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The laws and guidance on these laws passed in Wales in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

First published:
6 March 2020
Last updated:

Welsh legislation imposing coronavirus restrictions

Health protection legislation in Wales (and England) was updated in 2010 to give public authorities more comprehensive powers and duties to prevent and control risks to human health from infection or contamination. These are found in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, as it was amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Part 2A of the 1984 Act enables the Welsh Ministers, by regulations, to make law for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection or contamination in Wales. This includes the power to impose “restrictions or requirements on or in relation to persons, things or premises in the event of, or in response to, a threat to public health.”

The main (“principal”) Regulations are the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020. There are also Regulations dealing with travel and quarantine requirements.

Revoked coronavirus restrictions legislation

Guidance on the principal Regulations

The Welsh Government has issued guidance about the principal Regulations. Guidance is produced to explain the effect of legislation, and to set out the Welsh Government’s view on how it should be implemented in practice. This guidance is intended to complement the legislation but does not (of itself) impose legal requirements.

More general guidance and advice about behaviour and best practice in relation to coronavirus has also been issued by the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. Again this does not impose legal obligations.

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Welsh Ministers also have extensive powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

A Declaration of threat to public health in Wales due to coronavirus was made by the First Minister on 29 March 2020 under Schedule 22 to the 2020 Act. This is required in order to exercise the powers conferred upon the Welsh Ministers under that Act relating to events, gatherings and premises in Wales.  Guidance has also been issued under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Related coronavirus legislation

The Welsh Government has also made other subordinate legislation as part of its wider response to the emergency.