Skip to main content

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

General

There are 4 main things:

  • certain businesses are not allowed to be open
  • people have to stay local and not be indoors with anyone who is not a member of their household unless they have a good reason
  • rules have been made about keeping people 2 metres apart when they do go out (known as social or physical distancing)
  • people must not gather in public places other than with members of one other household

Why have these restrictions been put in place?

The restrictions are essential to slow the spread of coronavirus. People travelling, meeting each other and touching things in public places can all spread coronavirus. We want people to stay local and keep their distance from others to keep Wales safe.

How do the restrictions protect the NHS and save lives?

The restrictions will help to slow the spread of coronavirus, meaning fewer people will get ill. This reduces the risk of people dying from coronavirus. If too many people become ill at the same time, the NHS would not be able to treat everybody.

How is the Welsh Government able to do this?

Public health and health are both devolved matters. The Welsh Ministers have wide‑ranging powers under legislation to respond to the pandemic.

How long will these restrictions stay in place?

The restrictions will be in place until the risk of the spread of coronavirus has reduced, when they can be relaxed. Welsh Ministers have a duty to review these restrictions every 3 weeks.

Is breaching the restrictions against the law?

Yes they are imposed by the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and you can be fined for not complying with the law.

Why do the restrictions change?

The legal powers to make the regulations require the restrictions to be proportionate to the outcome they are trying to achieve. They must be formally reviewed at least once every 21 days. This means reviewing scientific evidence about the spread of coronavirus and considering the impact of the restrictions. The Welsh Ministers then consider what activity can resume and announce any changes.

Changes have been made because of the impact the restrictions (and people complying with Welsh Government advice) have had on the spread of coronavirus in Wales to date. This has helped to stabilise the situation – reducing the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus; the number of people who are seriously ill in intensive care and the number of people who are dying from coronavirus.

Are critical workers covered by the restrictions?

Yes. The regulations affect how people live their daily lives and where they go. The Welsh Government has previously identified categories of critical workers, which will determine whose children can go to school or receive childcare. However, the regulations make no reference to ‘critical workers’, so they must be followed by everyone regardless of ‘critical worker’ status.

How do I get advice about what I can and can’t do?

The Welsh Government has issued guidance to accompany the regulations and these answers to frequently asked questions. We are unable, however, to answer specific queries from individuals because the answer will depend on the particular circumstances. Community advice services such as Citizens Advice are available online and by telephone. 

Staying local

What does ‘local’ mean?

As a general rule, for most people anything within 5 miles of your home is considered local. Most people in Wales live within 5 miles of shops, public services and other things that are essential for everyday purposes.

But we recognise that in rural areas these things may well be spread over a wider geographical area, and this means you may need to travel further to do the same sorts of things you could do within 5 miles elsewhere.

So while 5 miles is a good rule of thumb for most people, if you live in a rural area, you will probably be used to defining your local area a little more widely.

Why do the rules say I must stay in my local area?

The purpose of people staying within their local area and not travelling long distances is to limit the potential spread of the virus between communities. Coronavirus is a “silent spreader” – people can have the virus and infect others without showing symptoms. So we need to do all we can to reduce the risk of people carrying the virus from community to community by travelling.

Rates of coronavirus are falling across Wales and Ministers have indicated the requirement to stay local will be lifted on 6 July, if the conditions allow it.

Does stay local mean I can’t leave my local area at all?

You can leave your local area if you have a “reasonable excuse” to do so – this includes going to work or using public services that are not available locally. It also includes leaving your local area to visit family or close friends on compassionate grounds if necessary.

But the basic message is that we want people to stay local as much as possible. This is particularly important if you are an extremely vulnerable person – somebody in the shielded group who has received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales asking them to adopt strict shielding measures to protect them from the virus.

Whenever you are outdoors you should stay 2 metres away from other people and wash your hands frequently. You can only gather or meet with members of one other household (outside).

What can’t I do?

