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Guidance on how you can keep safe during the outbreak and what rules are in place to protect people.

First published:
5 November 2020
Last updated:

General

What are people in Wales being asked to do after the firebreak?

Many people have made huge sacrifices to live within the rules, both before and during the firebreak. We now need to make sure that the effort we have made together is not wasted, and we do not have to undergo a further firebreak later in the year. 

To do that, we all need to take steps to keep each other safe, and we must all keep living our lives differently.

The main things we are asking people to do are:

  • Stay out of each other’s homes, except in very limited circumstances
  • Limit the times you leave your home, and the distance you travel
  • When you do leave home, please try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
  • maintain social distancing, including outdoors
  • meet people outdoors rather than indoors where possible, even in circumstances where the law allows you to meet indoors
  • Work from home if you can
  • Wash your hands regularly and follow other advice on hygiene
  • Self-isolate if you show symptoms of coronavirus

Can I be fined if I don’t follow this guidance?

Some of the guidance set out above is not the law and so will not be enforced by the police. However, even when things are permitted, we ask you 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. Only through everybody trying their hardest to follow this guidance will we be able to avoid further lockdowns..

There are also still some laws to make sure people do not choose to take unnecessary risks. The main requirements are that:

  • other than in very limited circumstances, people must not enter each other’s homes or gardens
  • when you meet people you don’t live with away from your home, in most circumstances, the absolute maximum number of people meeting should be four (not including any children aged under 11)
  • face coverings must still be worn in indoor public places, and
  • you must self-isolate when you are told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect

Will we need another firebreak in the future?

One of the best ways we have to reduce the risk of further firebreaks and lockdowns being needed is to follow these simple rules which are designed to slow the spread of coronavirus through our communities. By following the new rules we can all play our part in tacking the virus, protecting others and save lives.

We will continue to review the situation to see whether we can make further changes to the rules.

Seeing other people at home

Who am I allowed to meet up with in my home?

People who you don’t live with cannot come into your home, unless you have formed an extended household (or “bubble”) with them (except in very limited circumstances, such as tradespeople having to undertake work in your home). Likewise there are only very limited circumstances in which you can enter other people’s homes.

Much of the spread of coronavirus has happened in people’s homes. While some people might be able to keep their houses relatively safe for visitors, people inevitably behave differently at home. We also cannot check people’s private homes like we can check that shops, cafes, workplaces and other public places are following the rules. This is why the rules have to be tougher in private homes.

There is also a higher penalty for taking part in house parties.

Please see guidance on seeing other people in private homes for further details.

What is an extended household?

Two households are able to join together to form an extended household. This means you can spend time with them in your home or garden, or in their home or garden. This includes staying in each other’s homes overnight. It also allows you to meet up with them in groups of larger than four in other outdoor places.

Please see guidance on seeing people in private homes to see the rules on who can be in an extended household, how to choose who to bubble with and how it works for people with different types of living arrangements.

I have formed an extended household before – do I have to stick to that or can I now bubble with someone else?

As the rules are changing on extended households on 9 November, the slate is effectively wiped clean. You can now bubble with any other household. However, once you have agreed and joined that new extended household, neither household can leave to form a new one.

Can I go into an extended household with a household in a different local authority area?

Yes, there is no geographical limit on who can be in your extended household. That said, the government recommends that you form your extended household with a household that lives locally wherever possible. This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection.

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. Please check what travel restrictions are in place in England.

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 introduction of 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).

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 in a private home with them if necessary. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

When considering whether there is a need to visit someone outside of 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. For example, you should consider alternative ways to communicate such as a videocall on your phone or computer.

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. If you can meet people outdoors or in a Covid secure setting rather than in a private home then you should do so.

Can I visit people in care homes or other non-domestic settings?

Yes - visits to care homes are permitted, as are visits to hospices, young offender institutions and secure accommodation facilities for children. These visits will need to be in accordance with the rules put in place by the setting you are visiting. Again, we ask people to think carefully before visiting people in these settings, especially care homes, due to the risk of spreading the virus.

Please see the health and social care section for more information on care homes specifically.

What do you mean by compassionate grounds?

You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone where that person is struggling with restrictions on meeting others generally or they may be living with  a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare. 

Are the rules different for children – can they visit my home?

In most ways the rules on visiting other people’s homes are the same for adults and for children. However, in some circumstances childcare can take place in private houses – see the education and childcare section for more information.

Are the rules on extending households different if I live in shared accommodation such as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or Supported Living?

No. If you are an individual household (e.g. you have your own tenancy) within that shared home the same rules apply; you can be in an extended household with one other household from outside of your shared home. This also applies to students living in HMOs and to people in supported living.

If you share facilities such as bathrooms or kitchens with other people, you do not need to enter into an extended household with them in order to spend time with them within the building. However, you should be aware of the increased risks of doing this and take appropriate precautions to minimise that risk. As an absolute maximum you can only do this in groups of up to 4 people at a time, not including any children aged under 11.

