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What you and businesses can and cannot do during the outbreak and what happens if you break these new laws.

General

What restrictions are in place?

There are 4 main things:

  • certain businesses are not allowed to open
  • people should not gather indoors with anyone who is not a member of their household (or extended household) unless they have a good reason
  • rules have been made about keeping people apart when they go out (known as social or physical distancing)
  • people must not gather outdoors in groups of more than 30.

Extended households

What is an extended household?

Two households will be able to join together to form an extended household. This means all the people living in these two separate households will become part of one extended household for the purposes of the coronavirus restrictions.

They will enjoy the same legal freedoms people living in individual households currently have – such as being able to meet indoors, have physical contact and stay in each other’s homes.

What is the purpose of having an extended household?

The idea is to allow families or close friends who have been separated over these last few months to reconnect with each other and enjoy each other’s close company once again.

These extended household arrangements also support caring arrangements. In particular, they may help working parents with informal childcare over the summer months, as more businesses reopen their doors and return to formalised working arrangements and they may help people with other caring responsibilities.

Is there a limit on the number of people who can be in an extended household?

No. There is no limit on the number of people who can be in an extended household, providing they all live in the two households being joined together.

Only two households are able to join together to form an extended household and only one extended household can be formed.

These limits on the number of households will help to prevent the virus spreading.

How do I choose which other household to pair with?

Choosing which household to go into an extended household with is an important decision, and for many people this may be a difficult one.

There is no right or wrong way to decide. However, in other countries where this approach has been followed, people have found it helpful to:

  • Think about who is in the most need of support, rather than just trying to decide whose company they have most missed.
  • Think about the risks – people who are shielding can form an extended household, but this will increase their risk of being exposed to coronavirus.
  • Think about the consequences – if anyone in the extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, everyone will be asked to self-isolate at least until the outcome of a test is known. For some people this will have a greater consequence than for others, and needs to be thought about carefully.

What happens if I can’t agree with the people I live with about who we should pair up with?

Everyone living in the two households which form the extended household must belong to the same extended household. So all the adults in both households must agree to the decision to create the extended household.

Can I change who I am in an extended household with?

No. Once you have agreed and formed an extended household with another household, you can’t switch to pair up with someone else instead. This is to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. You cannot substitute members of the household either.

Can I go into an extended household with a household in England?

Yes, but the arrangements will need to comply with the rules in both countries. The rules that apply in England are available here.

I live in a house of mixed occupancy – does everyone in the house need to agree to be part of the same extended household?

No, in circumstances like this you each form separate households. However where people have some private space but share facilities, such as bathrooms, living rooms or kitchens, coronavirus could spread throughout the house.

So you should be aware that if you all form extended households you are putting yourselves (and others) at increased risk. Our advice is that you should think very carefully about forming an extended household in these circumstances.

I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can they be treated as part of both extended households?

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

The change to regulations regarding extended households should not have an impact on this, and the child should be considered to be part of the household or extended household of the parent they are with at any particular time – in other words if either or both parents form an extended household with a household which does not include the other parent, the child could continue to move freely between the parents, and be part of both extended households (i.e. the child does not have to socially distance within the extended household, whichever parent they are with).

Seeing people outside your extended household

What are the new limits on who I can meet outdoors?

Gatherings of up to 30 people are now permitted outdoors. But you should continue to maintain physical and social distancing from people outside your household, or extended household if you have formed one (subject to what is said about young children above).

Do the rules on organised outdoor activities still apply?

Outdoor gatherings of more than two households or extended households no longer need to be organised by a business, a public body or charitable institution, a club, or the national governing body of sport or other activity. Social distancing should still be maintained between people who are not part of the same household (or extended household).

However, we have provided guidance for organised outdoor activities, such as team sports, where it is not always possible to maintain physical distancing. The guidance makes clear that all reasonable measures must be taken to mitigate any risks, and activities are overseen by each sport’s national governing body.    

Those organising such events will generally hold a duty of care to those attending the gathering, which means they should ensure the event is as safe as possible.

Are there circumstances in which gatherings of over 30 people are permitted?