The legal requirement is that you can’t leave your local area without a reasonable excuse. However we urge people to think not only about what you can’t do because the law says so, but also about what you shouldn’t do because it could increase the spread of coronavirus and your risk of contracting coronavirus. So even if you can travel within your local area, you should think about whether there are alternatives, like working from home, or exercising in the garden. Similarly even though you can now meet others in limited circumstances, this isn’t an invitation for people to do so. Although shops can open, if they can comply with the physical distancing duty, we are encouraging people to avoid unnecessary travel wherever possible and to avoid crowded places, particularly indoors.

What can I do?

There is a list of reasonable excuses to leave your local area, such as going to work, going to buy food and having medical treatment. Other reasons for leaving your local area that aren’t listed may, however, also be allowed if they are reasonable. Please see more detailed guidance on the regulations.

I have to attend court – am I still supposed to go?

Yes. If your court proceedings are still going ahead, you can leave your local area to attend court, providing you are not self-isolating – in which case you should contact the court for further information. The courts should help you stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people. The rules preventing gatherings of more than 2 households do not apply to legal proceedings.

My bail conditions require me to report to a police station or meet other requirements, can I leave my local area for this?

Yes, providing you are not self-isolating – in which case you should contact the court that imposed the conditions for further information.

Can I travel to an airport to pick up a member of my household or family who is returning to Wales?

Yes. If someone is returning to Wales from outside the UK, they will need to follow the guidance on how to self-isolate after returning from abroad. This guidance applies both to people arriving directly in Wales and for those arriving elsewhere in the UK and then travelling on to Wales.

It is best to avoid sharing a car with another person you do not live with. 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 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.

Can I view a property?

You can view a property if it is unoccupied and has been empty for at least three days, or it has been thoroughly cleaned. It is important viewings do not involve different households being inside a property at the same time because this increases the risk of coronavirus being transmitted. You must follow social distancing and hand hygiene guidance at all times.

Virtual viewings of a home can continue to take place by letting agents, estate agents and landlords.

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 social and physical distancing in the workplace guidance.

Can I visit members of my family or close friends who live outside my local area?

Generally, not yet, as the requirement to stay local will stay in place until 6 July, when Ministers will lift it, if the conditions allow.

However, you can leave your local area to provide care for, or to help someone who needs it, such as an older person, a child or a vulnerable adult. But you should consider whether there are alternative sources of support available. You can also leave your local area to visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

In considering whether there is a need to travel outside your local area, 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.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of the continuing restrictions is to prevent the transmission 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 they are struggling as a result of the lockdown. For example they may have a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their 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.

When will I be able to visit other people outside my local area more generally?

The Welsh Government keeps all the restrictions, including the requirement to stay local, under constant review. Given the improving picture, Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if the conditions permit.

Can I be fined by the police if I travel outside my local area without reasonable excuse?

Yes, police can issue fines.

Travelling and public transport

Can I drive to the coast or to the countryside?

You can only do this within your local area at the moment. Travelling to parks, beaches and attractions outside your local area is not allowed. Many attractions and beauty spots (including car parks and public toilets) remain closed.

The Welsh Government keeps all the restrictions, including the requirement to stay local, under constant review. Given the improving picture, Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if the conditions permit.

Can I maintain or prepare my caravan or chalet to rent to other people?

From 6 July, you can travel throughout Wales. From that date, you (or someone acting on your behalf – a cleaner for example) can visit a holiday park to inspect, maintain or prepare your caravan and/or chalet for rental, but no one* can occupy the caravan/chalet until the restrictions on sites are lifted on 11 July.   Before visiting you should secure the agreement of the site owner. Everybody on the site should of course continue to observe the social distancing requirements currently in force in Wales and practise good hand hygiene.

(* except for some people remaining on sites as they would otherwise be made homeless or in response to a request from the Welsh Ministers or a local authority)

Can I drive to stay at my second home?

No (assuming this is not in your local area) – this is not considered to be a reasonable excuse to leave your local area. Travelling to a second home increases the risk of spreading the virus and also puts pressure on the NHS in areas, which do not have the capacity to deal with an influx of people.

The Welsh Government keeps all the restrictions, including the requirement to stay local, under constant review. Given the improving picture, Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if the conditions permit.

My son or daughter has left belongings in their student accommodation, which now needs to be vacated. Can we travel there to get them?

