from the third day of closure and onwards. 

However, where a school has an INSET day then the school is ‘closed’ to learners. Therefore, these days do not count as a school being open for learners – either remotely or face-to-face.

Can I travel back to university in Wales?

Yes. There are currently no travel restrictions in place into or out of Wales. You are permitted to travel from within the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) to Wales and vice versa to access education. This includes moving to a term time address and commuting for students and staff.

Current restrictions allow international students to travel to the UK for educational purposes, although you would need to follow the appropriate quarantine rules when you arrive. Please contact your university before you arrive.

What are the rules on teaching at universities?

Universities can continue to provide a combination of in person teaching and blended learning.

Universities in Wales are open for on campus activity, as many students and staff need access to a laboratory, specialist academic library, appropriate study spaces or studios. Universities are managing these activities using appropriate measures such as click and collect or bookable study slots to minimise numbers on site and to support NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.

Universities have been operating in-person education throughout the pandemic. This is because some courses have practical elements, professional body requirements or require access to specialist equipment or facilities to enable students to complete the relevant qualification requirements for this year.

Please see the higher education guidance for more information.

Are university students who are living in their term time accommodation able to go home?

There are no travel restrictions in place into and out of Wales, however, we are asking all students living in Wales, and all our Welsh students living outside Wales, to help us keep Wales safe by minimising travel between university and home.

You should not travel home if you have been asked to self-isolate or have Covid-19 symptoms.

What are the rules for colleges?

All learners can return to college and to work-based learning settings.

For the latest information on how colleges are operating, please see our college guidance.

Are activities and clubs for children allowed to run?

Organised activities for the development and well-being of children and young people are allowed indoors and outdoors. This includes sports clubs, parent and toddler groups, youth groups and religious groups. This applies to children aged under 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020). 

Residential activities that would need to utilise shared accommodation (such as mixed household dormitories) are not currently allowed.

Clubs used as childcare, such as holiday or wrap-around childcare, can continue.

Organisers have a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure that these activities take place in a way that minimises exposure to coronavirus. Therefore, risk assessments should consider the space available to allow social distancing as far as is possible with children and limit the number of children that can attend.

Please see the childcare and play guidance for further information.

Are educational residential activities able to run?

Educational residential activities trips that utilise single household occupancy accommodation are able to run. However, shared accommodation is not permitted at this time.

Organisers have a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure that these activities take place in a way that minimises exposure to coronavirus. Therefore, risk assessments should consider the space available to allow social distancing as far as is possible with children and limit the number of children that can attend.

Health and social care

Can I still access health services?

NHS Wales is still here to help you if you need care, and it’s important you continue to attend appointments and seek help for urgent medical issues. You can leave your home to access local health services, including your GP surgery, dentist, optometrist or other health service (including mental health services). If your appointment changes, your health board or health professional will contact you. Advice on services that are still operating is available on your health board or trust website.

You are advised to follow any guidance your local surgery, dentist, optometrist or health service has put in place to protect you and staff, including the need to keep 2m away from other patients whilst waiting to be seen and wearing of face coverings (unless exempt).

If you have symptoms of coronavirus do not visit your GP, hospital, pharmacy, optometrist or dentist. You should immediately self-isolate and arrange a coronavirus test. For more information please use the NHS Wales symptom checker.

Can I visit someone in hospital?

You are advised to check the health board or trust website for local information prior to visiting.

Our first priority is the prevention and control of infection in our healthcare settings. This is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of patients, staff and visitors.

The hospital visiting guidance during coronavirus sets out the baseline for Health Boards, Trusts and providers of hospice care to follow for visiting in Wales during the pandemic. Providers of health care have flexibility to depart from the Guidance in response to their local conditions.

Can I visit someone in supported living?

You are only permitted to visit someone in their supported living home if you are part of their extended household.

In addition to any extended household arrangement, meetings outdoors (including in private gardens) with up to six people from up to six households are permitted. Social distancing should be maintained. It is important decisions related to people in supported living are taken collaboratively involving the people living there, their families, the providers of care and support and the commissioners of services.

See the Supported Living guidance for further details.

Can I still see my support worker?