There are some very limited circumstances where gatherings of over 30 people are permitted. For example, supervised recreation for children is a legitimate purpose for gatherings of more than 30 people. This includes childcare provision and summer camps. 

Can friends or family from another extended household come into my home?

Not generally, no, unless they are passing through to reach an outdoor area, or they have another legitimate purpose for being there such as providing care.

We are considering whether it is possible to increase the number of households who can join an extended household and we will also look at the rules around gatherings indoors.

Why do the rules say meetings can be outdoors but not indoors?

We are learning more about the virus every day and we know the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors – the virus survives for minutes outdoors but can live for hours on surfaces indoors. However, lower risk outdoors doesn’t mean no risk. It is still vital for us all to be physical distancing.

We are considering whether it is possible to increase the number of households who can join an extended household and we will also look at the rules around gatherings indoors.

If I meet a person from another household in their garden can I use their toilet?

You should try not to – the more we go into other people’s homes and touch things, the more the risk of spreading and/or contracting the virus. If you have to use facilities in another household, the toilet and hand basin should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use. Hands should be washed thoroughly after use and hand towels should not be shared.

I am not part of an extended household with someone but I think they still need my care or support – 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 extended household. This includes being indoors with them. But you should consider whether there are alternative sources of support available. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

In considering whether there is a need to visit someone outside your 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 will need to make judgements for themselves about what is reasonable, in line with that overarching principle. Keep in mind that the purpose of the continuing restrictions is to prevent the spreading of the virus, including to those we care about.

What do you mean by compassionate grounds?

You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone where that person is struggling with the lockdown generally or they may be suffering from a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.

Other examples of things that may be permitted, include visits to people living or staying in care homes, in supported living services, or in children’s homes or young offender institutions. In each case, the service provider will need to put in place appropriate social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling.

Are picnics and barbecues with people outside my extended household allowed?

Yes, if you remain outside. You should maintain physical distancing and should not share or use the same items as people outside your extended household, for example plates, cups and food packages. Any item that is passed between people in different extended households will increase the risk of the spread of the virus.

Now that many places have re-opened do we still have to physically distance?

Yes, every effort should still be made to keep socially distant, but as more and more aspects of daily life return to some degree of normality, in some situations this is impractical.

Now that gathering outdoors in groups of under 30 is allowed, there is no ban on playing sports. It is acknowledged that people playing basketball or football, for example, will inevitably not remain 2 metres apart continually during a game. We have provided guidance for organised outdoor activities, such as team sports, where it is not always possible to maintain physical distancing but all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate any risks (such as avoiding shaking hands or hugging as greetings or for goal celebrations).

A similar principle applies when going to a barber or hairdresser – it is clearly not possible to maintain social distance while having the haircut itself, but it is possible before and afterwards. Doing that reduces the risk of spreading the virus.

What about children?

In circumstances where young children mix with others, it may not be practical to attempt to maintain continual 2 metre distancing (between children, or even between children and adults). This is in part because it is harder for younger children to understand the concept of physical distancing, and in part because appropriate support from carers will often require closer contact.

For young children (those of primary school age or younger), it is in any case less essential to attempt to rigidly maintain continual 2 metre distance between them, or between the children and any adults outside their household or extended household. 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. 

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.

Can children visit each other’s homes or meet together indoors?

The rules on meeting people indoors have not changed, and apply to children as well as adults. So it is still not generally permitted to go into someone else’s home unless you have formed an extended household with them. It is also not permitted to arrange for children to go somewhere indoors together, such as shops, cafes, cinemas or amusement arcades, unless they are part of the same household or extended household. Indoor children’s parties with people other than members of their household or extended household are therefore still not possible.

However, adults and children can now meet each other outdoors as part of gatherings of up to 30 people, and younger children do not need to rigidly follow the advice to stay 2 metres apart when doing so. So for example younger children can play together in a park or playground. Parents should encourage thorough hand washing before and after visits to the park and avoid eating/touching of face with unwashed hands. 

Visiting places

What kind of accommodation is open in Wales?

All accommodation can now open, but measures must be in place to protect people from coronavirus.