If this can’t be postponed and is required to comply with the terms of the accommodation agreement it would be a reasonable excuse. More information for students and their families.

Can I use public transport?

Yes. There are, however, fewer train services and many buses have reduced capacity to ensure people can maintain social distancing practices. We recommend that you should wear a face covering on public transport. Please follow the guidance on using public transport.

Will pupils and drivers have to wear face masks on school transport?

Please see our advice on face coverings.

Can I car share or give someone a lift?

It is best to avoid sharing a car with another person you do not live with 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

Do the Welsh rules apply to people coming to Wales from other parts of the UK?

Yes, the rules apply to everyone in Wales. People should not be travelling beyond their local area in Wales at the moment. This means that journeys into Wales will generally not be allowed, subject to the same exceptions that apply to people who live in Wales. For more information please see our guidance on staying local.

If I live close to the English border, can I travel to the border and then an unlimited distance on the other side of the border?

If the English border is in your local area, you can travel across it but the requirement in Welsh law to stay local still applies.

The Welsh Government keeps all the restrictions, including the requirement to stay local, under constant review. Given the improving picture, Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if the conditions permit.

I have a holiday booked – can I travel to the airport?

Not yet. For as long as the stay local requirement remains in place this is not a valid justification for leaving your local area. If you are due to travel before 6 July, you should cancel your trip and seek a refund. When the stay local requirements are removed, travel for holidays abroad will be allowed but this is subject to the rules of the country you wish to visit and to UK border regulations, which require a quarantine period of isolation on return from abroad. Advice issued by the Foreign, and Commonwealth Office should also be followed.

Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if conditions allow.

Business closures, work and physical distancing

Can my business be open?

All non-essential retail shops have been able to be open since 22 June if they can comply with the physical distancing duty (please see our guidance Keep Wales Safe At Work in Retail). 

All workplaces must take all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing duty, which helps to protect workers and the public from the threat of coronavirus.

However, some businesses must remain closed at this time, these include bars and restaurants, leisure facilities and hotels.

We are now are working with the tourism sector to prepare for the reopening of self-contained accommodation over the next three weeks. A decision about the options for reopening will be made at the next review of the regulations on 9 July.

If I do go to work what must my employer do?

Wherever possible, people should continue to work from home. Where that is not possible, employers must comply with the physical distancing duty, which means all reasonable measures must be taken to ensure a 2 metre distance is maintained between people while working. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures for more information.

My employer wants me to go to work. Do I have to?

People should only travel to work if it is not reasonably practicable for them to work from home. If you have coronavirus symptoms, live in the same house as someone with symptoms, are in the shielding group or are an identified contact of someone with symptoms, you must stay at home. Those at particular risk or extremely vulnerable are also advised not to travel to work – see the guidance for people who are shielding.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements. Employers should take every possible step to help their employees to work from home, including providing suitable IT equipment. Employers also have a separate legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure their employees are not exposed to risks to their health. Please see the Keep Wales Safe – at work guidance.

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

Yes. Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople, can continue. Our advice, however, is that both the tradesperson and household members should be well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. Please see the self-isolation guidance for more information. Like other businesses, tradespeople must take all reasonable measures to ensure that 2 metre distancing is maintained at all times when working in other people’s households and should follow the advice in our social distancing guidance. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures for more information.

We recommend no work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where a person who is classed as extremely vulnerable is undertaking ‘shielding’ measures, unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing. 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.

Can I do voluntary work?

Yes. There is no restriction on going 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. Please see the volunteering guidance for more information.

My employer hasn’t taken any steps to keep people 2 metres apart while working, what should I do?

You should raise this with your trade union or other representatives – or directly with the employer. We hope issues can be resolved through discussion, however failures to take reasonable steps can be reported to the environmental health department of your local authority. More information, including a whistleblowing hotline, is available on the TUC website.

How will businesses be aware of the law?

These emergency laws have been widely publicised by the Welsh Government and, in the normal way, the regulations can be found on legislation.gov.uk and associated guidance on the Welsh Government website. The Welsh Government has also published a consolidated version of the Regulations as well as a range of Keep Wales Safe – at work guidance, providing further information for employers, employees and the self-employed.