Yes, you can still see your support worker. However, support services should assess whether support can be delivered through phone or video. If support is delivered face-to-face then the support provider should ensure that it is done in a safe manner, with social distancing and provision of PPE if necessary.

What advice should I follow if I am on the Shielding Patient List?

Those who are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and on the shielding patient list should follow the guidance issued to this group.

Sport, exercise and organised activities

What kind of exercise is permitted?

There are no legal restrictions on this, but to avoid increasing the burden on the NHS and the emergency services, we continue to advise people not to take unnecessary risks while exercising or taking part in any activity. For water sports, we advise people to consider the RNLI’s essential lifeguard and safety advice on water activities at the beach, on the coast or at sea.

Which sport, leisure and recreation facilities can open?

Outdoor sport and leisure facilities, such as parks, children’s playgrounds, tennis courts, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools and bowling greens, can open. Facilities that are mainly outdoors but have some shelter, for example, golf driving ranges, can also open.

Some indoor sport facilities such as gyms, fitness facilities, leisure centres and swimming pools can also open.

Indoor recreation facilities, such as trampoline parks and indoor play centres can reopen from 17 May. A full list of types of businesses required to close is available in our guidance on business closures.

People should ensure that they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene when visiting these facilities. The operators of these facilities must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain physical distancing.

Who can I exercise with?

You can exercise in public outdoor places with:

  • members of your household or extended household, or
  • a group of people, as long as the total number of people exercising is no more than six from up to six households (excluding any carers or children under 11 from  any of those households)
  • a group of up to 50 people as part of an organised outdoor activity

You can exercise in indoor public places with:

  • members of your household, or
  • a group of up to 30 people as part of an organised indoor activity

You should ensure that you maintain social distancing from the people you are exercising with if they are not in your household or extended household.

In addition to this children and young people aged under 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020) can take part in organised activities for the development and wellbeing of children, which could include organised sport activities. There are currently no set limits on the numbers of children that can take part in these organised activities. However, organisers should be mindful of the requirements around social distancing and ensure they limit the number of places to that which can be safely accommodated in the space available.

What do you mean by an organised activity?

Organised activities encompass a broad range of activities that can be attended by people of any age. This includes activities such as team sports, exercise classes, meetings of religious groups and support groups. During these activities, up to 50 people of any age will be able to gather from a mix of households as long as they remain outdoors. If the organised activity is taking place indoors, the maximum number of people aged 11 and over that can take part is 30.

Organised activities do not include activities such as parties or wider social gatherings of families and friends beyond the arrangements for meeting other people. Organised activities must not take place in private homes, including in the gardens or grounds. Organised activities must not involve the consumption of alcohol.

An organised activity must be organised by a business, public body or a charitable, benevolent, educational or philanthropic institution, a club or political organisation, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity. The organiser of the activity must meet requirements in the regulations to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus and must carry out a risk assessment.

Can choirs and brass bands resume practicing indoors or outdoors?

Choirs and brass bands are permitted to rehearse indoors with up to 30 members under the organised activity rules. Outdoors, up to 50 people are permitted to convene under the organised activity rules. Organisers have a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure that these activities take place in a way that minimises exposure to coronavirus. Therefore, risk assessments should consider the space available to allow social distancing as far as is possible

How are playgrounds being kept safe?

Each owner or operator is required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus. We have provided guidance, which asks owners and operators to carry out a risk assessment and put in place practical measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus – reopening children's playgrounds and outdoor play areas. Each owner or operator needs to apply this guidance to the facility they are responsible for, depending on the circumstances, layout and design. This will include taking account of the size, equipment and how the playground is organised, operated, and managed.

It is not possible to completely remove all risk. But the benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and going to the park supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to take responsibility for social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene, for example by encouraging frequent handwashing or sanitisation, wiping down equipment with their own wipes, and maintaining low numbers within parks and on equipment by taking turns or using parks at less busy times.

Can children play outside in the street in their neighbourhoods?

The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and being able to play outside supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.

The rules for meeting outdoors are the same for children aged 11 and over as they are for adults. A maximum of six people from up to six households can meet (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households). Children can also play outside with members of their own household or extended household.

There are no legal limits on the number of children aged under 11 that can gather, but this is limited to children from up to six households being able to meet at the same time.