Will there be any restrictions in the types of service they are offering?

Most services will be operating as normal.

Can hotel restaurants and bars now open?

Yes

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.

Can I go camping?

Yes – campsites are able to 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.

Who can I go on holiday with?

You can currently go on holiday with the people you live with (members of your own household) or members of your extended household if you have agreed to form one.

This helps to reduce the risk of coronavirus being transmitted. 

You must maintain social and physical distancing with people outside your own household/extended household.

What attractions will be open and what will still be closed?

All visitor attractions are now able to open, including underground attractions. Measures to protect visitors, including social and physical distancing measures will be in place.

Can I go on holiday abroad?

Yes, but you should be aware that in returning to the UK you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days, if you have visited certain countries where this quarantine requirement is in force. Please read this guidance about who must self-isolate and what you must do.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs

How will cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars be able to operate safely indoors?

The Welsh Government has adopted a phased approach to easing restrictions.  We have been able to closely monitor how hospitality businesses and their customers have adapted to social distancing and other mitigating measures in an outdoor setting.  We have seen a positive response to re-opening outdoor hospitality across Wales. Operators, staff and customers are generally observing the guidance and respecting social distancing and the other Covid-19 safety measures we have put in place. 

Taking full account of the lessons learned and the public health position, we have, therefore, been able to make a well informed judgement as to when indoor trading may re-commence as part of our established 21 day review cycle.

For those who have not yet visited hospitality premises since before the coronavirus outbreak, there will be some differences in the experience. For example:

  • most premises should 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,
  • you will be asked to give contact details for purposes of tracing people in the event of an outbreak being linked to the venue, and
  • there will be no live music and TV broadcasts will be kept at low volume.  

When does this new relaxation take effect?

As of 3 August, until further notice, hospitality premises can serve customers food and drink in both outdoor and indoor parts of their licensed premises. But this is based on an expectation that they will take all reasonable measures, such as required social distancing and collection of contact details, to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. If this is not done, powers are available to enforcement authorities up to and including requiring some premises to close

Due to the reduction in virus transmission rates in outdoor settings and environments, it was sensible to open outdoors first, as the important first step in the phased approach to hospitality re-opening. With mitigation, it now possible to open indoors as well. 

Who will I be able to go to cafes, restaurants, pubs or bars with?

When venues open indoors you will be able to eat or drink indoors only with the people you live with (members of your own household) or members of your extended household if you have agreed to form one.

However, from Monday 3 August you will be allowed to eat or drink outdoors with people outside your household or extended household, as long as you maintain physical distancing from them and the size of the group does not exceed 30 people.

Over the next couple of weeks we will also consider whether we can safely expand the number of people it is possible for you to eat and drink with indoors.

People at increased risk from the effects of coronavirus, or extremely vulnerable (‘shielding’) are still advised to avoid attending any indoor environments where they are unable to maintain a 2 metre distance from those outside of their household and extended household.

Should I wear a face covering?

Face coverings are not necessarily required by customers in this setting, but you may choose to wear one. We recommend wearing one in enclosed spaces if crowded, but measures should be in place to ensure that bars and restaurants are not too full. If you feel that a premise has not taken appropriate safeguards it is recommended that alternative premises are sought. 

Entertainment

When will cinemas reopen?

Outdoor cinemas were able to open from 13 July and indoor cinemas from 27 July.

Cinemas should only open when operators are ready to do so and measures are in place to protect cinema-goers from the risk of contracting coronavirus. The UK Cinemas Association has provided industry guidance to support the safe reopening of cinemas.

When will museums, galleries and archive services reopen?

These venues are able to open from 27 July but should only do so when operators are ready and measures are in place to protect staff and visitors from the risk of contracting coronavirus. Please check with your local venue to see when it will reopen.

We have published guidance for the phased re-opening of culture and heritage destinations, which includes guidance for the re-opening of museums, galleries and archive services. 

When will theatres or concert halls reopen?

Not yet. We have published guidance for the phased re-opening of culture and heritage destinations, which includes guidance for the re-opening of theatres and concert halls.

When will amusement arcades reopen?