Please see guidance on seeing people in private homes and on supported living which includes further information on those settings.

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.

Meeting people outside the home

Can I meet people from outside my bubble?

Yes, but you cannot meet them in a private home or garden if you are not part of their extended household. 

Away from private homes and gardens, you can meet other people.  However, we ask you to

  • please try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
  • please maintain social distancing, including outdoors
  • please meet people outdoors rather than indoors where possible
  • avoid doing activities that might increase the risk of transmission (for example shouting to be heard over loud music, or singing in close proximity)

If you are meeting people you do not live with, in most circumstances the absolute maximum number of people who can gather together is four (not including any children aged under 11). However, this is a maximum and not a target – the smaller the number of people who gather, the lower the risk.

Please see guidance on leaving your home and seeing other people.

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

Four is an absolute maximum number of people that do not all live together (not including children under 11) who can gather together, and not a target. The smaller the number of people who gather, the lower the risk.

That means you can in theory vary the people you meet, but we ask you please to try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally.

Going out with people in your extended household is also likely to be safer, as you may well be spending time in close proximity with them anyway. For this reason, as long as you remain outdoors, the maximum number of four people gathering together does not apply when all the people gathered together are from the same extended household. However, the maximum of four people who do not live together does still apply in any outdoor areas attached to shops, cafes, pubs and similar – for example it would apply in outdoor parts of a car dealership or garden centre, and in a beer garden.

In general, 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. Only through everybody trying their hardest to follow this guidance will we be able to avoid further lockdowns.

If I meet one group of people, can I meet another group later the same day?

This is not forbidden in law, but it is not recommended. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally.

If you want to see different groups of people, the longer you leave between seeing different groups of people, the more likely you are to keep them and yourself safe. This will allow you to be relatively confident you have not developed symptoms of coronavirus from the first group of people you met.

Are the rules different depending on whether you are indoors or outdoors?

In most respects the rules are the same anywhere that is away from private homes and gardens. The main difference is that for as long as you remain outdoors, the maximum number of four people gathering together does not apply when all the people gathered together are from the same extended household.

So, for example, if a family of four was in a bubble with a family of five, the entire bubble could go for a walk together. However, the maximum of four people who do not live together does still apply in any outdoor areas attached to shops, cafes, pubs and similar – for example it would apply in outdoor parts of a car dealership or garden centre, and in a beer garden.

Meeting outdoors remains safer than meeting indoors where you can. However, while the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors, the risk outdoors is higher now than it was in summer. This is because sunlight plays an important role in dispersing the virus. Social distancing and good hygiene is therefore more important than ever whether you are indoors or outdoors. 

Please also remember that you cannot enter someone’s private home or garden unless you are a member of their extended household, except in very limited circumstances.

Please see guidance on leaving your home and seeing other people for more information.

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

Gardens are treated as part of the home. This is because in winter it is much more likely that people together in a garden will need or want to go indoors. That means you can only meet the people in your extended household or bubble there. The same applies to visiting other people in their gardens.

Can an unlimited number of children aged under 11 meet?

The rules on meeting in people’s homes apply to children as well as adults. So like adults, children are not generally permitted to go into someone else’s home unless you have formed an extended household with them.

In other places, the number of children aged under 11 who can gather is not limited in law.

Young children are not included in our numerical restrictions 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 also been done so as not to prevent parents with larger numbers of children from 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 leaving your home and seeing other people for more information.

Do children aged under 11 need to socially distance?

For young children (those of primary school age or younger), it is less essential to attempt to rigidly maintain continual 2 metre distance between them, or between the children and any adults they do not live with. However, you should still make the best efforts you can to make sure they do.

Are there any circumstances in which gatherings of more than four people are permitted?

There are some situations in which people may well need to come together in groups of larger than four, and if so, those 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 four people are also permitted to enable any activities specifically organised for the development or wellbeing of children.

For all of the above, there are no specific legal limits on numbers of people for these activities, although other safety measures will mean that individual premises will set their own limits. A fuller list of the circumstances in which gatherings may be permitted is in Regulation 6.

A maximum of 15 people can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception or a wake after a funeral, as long as this takes place in a regulated premises. The number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony or funeral depends on the premises in which it takes place.

Finally, more than four people who do not all live together may also gather for any other organised activity (see next question).

What do you mean by an organised activity?

An organised activity could be any activity for which gathering is not permitted under any other part of the Regulations. Organised activities can take place outdoors or indoors. The organiser of the activity must complete a risk assessment and take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. Activities must not involve the sale or consumption of alcohol and must not take place in people’s homes.

Examples of the organised activities might include sports and exercise activities, or support groups and other groups to support people’s health or wellbeing, such as breastfeeding classes or slimming groups.

All of these activities are capped at 15 participants if they take place indoors, or 30 if outdoors. This number does not include any children aged under 11 or people who are working. During these activities, people should remain physically distanced from others outside of their household.

While this will clearly not be possible in all circumstances, it remains safer to conduct these activities online where possible.