This also applies where children are in the same ‘school or class bubble’. This is because play at school is likely to be more controlled and organised with less likelihood of coming into unintended contact with people from outside of the bubble. 

Will professional sports and elite sport continue?

Yes, professional sports and elite sport will be able to continue. Spectators will continue to be prohibited from attending sporting events with the exception of a small number of pilot events.

Shopping and personal services

What shops are allowed to open?

All retail and close contact services can open:

People should ensure that they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene when visiting shops. Shops must take all reasonable measures to manage risk, including ensure measures to maintain physical distancing are put in place.

How far can I travel to shop?

There are no travel restrictions currently in place within or into or out of Wales within the UK or Common Travel Area, but people are advised to avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.

What restrictions are in place on alcohol sales?

There are no longer any additional restrictions in place on alcohol sales, normal licencing laws now apply. However, licensed premises may only sell alcohol for consumption outdoors or off the premises.

Am I allowed to use “click and collect” services?

Yes - shops can continue to offer click and collect or similar services to help manage customer footfall.

Are car boot sales, flea markets, antique fairs and similar sales activities permitted?

Car boot sales and other recreational sales activities where individuals come together to sell items such as household and garden goods are considered to be organised activities (for up to 50 people outdoors or 30 people indoors)

Organisers of this type of activity must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Who can I go shopping with?

You should only meet in indoor regulated premises such as shops and supermarkets with people in your household unless you are accompanying a vulnerable person.

However, you are encouraged, wherever possible, to go to shops such as supermarkets on your own. This enables more people from different households to shop at the same time, whilst maintaining social distancing.

Can close contact services open?

Close contact services, such as hairdressers, massage, acupuncture, tattoo and beauty services can open. Some high risk procedures, as identified in the close contact services guidance, are not permitted:

Businesses should seek to do so by appointments as this would ensure that a number of reasonable measures are met, including ensuring contact information is obtained and that access to premises is controlled.

When providing close contact services it is generally not possible to maintain physical distancing. As a result most service providers will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). A face covering will be required as a minimum, but other PPE such as face visors may also be advisable. Please see our additional guidance (face coverings: guidance for the public).

You will be expected to provide contact details when attending these services, and you are advised to attend your appointment alone if possible.

Can those providing close contact services come to my home to work?

Those providing mobile close contact services, such as mobile hairdressers, can offer appointments in a person’s home as part of their work:

Mobile close contact service providers and close contact service providers in home based settings must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and consider the guidance on working in other people’s homes. This is particularly important as these services involve people being close together for a prolonged period of time.

Can I go for any of these treatments with my friends?

You should attend these appointments alone unless you are taking children or accompanying a vulnerable adult. Our guidance to businesses providing close contact services says that that when they take client bookings they should ask the client to attend for their appointment on their own:

Can spas open?

Spas, including saunas and steam rooms can reopen. Businesses are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to or spread of the virus

Visiting places

Can I travel to or from areas with higher rates of coronavirus across the UK?

The UK Government has in place guidance for areas where there are higher rates of coronavirus (on GOV.UK) circulating which advises that travel should be minimised in and out, and for regular testing of people in those areas. Separate rules apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where travel may be restricted to or from different places.

We are not introducing any legal restrictions on travel within the UK at this point but it is our clear advice that people should not travel to areas with high prevalence of coronavirus if they can avoid it. There is an increased risk of contracting Covid-19, even if vaccinated, in those areas so you should avoid travelling to them if possible.

We would urge anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus to test themselves twice weekly, using the free Covid-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel. Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel. Everyone coming to Wales from areas with a higher rates of coronavirus should bring lateral flow testing kits with them to continue regular testing while on holiday.

Lateral flow testing kits are available from local collection points across the UK. More information is available at: Regular rapid lateral flow coronavirus (COVID-19) tests (on nhs.uk).

Are accommodation businesses in Wales allowed to open?

Yes, all accommodation can open. All accommodation providers will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to or the spread of the virus.

Can hotel restaurants and bars in Wales now open?

Yes, hotel restaurants and bars can re-open in Wales. All business will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of the virus. Individual households or up to six people from no more than six households (not including children under 11 from the households or carers of a member of these households) can meet together at hotel restaurants and bars in Wales.