These venues are able to open from 27 July but should only do so when operators are ready and measures are in place to protect staff and visitors from the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Bowling alleys will be allowed to open from Monday 3 August - what measures are in place to make them safe?

Guidance has been produced by the Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association to support the safe reopening of bowling alleys. For example, you will only be able to bowl with members of your own household (or extended household) for now, and some lanes may be closed to ensure there is sufficient space between groups.

Bingo halls will be allowed to open from Monday 3 August - what measures are in place to make them safe?

Member organisations in Wales will utilise the Bingo Association’s guidance on key principles for COVID secure operating guidance, which has been adapted for Wales. The guidance will go on the Association web site and copies will be sent to all operators in Wales, all of whom have signed up to use of the Guidance.

What measures are in place to ensure children’s indoor play areas will be safe to open from Monday 10 August?

Indoor play areas are expected to ensure they operate safely and take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus.  These include increased cleaning of equipment and a requirement to manage the numbers of people on site and the numbers of children using equipment at any one time.

What guidance has been provided to children’s indoor play areas?

The Welsh Government has published guidance.  This includes increased cleaning and managing the numbers of people we  come into contact – in particular adults and children older than primary school age.  As well as play facilities some of these centres run other services including cafés, childcare and outdoor playgrounds.  Guidance for all of these services is also available on the Welsh Government website.

Will ball pits be open – these are hard to keep clean.

The Welsh Government has advised that where equipment cannot be easily cleaned, such as in ball pits, that part of the centre should not be open for use by the public.

When will skating rinks reopen?

There are no proposals to reopen skating rinks at this point but we will maintain the Regulations under review.

When will nightclubs and casinos reopen?

There are no proposals at the moment to reopen nightclubs or casinos, but we will maintain the Regulations under review.

Why are some venues being prioritised over others?

The coronavirus regulations are reviewed every 21 days, according to the law, to ensure the restrictions are in line with the risk coronavirus  poses to public health. We take this duty very seriously and people’s health is at the forefront of our considerations.

In reviewing the regulations, we draw on a lot of evidence about the virus in Wales, including the latest scientific and medical advice, international learning about the virus itself and evidence about its impact on public services, businesses, the economy and wider society in Wales.

We know that being indoors and in close contact with others, increases the risk of transmission. We have considered the evidence about how people use a venue, how venues are able to manage public safety and what we know about typical business models to prioritise what kind of venues should re-open first.

We will continue to closely monitor the impact of re-opening on transmission rates and continue with our careful, phased approach.

Travelling and public transport

Where will face coverings be required?

From 27 July, wearing face coverings on public transport – including buses, trains, trams, taxis, boats and aeroplanes – will become a legal requirement. Everyone over 11 travelling on public transport will need to wear a face covering.

They will not be compulsory in private vehicles such as your own car, or anywhere else outside a public transport vehicle (such as bus stops and railway stations) – but we are advising that you wear a face covering in confined or busy spaces where physical distancing is difficult.

Do I have to wear a face covering in train stations, at bus stops or anywhere else where I am not on board a vehicle?

No – the rules only apply on board public transport.

Do I need a covering if I am just stepping onto a vehicle, for example if I am just helping carry someone’s luggage onto a train?

The legal requirement applies to passengers only, but if the train is busy we advise you to wear a face covering if you are helping someone.

Do I have to wear face coverings in taxis?

Yes. This is to protect everyone in the taxi as you will all be in close proximity to each other for the duration of the journey.

Do I have to wear a face covering on a ferry?

In most cases, no. Face coverings on ferries are only required when you are in an area that is partly or wholly undercover, and 2 metre distancing cannot be maintained with people outside your household (or extended household if you have one).

But face coverings will be required on smaller boats where it is not possible to maintain 2 metre social distancing.

What are the rules on school transport?

Dedicated school transport is not covered by these rules, as there is a lower risk of spreading the virus than public transport, which is open to the general public. Separate guidance will be issued on minimising risk on school transport.

Children over the age of 11 travelling on public transport will need to wear a face covering.

What kind of face covering do I have to wear?