Please see guidance on leaving your home and seeing other people for more information.

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 ten days or 14 days respectively 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 reported you 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.

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 14 days.

If you do not live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 14 days starts from when you last had close contact with them. Contact tracers should advise you of when that contact took place.

If you do live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 14 days starts on the day they reported their symptoms. Or, if they have not displayed any symptoms, the 14 days starts from the time of their 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
  • 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.

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

People on low incomes 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 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.

The final arrangements are being made for the Self-Isolation Payment scheme to go live. People will be able to apply for the payments via their local authority website and they will be backdated to 23 October.

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 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.

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).

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 remains 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. We encourage employers and workers to always come together to resolve issues. However, if you remain concerned about the safety measures in any premises, then you can report this to the public protection services of the relevant local authority.

Can I carry out building, repair or maintenance work in someone’s home?

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople, 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.

Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to 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 an emergency such as to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing, or carry 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.

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 extended Job Retention Scheme which will now continue until the end of March 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).

Freelancers working in cultural and creative sectors are able to apply for the Cultural Recovery Fund (on GOV.UK)

The Welsh Government is also making available £25m for local authorities to provide a discretionary grant for businesses that are closed or materially impacted. You can register and apply for this via your local authority website.

Coronavirus support for businesses can also be found 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.  

I live in England but work in Wales, can I still travel?

Travelling in and out of Wales is not allowed unless you have a reasonable excuse. Where necessary travelling to a workplace in Wales is a reasonable excuse to enter Wales under the rules. Similarly, the rules allow people living in Wales to travel to England for work purposes where this is necessary and they cannot work from home.

However, the Welsh Government cannot advise on the law that applies in England. Please see the UK Government’s guidance on restrictions in England for further information.

Can I do voluntary work?

Yes, although you should do so from home if reasonably practicable. 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 and childcare

Are schools allowed to open?

Yes. The Welsh Government has said throughout that ensuring children can continue to be taught in school is a priority, and schools are also a safe environment. From 9 November, all schools will return to full operations using the operational guidance for schools as a framework to ensure they remain as safe as possible.

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 hand and respiratory hygiene measures.

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.

Are further education settings allowed to open?

Yes. Further education colleges, work-based learning and adult learning will return to the same model of operation as before the firebreak.

What are the rules on teaching at universities?

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

While incidents of Covid-19 have risen in the student population, evidence shows this is taking place outside the teaching and learning environment. Universities are operating Covid-secure campuses and adhering to strict social distancing. Coronavirus cases amongst staff remain low.

It is also much safer for students to remain at their term time addresses than to travel home.

The Welsh Government is working with the other devolved administrations and the University sector to plan and prepare how we can support students, their family and friends to make sure it is safe for students to travel home safely for Christmas.

Am I allowed to travel into England to attend school, college or university?

Yes.  Education is one of the reasons for which people are permitted to travel from Wales into England, or from England into Wales.  Teachers can also travel across the border to attend work.

Are childcare providers still allowed to operate?

Yes. Children can continue to access their usual childcare provider, and you can travel to provide, access or receive childcare. Children can also continue to attend staffed playwork provision, like open access play sessions.

All childcare and playwork providers, including Flying Start childcare, can remain open and offer their normal services, including provision through school holidays.  This includes childcare and playwork providers operating from school sites, community centres and places of worship. Nannies can also continue to provide childcare. Settings should follow the protective measures in childcare settings: keep childcare safe guidance to ensure they minimise exposure to coronavirus.

If you live in Wales but provide or use childcare in England, you can still do this. You can also travel in to Wales to provide, access or receive childcare.

I rely on my wider family and friends to provide childcare while I am in work. Can they still do this for me?

Yes, family and friends can provide care for your child, but unless they are part of your extended household you should only ask them to do this if there is no reasonably practicable alternative. This reflects the general desire to reduce as much as possible people visiting each other’s homes, including children. All the people involved in your childcare arrangements should do all they can to prevent the spread of the virus.

Informal childcare can be provided in these circumstances in the child’s home or in the home of the person providing the care. Children should not be cared for outside of the home if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or are required to self-isolate. Children should not be cared for by anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or are required to self-isolate.

Are activities and clubs for children allowed to run?

Yes – activities run for the development and well-being of children, such as sports clubs, drama classes, parent and toddler groups, youth groups and religious groups can run outdoors and indoors, subject to the rules around the numbers of people for indoor and outdoor gatherings.

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, they should consider the space available to allow social distancing as far as is possible with children and not to maximise the number of children that can attend. The Protective measures in childcare settings: keep childcare safe guidance should be a used as a guide for keeping children and adults safe during organised activities for children.

Organisers should consider that virtual meetings are safest and should be used where possible, although not always ideal for this age group, and outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings.

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, including for screening and vaccination,  and seek help for urgent medical issues. You can leave your home to access local health services, including your GP surgery, dentist, optometrist, screening clinic or other health service. 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 GP surgery, dentist, optometrist, screening clinic 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.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus do not visit your GP, hospital, pharmacy, optometrist or dentist. For more information please use the NHS Wales symptom checker.