Who can I stay with in holiday accommodation?

All holiday accommodation is now able to fully open, but you can only share holiday accommodation, including hotel rooms, bed and breakfast accommodation, hostel or bunk house dormitory, holiday home, caravans and tents, with the people you live with in your household and people in your extended household (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household). This helps to reduce the risk of coronavirus being transmitted significantly, as sleeping in close proximity to other people carries a high risk of transmission due to the length of time you spend near each other.

Can I travel to and from my second home or holiday home?

Travel out of Wales to countries within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area (CTA) is permitted. However, there may be restrictions in place within some countries within the CTA. You will therefore need to check the restrictions in the area you would like to travel to ensure that travel for this purpose is permitted.

If you live elsewhere in the UK or wider CTA, you will need to check the restrictions in place where you live before you travel to Wales for this purpose.

We are asking everyone to think carefully about the journeys they take and the people they meet. We should all think carefully about where we go and who we meet because the more places we go and the more people we meet, the greater the chances there are of catching coronavirus. In particular, it is also sensible to avoid travelling to and from areas with a higher incidence rate if you can.

Can I take my caravan/motorhome to stay in a caravan park?

Yes. Parks are able to open their toilet, shower, pot wash and laundry areas for caravanners and campers, subject to measures being in place to ensure physical distancing and appropriate cleaning. You will only be able to share holiday caravan or motorhome with the people you live with in your household and people in your extended household (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household).

Can I go camping?

Yes – campsites are open. The toilet/shower blocks, pot wash and laundry areas for campers will also be open subject to measures being in place to ensure physical distancing and appropriate cleaning. You will only be able to share holiday accommodation, including tents with the people you live with in your household and people in your extended household (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household).

Restaurants, cafes and pubs

Are cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars able to open?

Outdoor and indoor hospitality, including cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars  are allowed to open. Normal licencing laws apply. All business will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of the virus.

How can cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars operate safely outdoors?

Venues are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:

  • customers will be encouraged to pre-book with details of all members of the group.
  • contact details will be required for contact tracing purposes
  • entry to the premises will be controlled
  • licenced premises, such as pubs, will be providing table service only
  • all food and drink should be consumed at tables
  • physical distancing measures will be applied, such as tables being spaced out
  • face coverings must be worn other than when seated to eat or drink

When utilising outdoor spaces, hospitality venues are required to ensure that the use of physical coverings, awnings, gazebos, marquees and similar structures are implemented in a way that is aligned with current public health advice. Generally this means that structures with a roof or ceiling must be open-sided (at least 3 sides or more than 51% open).

Who can I visit cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars with?

You can visit outdoor and indoor hospitality venues such as cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars with your household or up to six people from no more than six households (not including any children or carers from any of these households).

Arts and entertainment

What entertainment venues are closed?

 The following visitor attractions are currently closed. This includes:

  • Ice skating rinks.
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.

Please see the business closures guidance for more information.

What visitor attractions and entertainment venues can open?

Arts and entertainment venues and the majority of indoor visitor attractions are permitted to open, including:

  • funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks
  • swimming pools
  • museums
  • farm attractions
  • zoos
  • heritage sites
  • historic monuments (such as castles)
  • historic parks or gardens (such as those run by the National Trust)cinemas 
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor play centres
  • trampoline parks and centres
  • skate parks and centres (ice skating rinks must remain closed)
  • indoor museums
  • galleries
  • bingo halls
  • casinos
  • amusement arcades
  • theatres and concert halls

Are drive-in events allowed?

Drive-in events are permitted as long as all reasonable measures are taken to minimise the exposure to coronavirus.

How can entertainment venues and visitor attractions operate safely?

Those responsible are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:

  • entry will be controlled
  • physical distancing measures will be applied

Who can I visit entertainment venues and outdoor visitor attractions with?

Households or up to six people from no more than six households (not including any children or carers from any of these households) are able to visit outdoor entertainment venues together.

Is there a restriction of the number of people who can go to the cinema or theatre at any one time?

You are able to go to watch a film or theatrical performance with your household or up to a maximum of six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 or carers from any of these households).