We advise people to wear a face covering made up of three layers of a close knit, or close woven material such as cotton from a t-shirt or pillowcase. Read further guidance about face coverings, including about how to make your own.

Do children have to wear face coverings?

Children under 11 do not need to wear a face covering on public transport.

Are there any other people who don’t have to wear face coverings?

Some people may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering on public transport – for example if they have a medical reason or a disability, which means they are unable to put on, wear or remove a face covering. Read more guidance on people who may not have to wear face coverings.

Are there situations when I can temporarily remove my covering?

Yes, people may have a reasonable excuse to do this. Examples of these situations include:

  • To communicate with someone who has difficulty communicating, such as a lip reader;
  • In an emergency, for example to get someone’s attention;
  • To take medication if this can’t be avoided.

Read about the requirement to wear a face covering on public transport in Wales.

Can I remove my face covering to eat and drink?

You can do this if it is reasonable and if eating and drinking is allowed on the public transport you are taking. Examples of situations where this is likely to be allowed include if you are on a long journey or it is hot. Some people such as diabetics may also need to eat or drink more often. However, you should remove your face covering for as little time as possible.

Why don’t transport workers have to wear face coverings?

Transport workers do not normally have to remain in close proximity with the same people for significant periods of time, unlike passengers on many forms of transport. However, transport operators are required to take all reasonable measures to keep passengers and staff safe. This may mean providing screens, for example, between a bus driver and passengers but it could also mean transport workers wearing face coverings.

How will these new rules be enforced?

Drivers, guards and other operators of public transport may tell passengers not to board if they are not wearing a face covering. Ignoring an instruction like this is itself an offence. If necessary, the police can be involved, and passengers who don’t comply could be made to get off a vehicle.

Fixed penalty notices can also be issued, carrying a fine of £60 for a first offence; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to a maximum of £1,920.

We hope people understand the severity of the situation we are facing and will comply with the regulations, without enforcement action being taken.

Can I car share or give someone a lift?

It is best to avoid sharing a car with another person outside your household (or extended household if you have one) if possible. If you do share a car, please stay as far apart as possible within the car and keep windows open. You can follow this guidance on travelling safely.

Can I now have driving lessons?

There will be a phased restart in Wales, with driver and rider instructions commencing on 27 July and tests phased from 3 August onwards.  The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will update their Guidance shortly, setting out the timetable for the restart of instructions and tests in Wales.

In working closely with the DVSA, we will ensure when testing restarts in Wales it will be done so safely for everyone concerned, including customers and those conducting testing.

Is General Aviation allowed?

Yes. You are now allowed to undertake General Aviation (GA) activities alone, with members of your household and/or members of one other household or your extended household if you have formed one.

There are parallels between the driving and flying environments for close proximity tutoring.  Therefore, it has been possible to undertake GA training flights since the lifting of restrictions around driving lessons, on the 27 July 2020.

Aerodromes are allowed to open provided they take all necessary measures to manage risk and follow the relevant guidance, such as how to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus in the work place and premises open to the public, and physical distancing.

Other guidance may also be relevant.

Shopping and food

What shops are open?

All retail shops can open, if they can comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law. People should avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.

Can I now travel as far as I want to go to the shops?

Yes, but people are still advised to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.

Can I go shopping with my friends?

Meeting with people from outside your household or extended household for shopping is only allowed outdoors while maintaining physical distancing, as the risk of transmission of the virus is much greater indoors.

Indoor shopping should only be done alone or with people in your household or extended household (if you have formed one). 

What if I’m shielding, can I go to the shops?

We do not advise going to shops if you are shielding.

Close contact services

What guidance is in place for beauty salons?

Our guidance is kept under review and we recommend that the industry continues to refer to our website for the most recent version. We continue to work with the beauty industry to ensure the guidance is clear and reflects appropriate ways of working’

When providing close contact services it is generally not possible to maintain physical distancing. As a result most service providers will need to wear some form of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a face mask and/or visors.

Are some things not allowed in beauty salons?

We expect all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus. This means physical distancing and limiting face to face interaction, and improved hygiene (cleaning and sharing of equipment, hand washing and respiratory hygiene etc.)