Can I visit someone in hospital?

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

Can I visit someone in a care home?

Yes - visits to care homes are permitted by the regulations.

Local authorities in Wales are responsible for advising care home providers on the approach to care home visits in the local authority area.  Individual providers will need to ensure they are able to support visits safely. We recommend checking with the relevant care home for their specific visiting arrangements.

Even when restrictions have been placed on routine indoor visits, we are asking both local authorities and care home providers to ensure that appropriate and sensitive arrangements are made to support indoor visits in exceptional circumstances including, but not restricted to, end of life visits. This should be discussed and agreed with the individual care home in advance prior to travel.

Will shielding be resuming?

There are no plans to resume shielding at this time.

When we initially advised people who are extremely vulnerable to take strict shielding measures at the start of the pandemic, the position was very different – there were no measures in any sector of society to reduce the spread of the virus and no rules or regulations in place. Now, with consistent measures in place, asking people to shield at home again is not the best option at this point in time as it could cause harm to people’s mental and physical health.

What is the latest advice to people who were shielding?

The advice for the shielded population is the same for everyone. You should keep contacts with other people to a minimum, keep a 2m distance from others, wash hands regularly, wear a face covering where required and avoid touching surfaces others have touched, wherever possible. Consider what time of day you go out and where you are visiting i.e. avoid visiting shops at peak times.

Where possible you should continue to work from home.

Visiting places

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

In general, no. Travel in to Wales is not allowed without a reasonable excuse, for example travelling for work purposes. Visiting family and friends (other than as part of an extended household) or having a holiday is not currently considered a reasonable excuse, although we hope to be able to welcome you in the not too distant future.

People travelling to Wales from elsewhere in the UK or from abroad must have a reasonable excuse to enter and remain in Wales and must follow all relevant regulations in force in Wales, as explained in this guidance.

People who do have a reasonable excuse to travel from abroad must follow the requirements set out in the travel guidance. If you are required to isolate because you have travelled from a non-exempt country or territory, you must follow the requirements set out in the travel self-isolation guidance.

After the travel isolation has ended, you should then follow the regulations in force in Wales as set out in this guidance.

I do not live in Wales. Can I travel to Wales to secure my boat, caravan or holiday home for winter?

Under the rules in Wales, a boat, caravan or holiday home owner from elsewhere in the UK may return to collect their belongings and secure their boat, caravan or holiday home for winter.

You should agree a time and date to visit the site. Whilst on site you should continue to observe social distancing measures. You are not permitted to stay overnight while these travel restrictions are in operation.

However, you will also need to check that what you are planning to do is allowed under the rules where you live, which the Welsh Government cannot advise you on.

I live in Wales, can I go on holiday in Wales or the rest of the UK?

You are allowed to go on holiday within Wales if you live here, but not to enter Wales from elsewhere for that purpose. A holiday is not one of the permitted reasons to leave Wales under the Regulations, whether that is elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

If you have pre-booked – and paid for a holiday – we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss the current situation in Wales and the restrictions which have been put in place by the Welsh Government to restrict non-essential travel. 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.

Can I go on holiday abroad?

No. Travel abroad is only permitted for people with a reasonable excuse.

We know this will be disappointing but travelling out of Wales for a holiday is not one of the permitted reasons under the Regulations. The Regulations are in place to protect you and your loved ones from coronavirus and to prevent the onward spread of the virus to other areas of Wales, the UK and other countries.

If you have pre-booked – and paid for a holiday – we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss the current situation in Wales and the restrictions which have been put in place by the Welsh Government to restrict non-essential travel. 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.

Can I visit friends and family outside Wales?

At the moment, because of the high levels of prevalence in Wales, you are not permitted to risk spreading the virus by leaving Wales without a reasonable excuse. Visiting friends and family socially is not a reasonable excuse.

However, there are some circumstances in which you may have a reasonable excuse to visit people outside Wales – for example if you have caring responsibilities, you have entered an extended household with them, or you have compassionate grounds for going to see them.

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.

What kind of accommodation is open in Wales?

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

Can hotel restaurants and bars now open?

Yes.

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

Yes – caravan parks are able to open to Welsh residents. 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 to Welsh residents. 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 (on GOV.UK).

Who can I stay with in holiday accommodation such as hotels, tents, caravans or self-catering accommodation?

You will only be able to share holiday accommodation with the people you live with (or anyone who is there to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person). 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. 

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

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

Restaurants, cafes and pubs

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

The experience of going to pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will inevitably be quite different to before the outbreak of coronavirus. Venues, and especially those which serve alcohol, will be required to put a number of measures in place to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:

  • in most places you will probably be required to pre-book with details of all members of the group
  • entry to the premises will be controlled
  • premises serving alcohol, 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
  • limit to groups of up to 4 people (not including any children aged under 11 ) unless they are from a single household
  • face coverings must be worn other than when seated to eat or drink
  • 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
  • live music should only take place if the venue can demonstrate that risks can be mitigated. Guidance covering rehearsing, performing and taking part in the performing arts has now been published.
  • TV broadcasts should be kept at low volume

Please see guidance on leaving your home and seeing other people for more information.