Food and drink can be ordered and served from a ticket or concession stand or from a dedicated food and drink outlet in the cinema or theatre, but you must be seated to consume it.

Businesses are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to or spread of the virus, including social distancing. Therefore, whilst there is not a maximum number of people permitted in these types of venues at any one time, the capacity limit will be less than the actual venue capacity due to any required adaptions as part of the reasonable measures, including the risk assessment.

Travelling and transport

Are there travel restrictions in place in Wales?

There are no restrictions in place for travel into or out of Wales as long as you are travelling to or from a country within the UK or wider Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands). However, you will need to check the restrictions in place in the area you are travelling from or to as some countries within the Common Travel Area have travel restrictions in place. This may prevent you from travelling unless you have a reasonable excuse, for example, travelling for work or education.

If travelling by public transport we would encourage you to plan your journey and use apps, such as Transport for Wales’ capacity checker, to try and avoid travelling in busy periods to help us maintain social distancing.

We are asking everyone to think carefully about the journeys they take and the people they meet. We should all think carefully about where we go and who we meet because the more places we go and the more people we meet, the greater the chances there are of catching coronavirus. In particular, it is also sensible to avoid travelling to and from areas with a higher incidence rate if you can.

Can I travel abroad?

International travel will restart from Monday 17 May.  A traffic light system, aligned with England and Scotland, will be introduced, which will classify countries as green, amber and red.  Different rules will apply for your return to Wales in terms of which category of country you have visited. 

Before you travel you must consult the requirements for visitors for the country you plan to travel to.  Restrictions may be in place, including proof of vaccination, tests, quarantine and reasons for entry. 

Similar arrangements apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

I live in Wales, can I go on holiday in Wales or elsewhere?

You are allowed to go on holiday within Wales to accommodation with your household or extended household.

People living in Wales can travel to other areas within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area. However, you will need to check the restrictions in place for the area you are travelling to, as some areas and countries within the Common Travel Area have travel restrictions in place, meaning that travel into that area or use of self-contained accommodation is not permitted.

If you have pre-booked – and paid – for a holiday in other parts of the UK or abroad, we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss the current situation where you are travelling. You should also contact your travel insurer to discuss the situation – while many insurers have designed policies with coronavirus exclusion clauses, some annual policies may cover this situation.

I do not live in Wales, can I travel to Wales, or from within the UK, for a holiday or to visit family and friends?

Travel into Wales from other parts of the UK and wider Common Travel Area is permitted.

However, you will need to ensure that you follow the rules regarding travel where you live as these may prevent or place restrictions on your travel arrangements. On arrival in Wales, you will need to comply with Welsh law, including restrictions on gatherings which prevent people from staying overnight in other households extended households.

What are the rules for people arriving in to Wales from international destinations?

From 17 May you will be able to travel abroad for non-essential purposes such as a holiday  but on your return to Wales  you must follow the traffic light rules on testing and self-isolation

Under the traffic light rules:

  • If you are arriving from a green country you are not required to quarantine on your return to Wales, but you must book and pay for a mandatory PCR test to be taken on or before day two of your  return.  The Arriving Traveller Team, part of the Test, Trace and Protect Service will contact you to stress the importance of minimising social mixing and contact with others and to offer your or your household additional lateral flow tests to monitor their health.

All travellers and members of their household will also be reminded about the availability of additional lateral flow tests to continue to monitor their health.

  • If you are arriving from amber countries are required to quarantine for 10 days at home on their return. This is a legal requirement. You are also required to book and pay for mandatory PCR tests to be taken on day two and on day eight after your return. Unlike in England, Wales does not operate a test-to-release scheme where an additional test can be taken on day five to reduce the period of quarantine.
  • If you are arriving from a red country, you are required to quarantine for a full 10 days on arrival in the UK at a designated UK port in a government-managed facility – a ‘covid hotel’ – at your own cost, starting from £1,750 per person.  All UK entry points for arrivals from red-list countries are in England and Scotland, which means if you are from those countries, you will need to quarantine outside Wales.  As part of this package, you are also required to take mandatory PCR tests on day two and day eight. Those who do not follow the rules for red-list countries face fixed notice penalties of £10,000

Will I need to self-isolate if I travel in to Wales from an international destination?