There is strong public health advice against undertaking some form of treatments, because of the close facial contact required between client and practitioner. The areas in question are listed in the guidance. As a reasonable measure, we advise that they should not take place.

The guidance has been updated to ensure businesses are fully aware of the safety measures required.

What guidance is in place for massage, acupuncture and electrolysis services?

As with beauty salons, we have worked with providers to provide clear guidance on appropriate ways of working.  The guidance has been updated to ensure businesses are fully aware of the safety measures required

What measures are in place to make it safe for massage, acupuncture and electrolysis services to reopen?

As with beauty salons, we have worked with providers to ensure there will be clear guidance on appropriate ways of working.

We strongly advise that treatments on the face do not take place at this time.

Can I have any of these treatments in my home?

Yes, but with the same limitations as above on the services they provide. People providing these services have been advised to speak to their clients before arrival to discuss the steps required to safely provide close contact services in the home.

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

Other than taking children or accompanying a vulnerable adult, we would prefer customers attend their booking appointment on their own where possible to make it easier to maintain social distancing. 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. 

My hairdresser is open, can they now provide other services such as doing my nails?

Yes, it is now possible for salons to provide multiple types of services. But again we strongly advise that treatments on the face should not take place at this time.

Can spas open?

Spas were able to reopen from 27 July but only to provide beauty and wellbeing or holistic treatments. We strongly advise that treatments on the face are not provided at this time. From 10 August, Spas are now able to open their pools as well, but not saunas and steam rooms. Full advice is available in the section on leisure centres and swimming pools.  

What guidance is in place for tattooists and body piercing services?

We have worked with the industry to ensure there will be clear guidance on appropriate ways of working.

Clearly, when providing close contact services it is generally not possible to maintain social distancing. As a result, service providers will need to wear personal protective equipment.

We are strongly advising against tattooing and tattoo removal on the face, and piercings on the tongue, mouth, lip, nose, brow or cheek.

Sport and outdoor activity

Which sport, leisure and recreation facilities are now open?

All outdoor sport and leisure facilities are now allowed to be open. The operators of these grounds and facilities must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain physical distancing. You can only participate with members of your own household (or extended household if you have formed one) and members of one other household or extended household, unless you are taking part in an organised activity.

When will all playgrounds be open?

Playgrounds are able to re-open from 20 July. Some owners and operators may need extra time to prepare for their safe reopening. Owners and operators with responsibility have discretion about when they consider it safe to open and may decide to keep these areas closed for the time being.

How will playgrounds be kept safe?

Each owner or operator will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus. We will provide guidance, which asks owners and operators to carry out a risk assessment and put in place practical measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus. Each owner or operator will need 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 the re-opening of parks 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, not eating or drinking in parks, 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.

What measures will be in place to make it safe for leisure centres and swimming pools to reopen from Monday 10 August?

The Welsh Government published guidance to help facilities operators prepare for the safe management of indoor and outdoor facilities in June. Since then we have worked in partnership with Sport Wales, the Welsh Sport Association, governing bodies such as Swim Wales and the sector, to ensure that guidance will support the safe reopening of leisure facilities and swimming pools in Wales. Leisure operators have also agreed to share best practice and lessons learned with each other when they reopen, to benefit everyone who works in and attends their facilities.

All facilities eligible to re-open will have to ensure these guidelines are followed and must conduct risk assessments to ensure their facilities and the activities they offer are safe. We expect all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus. This means physical distancing and limiting face to face interaction, and improved hygiene (cleaning and sharing of equipment, hand washing and respiratory hygiene etc.). As a result some training activities may not be able to resume at present and saunas and steam rooms should not open.

Will I be able to work with a personal trainer, including in gyms?

Yes. As part of the re-opening of indoor leisure facilities including gyms, personal training can take place, but the client and trainer must obey the same rules as everyone else. We expect all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus. This means physical distancing and limiting face to face interaction, and improved hygiene (cleaning and sharing of equipment, hand washing and respiratory hygiene etc.). As a result some training activities may not be able to resume at present.