Who can I go to cafes, restaurants, pubs or bars with?

You are allowed to go to these venues with people outside your household, as long as the size of the group does not exceed 4 people (not including any children aged under 11 or a carer of a member of the group). Where up to 4 people from different households are sat together at a table, every effort should be made to maximise distance between each other at the table.

If all the people attending live together, the size of the group is not limited to 4.

However, as with all other venues, 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. In particular, we ask you to:

  • please try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
  • please maintain social distancing, including outdoors
  • please meet people outdoors rather than indoors where possible
  • avoid doing activities that might increase the risk of transmission (for example shouting to be heard over loud music, or singing in close proximity)

Will I be asked to provide proof of my contact details?

If you are booking as a group of up to 4 people (excluding any children aged under 11), you will be asked to provide verification of your name through, for example, a driver’s licence, bank or credit card. If you are booking as a private household group of over 4 people (not including any children aged under 11), premises will also be required to ask adults within the group to provide proof of address.

Do I need to wear a face covering in cafes, restaurants, pubs or bars?

Yes. Face coverings must be worn unless there is a reasonable excuse to remove it, such as to eat or drink. Please see our guidance on face coverings for details of other reasonable excuses.

Are there limits on when I can buy alcohol?

Yes. Alcohol cannot be sold between 10pm and 6am.

Hospitality businesses in Wales – such as pubs, cafes, restaurants, sports clubs and casinos – will have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm. Places selling alcohol to drink on the premises will also have to provide table service only.

All places licensed to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises will need to close by 10.20pm. Premises not licensed to sell alcohol do not need to close by 10.20pm.

Licenced premises can offer take-away services beyond this time as long as this does not include sale or delivery of alcohol after 10pm.

Off-licenses, including supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm. This also applies to deliveries of alcohol, such as through a home delivery app.

Licensed premises and off-licenses cannot begin to sell alcohol again until 6am the next day.

Are there other venues which are required to stop selling alcohol at 10pm, other than pubs and bars?

Yes. The rule applies to restaurants and any other venues licensed to sell alcoholic drinks for consumption on their premises. It also applies to off-licences and supermarkets.

Can I still get a drink in a restaurant after 10pm?

No – any restaurant which is licensed to sell alcoholic drinks will be required to stop selling alcohol at 10pm and close by 10.20pm.

Can I still stand at the bar of a pub or bar and have a drink?

No. All hospitality businesses in Wales which sell alcohol – including pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos – will have to provide table service only.

Can I still order room service at a hotel after 10pm?

Yes, but you cannot be served alcohol.

Do businesses, such as coffee shops, that do not sell alcohol have to provide table service?

No.

Do buffet style restaurants have to provide table service?

No, but all drinks will be have to be served by table service. A member of staff should serve people at the buffet rather than customers helping themselves and touching the same utensils.

Do restaurants and bars at airports and ports have to close by 10.20pm if they serve alcohol?

No, an exception has been made to allow these venues to stay open. However, no alcohol can be served between 10pm and 6am.

My university/work canteen is licensed, does it have to provide table service now?

No, workplace canteens and canteens in educational establishment can still operate counter service (but they must continue to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus). If they are licensed, no alcohol can be served after 10pm.

Collecting contact information

What businesses are required to collect contact information from visitors?

Any businesses operating in high risk settings are required to collect contact information. High risk settings include where customers and visitors will spend a long time on the premises, and/or potentially come into close contact with people outside of their household (or extended household if they have formed one).

Examples of high risk settings that we would expect to collect and retain contact information include:

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes
  • cinemas
  • close contact services including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists
  • swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • bingo halls
  • casinos

Why are businesses being required to collect this information?

Collecting contact information helps to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus and are asymptomatic (i.e. are not yet displaying symptoms). Containing outbreaks is crucial to reducing the spread of coronavirus, protecting the NHS in Wales and saving lives. This will support the country in returning to, and maintaining, a more normal way of life.

What information will be collected from me?

The legal requirement is to collect the person’s name and information sufficient to enable the person to be contacted, to inform them that they may have been exposed to coronavirus at the premises (including a telephone number and the date and time at which the person was at the premises).

How do I know my personal data is safe and won’t be passed on without my wishes?

The General Data Protection Regulation places legal obligations on businesses handling your personal data, and guidance has also been provided to organisations collecting the data which draws on the work of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

For example, where the information would not otherwise have been collected and retained, your contact information must be securely disposed of or deleted after 21 days. Secure disposal means shredding paper documents instead of disposing in public bins, and ensuring permanent deletion of electronic files.

What happens if I don’t want to give my details?