If you have been in a RED list country in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into Wales. See information above.

If you are travelling from an AMBER list country (any country outside the Common Travel Area and not on the RED list) you will must isolate for 10 days.

There are no provisions where a negative test taken before travel or in England through the Test to Release Scheme or on arrival in Wales would avoid or reduce the isolation requirements in Wales. There is no Test to Release Scheme in Wales. 

If you arrive from a green list country you are not required to isolate.  It’s recommended that on your return you and your household monitor your health using lateral flow tests where appropriate. 

For more information, please see the guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to Wales.

Can I collect or drop off someone at the airport if they are travelling to Wales for an allowed purpose?

Yes, if the only alternative would be for them to use public transport or a taxi. Please follow our guidance on travelling safely.

Is public transport still operating?

Services are continuing, particularly during peak times. However, bus and rail timetables have been reduced and potentially subject to late cancellations. Face coverings must be worn on public transport. Please check the latest service information before you travel.

Can taxis still operate?

Yes, taxis can still operate where measures are in place to mitigate the risks which are involved when sharing a vehicle. Face coverings must be worn in taxis.

Can I car share or give someone a lift?

We do not recommend that you share a car with people who are not part of your household or extended household unless it is necessary and there are no other alternatives. Where it cannot be avoided, you should take steps to minimise the risk of coronavirus such as increasing physical distancing as much as possible and wearing a face covering.

If you cannot work from home and need to travel to work, you should consider how to do so in the safest way possible. Please see the guidance on travelling safely for more information.

Can I have driving and riding lessons?

Driving lessons, motorcycle lessons and CBT are permitted. 

Are driving or motorcycle practical and theory tests permitted?

Driving and motorcycle practical tests (on GOV.UK) and theory tests (on GOV.UK) are currently permitted.

Face coverings

Where will face coverings be required?

Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public places. This also applies on public transport and taxis, and in places where take-away food and drink is sold. This applies to everyone aged 11 and over, unless an exception applies. Children under 11 do not have to wear face coverings.

Please visit our guidance on face coverings to see the rules on when face coverings are required and details on exemptions.

Can I be exempt from wearing a face covering? 

Some people do not have to wear a face covering, and there are a number of situations in which people can also temporarily remove coverings. Please visit our guidance to see if you may be exempt. 

Are face coverings required in education and childcare settings?

If social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be worn anywhere on the school estate, including in the classroom by staff at primary and secondary schools and secondary school learners. The exception is at mealtimes and when they are outside, unless the school risk assessment indicates that additional measures are needed, for example, on a school yard where there are a large number of learners in a relatively small space without separation of contact groups (such as when waiting to enter school).

Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on school transport.

 Visitors to the school or setting should use a face covering, including parents when dropping off and picking up learners.

For more information, please see the schools guidance.

Will I have to wear a face covering in my workplace?

If you work in an area open to the public, yes. If not, your employer should advise you.

Employers are expected to mandate the use of face coverings in other indoor workplaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, unless there are strong reasons not to. You may therefore find you are required to wear a face covering at work even in places which are not open to the public.

Please see the guidance on face coverings for further information.

Moving home

Can I move home?

Yes, moving home is permitted.

Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.

For more information, please see the guidance on moving home.

Can home viewings take place?

Yes, but we strongly advise that virtual viewings are used wherever possible. Household mixing must be avoided during viewing. For more information please see our guidance on moving home during coronavirus.

Can a valuation or mortgage survey be done at my property?

People responsible for valuing and surveying, such as estate agents, are not prohibited from entering people’s homes, as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. See guidance on working in other people’s homes for more information.

For more information, please see the guidance on moving home.

Can I be evicted from my home?

No, evictions are not currently allowed to take place with very few exceptions (e.g. where related to anti-social behaviour). Any evictions that are currently scheduled will be postponed.

Please see the guidance on paying your rent during the coronavirus pandemic for further information.

Are refuges still open?

Emergency accommodation for victims fleeing domestic abuse and sexual violence remain open and continue accepting referrals. Live Fear Free helpline is a 24 hour, free service for anyone experiencing violence or abuse, or for anyone concerned about a victim’s safety. Live Fear free can be contacted by

Phone: 0808 8010 800 or Text: 078600 77333

Live chat

Guidance for providers of refuge accommodation on making these safe can be accessed here.