Will group exercise classes be able to restart when gyms and leisure centres reopen?

Yes. Exercise classes will be able to run as of the 10 August, but class sizes should be as kept as small as possible, having regard to the size of the room and 2m physical distancing. .We expect all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus. This means physical distancing and limiting face to face interaction, and improved hygiene (cleaning and sharing of equipment, hand washing and respiratory hygiene etc.) As a result some classes may not be able to resume at present.

Supervised recreation for children and young people is now allowed – what does that mean?

The changes we have made are technical changes designed to clarify that supervised children’s activities, such as summer camps, are a legitimate purpose for gatherings of people from more than two extended households.

Who is allowed to supervise recreation?

Existing laws about who is entitled to supervise children are not affected by the coronavirus regulations.

What are the rules about going out on my boat?

You are now able to travel outside your local area on your boat, and there are no longer limits on where you can dock. It is also permitted for you and members of your household or extended household to stay overnight on your boat. Activities should only be undertaken with crews of people from the same household or extended household.

We advise boaters to be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and to not place unnecessary pressure on the RNLI, coastguard and emergency services.    

Moving home

Can I move home?

Yes. We recommend that if the property you are moving to has not been empty for at least three days that it is thoroughly cleaned before you enter it. More information is available at moving home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Are there any remaining restrictions on home viewings and other housing market transactions?

The restrictions on viewing occupied properties will be lifted from Monday 27 July and prospective buyers and tenants can now make appropriate arrangements with landlords, agents or property owners to view properties. Everyone involved in the process should follow social distancing and hygiene guidance.

Can a mortgage survey now be done at my property?

Yes. Estate agents, surveyors or removal workers are allowed into a property. They need to follow the physical distancing in the workplace guidance.

Places of worship, marriages and civil partnerships, cemeteries and funerals

What are the new rules for religious services?

Places of worship can open for communal worship, although those responsible for the place of worship are under a duty to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus and to provide information to people who attend about how they can minimise the risk. Ceremonies can also be held either as part of communal worship or as events in their own right. People will be expected to observe physical distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene.

If a place of worship is too small to safely admit a congregation, it might be able to arrange a larger gathering of up to 30 participants outdoors.

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

Yes, all premises that are licenced to conduct a solemnisation of marriage or the formation of civil partnerships can now open for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. However this is subject to the need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of spreading the virus on the premises.

Are there limits to the number of people who can attend ceremonies?

The number who will be able to attend a ceremony indoors will be 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.

What are the rules on holding receptions?

A reception for up to 30 people can take place outdoors. At present gathering indoors for this or similar purposes is not permitted.  

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 to local authorities.

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 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.

Obligations on businesses and owners of premises

The requirements for businesses to keep people 2 metres apart have been changed – what does this mean?

Businesses, and other premises open to the public, must continue to take all reasonable measures to keep people 2 metres apart whether on, or waiting to enter, premises, other than those who are in the same household or extended household.

However, as more types of businesses and premises reopen, we have introduced additional requirements that businesses must also take in order to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

These include maintaining hygiene standards and limiting close face-to-face interaction, wherever reasonable. We have also introduced a duty to provide information to those entering or working on premises about how to minimise exposure. 

These duties need to be met whether or not reasonable measures can be taken to ensure 2 metres distance between people. 

Where it is not reasonable for 2 metres to be kept, then anyone subject to the duty will be required to take other measures to minimise risk, which might include putting physical barriers in place or rearranging the layout and furniture to minimise close face-to-face contact. More guidance on measures that should be taken is available here.

Working from home is no longer a legal requirement – does that mean my employer can require me to go back to the office?

We continue to advise people to work from home unless there is a clear business need for them to return to a workplace setting. Employers are also under a duty to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus, which will include ensuring they do not require staff to return to workplaces in the absence of a clearly demonstrated business need.

Enforcement and fines

Who enforces the restrictions?

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

What can 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 now 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. 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 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).

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

Will the level of fines be increased in Wales?

We have increased the fines for repeat offences and continue to keep fines under review. If the police believe stronger fines are needed, this will be considered.

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