If the venue you are trying to access is under a duty to collect your details and you are not willing to share them, you will not be allowed on the premises.

Entertainment

Will entertainment venues be open?

Theatres and concert halls, nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues are still required to be closed. We will shortly be re-publishing guidance for the phased re-opening of culture and heritage destinations, which includes guidance for the re-opening of theatres and concert halls when conditions allow.

Other venues, such as cinemas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, museums, galleries, bingo halls, casinos and amusement arcades are allowed to be open subject to following the social distancing rules.

No alcohol can be served in any of these venues between 10pm and 6am, and where premises have a licence to sell alcohol they will have to close at 10.20pm (other than cinemas, which can remain open for the completion of films which commenced before 10.00pm).

Who can I visit entertainment venues with?

The rules for visiting entertainment venues are the same as anywhere else outside the home. The absolute maximum number of people that do not all live together who can gather together in these venues is four (not including any children aged under 11). However, this is a maximum and not a target – the smaller the number of people who gather, the lower the risk.

As in every other venue, we ask you please to try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally. We also advise you to maintain social distancing.

Travelling and public transport

Are there travel restrictions in place in Wales?

There are no travel restrictions in place within Wales. However, 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.

Are there restrictions on travel out of Wales, for example, to England?

Yes. Travel out of Wales is only allowed under limited circumstances, such as for work or education. You will also need to follow the laws in place in England (on GOV.UK), which the Welsh Government cannot advise you on.

Can I travel in to or out of Wales to vote?

Yes. It may be necessary to travel in to or out of Wales to exercise your right to vote (for example foreign nationals). However, you should only do so if you have no practicable alternative, for example, you cannot arrange a postal vote. If you are travelling out of Wales, you will also need to follow the laws in place wherever you are travelling to, which the Welsh Government cannot advise you on.

I do not live in Wales. Can I travel through Wales to reach a destination?

People who live outside Wales can still travel through Wales if they have a reasonable excuse to do so. This might include travelling along a road that passes through Wales (e.g. to travel from England to Ireland) where there is no other reasonable option to travel to their destination. This also applies to visitors travelling by public transport, for example changing trains at stations in Wales.  However, any person who does not live in Wales will need to be aware of any restrictions in force where they are living.

Where are face coverings required on public transport?

Wearing face coverings on public transport – including buses, trains, trams, taxis, boats and aeroplanes (where they take off or land in Wales) – is a legal requirement. Everyone aged 11 or over travelling on public transport needs to wear a face covering.

They are not 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.

For more information, including exemptions from these requirements and advice on what kind of coverings are advised, see the section on face coverings in public places or our fuller guidance on wearing face coverings on public transport.

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, wear a face covering and keep windows open. You can follow this guidance on travelling safely.

Can I now have driving lessons?

Yes.

Will driving and theory tests restart?

Yes.  DVSA has published guidance about what instructors and pupils should expect when they take theory tests (on GOV.UK) and driving tests (on GOV.UK).

Shopping and food

What shops are open?

All retail shops can open, if they can comply with the duty to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to and prevent the spread of coronavirus in Welsh law. People should avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.

Please see the guidance for retailers for more information.

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

There are no legal limits on travel within Wales, but people are still advised to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.

Can I go shopping with my friends?

We do not advise going shopping with friends or any person you do not live with. However, if you do choose to do this, we ask you to

  • please try and be restrained in how many different people you see. It is better to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
  • please maintain social distancing, including outdoors
  • please spend time outdoors rather than indoors as much as possible
  • avoid doing activities that might increase the risk of transmission (for example shouting to be heard over loud music)

If you are meeting people you do not live with, in most circumstances the absolute maximum number of people who can gather together is four (not including any children aged under 11). However, this is a maximum and not a target – the smaller the number of people who gather, the lower the risk.

What if I have been shielding, can I go to the shops?

Yes, the advice to shield has been paused so you no longer need to avoid all shops. However, you should still be very careful so should shop at quieter times, should make sure you maintain a 2m distance from others and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser regularly.

I live close to the border between Wales and England, can I cross the border to go to the shops?

As a matter of Welsh law, this is permitted if you need to buy food, medical supplies or products for the upkeep of the home (either your own, or the home of a person you care for).

However, you will also need to follow the laws in place in England, which the Welsh Government cannot advise you on.

Face coverings

Where will face coverings be required?

Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public places. This includes on public transport and taxis, and in places where food and drink is served, other than when you are seated to eat or drink. 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?

Face coverings should be worn by secondary school learners and staff everywhere outside the classroom.  Face coverings should also be worn by secondary school pupils on school transport and by visitors and parents entering the school estate.

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.

Close contact services

Will hairdressers and barbers be allowed to reopen?

Yes, as long as they take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

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 in attending a hairdresser or barber, and you are advised to attend your appointment alone if possible.

Will beauty salons be open?

Yes, beauty salons and similar businesses can open as long as they take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

We will also shortly be publishing revised guidance for this sector (close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance) which will be kept under review - 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 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 also be expected to provide contact details in attending, and you are advised to attend your appointment alone if possible.