Places of worship and major life events

What are the rules for religious services?

Places of worship are allowed to be open to the public for worship and life event ceremonies. However, wherever possible we still advise that people avoid congregating with people they do not live with. For example faith leaders may still choose to broadcast (without a congregation) an act of worship whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast. Weddings and funerals may also be broadcast from places of worship.

Ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events such as bar mitzvahs and baptisms are permitted in places of worship. People are able to attend at the invitation of the organiser. Please see the guidance on funeralsguidance on weddings and places of worship for more information.

Are all potential wedding or civil partnership ceremony venues now allowed to open?

Venues that are ‘approved premises’ for hosting a wedding and civil partnership ceremonies may open. Alternative ceremonies such as a humanist wedding can be held in regulated premises. This is subject to the need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of spreading the virus on the premises.

Wedding venues are permitted to let prospective clients view their premises by appointment only.

Are there limits to the number of people who can attend wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and funerals and wakes?

The number who are able to attend a wedding, civil partnership, funeral or wakes indoors is limited by the capacity of the venue where it is being held, once physical distancing measures have been taken into account.

To ensure that the maximum number that can attend is observed attendance must be by invitation only. Please see the relevant guidance on weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.

What are the rules on holding wedding and civil partnership receptions?

Wedding and civil partnership receptions are permitted for up to 50 people outdoors or 30 people indoors (not including children aged under 11 or carers).

Wedding and civil partnership receptions must take place in regulated premises and, if taking place in outdoor hospitality venues, must follow the rules in place for hospitality settings. Wedding receptions must not take place in private homes or the gardens or grounds of private homes.

A close family member has died and I need to organise the funeral – what do I do?

Funerals can be a distressing experience, and the impact of coronavirus is making it even more difficult to make practical arrangements. Guidance on funerals has been issued.

Can I go to a funeral?

Yes, but you must be invited. Numbers are constrained by the need to put physical distancing measures in place. 

Can I hold a wake or another form of gathering following a funeral?

Outdoor wakes are permitted for up to 50 people outdoors or 30 people indoors (not including children aged under 11 or carers).

Outdoor wakes must take place in regulated premises and, if taking place in outdoor hospitality venues, must follow the rules in place for hospitality settings. Outdoor wakes must not take place in private homes or the gardens or grounds of private homes.

Can I go to a cemetery to visit a family member’s grave?

Yes. But you should ensure that you follow physical distancing practices when doing so.

Enforcement and fines

Who enforces the restrictions?

The restrictions are being enforced by local authority enforcement officers and the police.

What can police and local authority enforcement officers do?

They can issue fixed penalty notices or recommend prosecution in a magistrates’ court. In addition, they have wide-ranging powers to take practical steps to disperse gatherings, require people to go home and enter property.

What if reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus aren’t taken on premises or in the workplace?

Local authority enforcement officers are able to issue a “premises improvement notice”.  This requires the person responsible for the premises to take specified measures, and if those measures are not taken an officer may issue a “premises closure notice” requiring the premises to close. Officers are also able to issue fixed penalty notices, starting from £1,000 for a first offence and rising with any further offences.

Where necessary, an officer may also issue a premises closure notice without having previously issued a premises improvement notice. So if people don’t comply premises can be closed down.

What will the police do?

The police in Wales will engage with people, explain what they need to do and encourage them to comply. But our police forces have been given powers and they will use them – the restrictions will be enforced if people don’t respond.

What are the financial penalties?

The coronavirus regulations include provisions for a fixed penalty notice to be issued for most types of breaches of the regulations, carrying a fine of £60; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to a maximum of £1,920. If prosecuted, however, a court can impose any fine (it is not limited).

Organising an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people is a separate criminal offence. These are events that are not licensed or otherwise authorised under the Licensing Act 2003. A breach of this prohibition will be an offence punishable by conviction and an unlimited fine or, as an alternative to conviction, by a fixed penalty set at £10,000.  

The unlimited fine or significant fixed penalty for organisers of these illegal events reflects the potentially serious public health consequences at this time.

We hope people understand the severity of the situation we are facing and will comply with the regulations, without having to be issued penalties.