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 will be listed in guidance to be published shortly on close contact services businesses. As a reasonable measure, we advise that they should not take place unless appropriate training has been undertaken and suitable protective equipment can be worn.

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 (close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance). A revised version of this will be published shortly.

We strongly advise that treatments on the face do not take place at this time unless appropriate training has been undertaken and suitable protective equipment can be wornYou will be expected to provide contact details.

Can I have any hair, beauty or other 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. 

Can spas open?

Spas are allowed to open, but certain treatments may not be available, and saunas and steam rooms will be closed.

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 (close contact services businesses: coronavirus workplace guidance). A revised version of this will be published shortly.

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. You will be expected to provide contact details.

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 sport and leisure facilities are now allowed to be open. The operators of these facilities must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain physical distancing.

Will professional sports continue and will elite sport be allowed to resume?

Yes, professional sports will be able to continue and elite sports which were suspended during the firebreak will be able to resume. Spectators will continue to be prohibited from attending sporting events.

Do the restrictions on gatherings of more than 4 people apply to sports and exercise?

Anyone can play sport or exercise in a group of up to 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors, if this is part of an organised activity managed for example by a gym, a leisure centre or a sports club. Coaches and match officials would generally be regarded as participants so the limit of 30 or 15 should include them. However, anybody who is there to organise or support the activity, if they are working or providing a voluntary service, can also attend and do not need to be considered within the limit of 30 or 15.  Children aged under 11 are also excluded from the maximum number in the gathering.

Simultaneous gatherings of groups and individuals are also allowed, both indoors and outdoors, where there is sufficient space to do so safely and independently.

Organisers and those responsible for the premises have a duty to take all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, including ensuring the space allows for social distancing. 

Are sports events allowed?

Organising an event where more than 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors are in attendance at the same time is prohibited.  Activities involving waves or staggered starts should not be allowed if there is any risk of breaching the requirement not to have organised activities where more than 30 people outdoors or 15 people indoors are gathered or in attendance together. 

Can outdoor team sports now be played?

Anyone can play sport or exercise in a group of up to 30 participants outdoors or up to 15 indoors, if this is part of an organised activity managed for example by a gym, a leisure centre or a sports club. Coaches and match officials would generally be regarded as participants so the limit of 30 or 15 should include them. However, anybody who is there to organise or support the activity, if they are working or providing a voluntary service, can also attend and do not need to be considered within the limit of 30 or 15.  Children under the age of 11 are also excluded from the number in the gathering.

Sport Wales has been provided with the responsibility to consider making further designations of elite athletes to enable more organised team sports to be played outdoors where the 30 person gathering number has been restrictive. This will be done in a controlled and phased way where clear guidance is in place by sport governing bodies to protect all participants.

Are group exercise classes indoors still allowed even with more than 4 people?

Yes. Exercise classes are able to run for groups of up to 15 people indoors but those responsible should consider how well ventilated the room is and whether the size of the space is sufficient to ensure 2m physical distancing is maintained.

Simultaneous gatherings of up to 15 people are allowed indoors where there is sufficient space to do so safely and independently.

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.

Do the limits on numbers apply to sports and exercise for children aged under 18?

There is no limit on the number of children under the age of 18 who can participate in or facilitate an organised sport activity for the development or well-being of children. The activity must be arranged and supervised by a responsible body such as a sports club, a public body, a charity or a gym or leisure centre. The number of children aged under 18 who can legally participate is constrained only by the boundaries of the setting and the need for sufficient adults to be present to supervise.

Any adults that may be present during these activities, but are not directly participating in or facilitating the activities, should not stay in the area where the activity is taking place. Supporters and spectators of organised activities should be limited to only those who absolutely need to attend, for example, parents or guardians of children who require their attendance for health or safeguarding reasons.

Am I 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.). Face coverings are also required to be worn, though there are exceptions for the person training (see below). As a result some training activities may not be able to resume at present.

Do I need to wear a face covering when I exercise in a leisure centre or gym?

As gyms and leisure centres are indoor public places, you will need to wear a face covering when you go there and you will need to keep it on depending on what you are doing. If you are preparing to exercise, changing or undertaking any activity that isn’t strenuous, especially when in close contact with other people, you will need to wear a face covering.

However, there may be circumstances where the layout of the premises and the nature of the exercise you are doing mean that it would not be reasonable to expect you to wear a face covering. The World Health Organisation advises against wearing a face covering when exercising as sweat can make a face covering become wet more quickly, making it difficult to breathe and promoting the growth of microorganisms. It advises the important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance from others.

As part of the measures the operator of the gym or leisure centre will need to put in place to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, they will need to consider when wearing a face covering would not be appropriate and what mitigating action may be needed. They will be expected to give you further information about the systems put in place and what you will be expected to do.

Do both staff and the public have to wear coverings in a leisure centre or gym?

Yes. Staff working in areas of indoor premises which are open to the public are also required by law to wear face coverings while they are in those areas, subject to the same exceptions which apply to customers.

What measures are in place to make it safe for leisure centres and swimming pools to be open?

The Welsh Government published guidance to help facilities operators prepare for the re-opening of indoor and outdoor facilities in June. Since then we have continued to work in partnership with Sport Wales, the Welsh Sport Association, governing bodies such as Swim Wales and the sector.. Leisure operators have also agreed to share best practice and lessons learned with each other, 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. 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 (on GOV.UK) (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. You will also be expected to provide contact details.

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.

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.

Will there be any restrictions on home viewings and other housing market transactions?

No, the restrictions on viewing properties will be lifted on Monday 9 November, 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 handwashing and respiratory hygiene guidance.

Anyone who is in Wales, whether resident or travelling here, is bound by these rules. However, travelling to move home, or other related activity, is a reasonable excuse to enter Wales. Similarly, people living in Wales can travel to England for the purposes of moving home or other related activity. Where this is the case, the restrictions as may be applicable to you elsewhere in the UK (on GOV.UK) will also need to be followed. More information is available in our guidance on moving home during the coronavirus pandemic.

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

Yes. Estate agents, valuers, surveyors or removal workers are allowed into a property. They must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and we also recommend they follow guidance on working in other people’s homes.

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

What are the rules for religious services?

Places of worship will once again be able to 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 with appropriate measures in place.

Do I have to wear a face covering when attending a religious service?

Yes, places of worship are indoor public places and so the requirements to wear a face covering will apply there as in other public place. We consider that those leading worship or a ceremony may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if they cannot effectively do so while wearing one, as long as they have taken other sufficient mitigations such as staying continually over 2 metres away from others and wearing a visor.

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

Yes, all premises that are licensed 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. Please see the relevant guidance on weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.

Are face coverings required in wedding and civil partnership ceremonies?

Guests will need to wear face coverings, but given the importance to couples of the ceremony and the level of risk involved, we consider it is reasonable for the couple themselves to remove their coverings for a kiss, for taking vows, walking down the aisle and taking photos indoors as well as for a “first dance”, as long as other measures are in place to protect people attending the ceremony from the risk of contracting coronavirus, for example, guests staying 2m away from the couple at all times.

What are the rules on holding receptions?

A reception can be held for up to 15 people. Where the reception takes place indoors, it will need to take place in regulated premises (such as pubs, restaurants, hotels or community centres) and there are limits on the type of activity that can take place – for example loud music should not be played, and any food provided should be served at the table rather than at a buffet. The limits on those who can be present do not include children under 11 or staff working at the event.

For more information, please see our guidance on holding wedding receptions.

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. Updated guidance on funerals will shortly be published. 

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. Funerals are not covered by the general restriction on gatherings of above four people.

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

A gathering of up to 15 people can take place for these purposes (these limits do not include children under 11 or staff working at the event). If it is indoors, then the gathering will need to take place in regulated premises (such as funeral directors, pubs, restaurants, hotels or community centres) and there are limits on the type of activity that can take place – for example loud music should not be played, and any food provided should be served at the table rather than at a buffet.

Updated guidance on funerals will shortly be published. 

Libraries and community centres

Can libraries open?

Yes, libraries are now permitted to open. However, the decision on whether to open each individual library is a choice for the relevant local authority.

Can community centres open?

Yes, community centres are now permitted to open. However, the decision on whether to open each individual centre is a choice for each centre individually. Our message is just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Some centres have taken the decision to remain closed because of the risks of transmission or not having sufficient staff members or volunteers to open safely.  In some cases activities may be delivered digitally or outside.

What activities can take place in a community centre?

Any activity can legally be undertaken as long as it is organised by a club or recognised body within the legal limits on numbers attending, and does not include the sale or consumption of alcohol.

However, whilst the regulations allow for a wider range of activities than before the firebreak we would urge organisers to consider whether the activity needs to take place indoors, particularly where it has been successfully delivered either virtually or outdoors over the last few months.

The organisers will be responsible for taking all reasonable measures to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus at the premises or the spread of coronavirus by those who have been at the premises.

Singing, chanting, shouting or the use of wind instruments are considered to be high risk activities and should generally be avoided, especially indoors, even where physical distancing and face coverings are used. If these do take place, the organisers of the activity must take extensive mitigating actions, otherwise they may be failing to meet their statutory duty to take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Guidance covering rehearsing, performing and taking part in the performing arts has now been published.

For more information, please see our guidance on community centres

Enforcement and fines

Who enforces the restrictions?

The restrictions are being enforced primarily by local authority enforcement 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 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 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 events of above a certain size (more than 15 people indoors or 30 outdoors) is considered a particularly high risk behaviour, and doing so carries an initial potential penalty from police of £200, reflecting the serious potential consequences. Large gatherings in private houses have contributed significantly to the spread of coronavirus. Criminal prosecution is also possible for these events, and there is no limit to the fine a court can impose.

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.