Childcare

Is it safe to send my child back to childcare?

Sending your child to childcare is low risk. We have published guidance to help settings prepare to increase the numbers of children they care for. Ultimately, it will be for parents to decide whether or not to send children to childcare.

How will social distancing work in a childcare setting?

Social distancing measures should be put in place as far is reasonably practical but this will be harder to maintain in a childcare setting with very young children. In these cases, infection prevention and control measures must be increased. We have published guidance for settings about how to implement these measures.

Please see further guidance for more information: Protective measures in childcare settings: Keep Childcare Safe

What if my child is shielding?

Children who are in the shielding group because they have pre-existing medical conditions, which mean they are at serious risk of illness if they contract coronavirus, have been advised to undertake shielding measures. They should not attend childcare settings at this time. The Chief Medical Adviser for Wales has advised shielding continues in Wales until 16 August.

The scientific advice is that children should stay in the same small group when in school or in a childcare setting. What does this mean for childcare and wrap-around care?

Limiting social contacts is an important part of reducing the likelihood of seeing large outbreaks of the virus. It is important that we continue to reduce mixing between people and groups of people. Keeping people in small groups of children (and accompanying adults) which remain the same throughout the week, separate from other groups, helps to do this and avoids creating chains of transmission. 

If a child attends more than one setting, for example school and wrap-around or out of school childcare, the child should remain in the same, small group in both settings wherever possible.

Will the childcare offer restart at the same time?

The childcare offer remains suspended for new entrants until September 2020.  Children who were previously receiving the childcare offer will continue to do so.

Will the funding for critical workers continue under the Coronavirus – Childcare Assistance Scheme?

We will continue to fund childcare costs for pre-school children of critical workers and pre-school aged vulnerable children, apart from any retention fees charged by childcare providers, until 31 August under the scheme.

Will there be childcare provision for children over the summer?

Yes.  Childcare settings are increasing their operations from 22 June.  Settings which have remained open will be able to care for more children and settings which have closed temporarily will be able to reopen.  We are already seeing a number of them doing this and expect that to increase over the summer.

Holidays in Wales

Can I now go on holiday in Wales?

No, not yet but we hope you will be able to from 13 July. Preparations are underway to safely reopen the visitor economy, including self-contained accommodation and outdoor attractions. A decision will be taken about this at the next review of the regulations on 9 July.  You will not be able to take a holiday in Wales until any change to the law is made. If a change to the law is made it is likely to take effect on 13 July.

Can I book holiday accommodation?

You are able to make a forward booking for a stay that takes place after 13 July. However, this will only be able to be fulfilled if the anticipated change to the law is made. The Welsh Government will continue to monitor the public health position and there is a risk any booking made may be cancelled. Please speak with your accommodation provider for information about their cancellation policy.

What kind of accommodation is being considered for re-opening?

Accommodation without shared facilities – this is accommodation, which is entirely self-contained with kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use. This includes self-catering cottages and apartments and caravans with their own bathroom facilities. 

Hotels and other serviced accommodation, for example, B&Bs and hostels, which have ensuite rooms and can provide room service meals, also come into this category. 

When are you looking to reopen zoos, wetland areas and botanical gardens?

These attractions are legally permitted to open but many have remained closed because of the requirement for people to stay local or for other reasons. Given the improving picture, Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if the conditions permit.

Will touring caravan parks be allowed to open?

We are working with the tourism industry to look at how we can begin to reopen parts of the sector over the next three weeks ahead of the next review of the regulations by 9 July. This will be considered as part of that review.

Vulnerable people and the homeless

Do the restrictions apply to vulnerable people?

Yes, it is particularly important that extremely vulnerable people (the shielded group) continue to follow the guidance that was issued from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. Extremely vulnerable people in Wales are those who have one of a very specific list of pre-existing and long-term serious health conditions. The impact of their pre-existing, long-term health condition on their immune system puts them at high risk of serious illness if they are exposed to coronavirus.

Those in this position have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales asking them to adopt strict shielding measures to protect them from the virus. 

Two changes to the advice for this group were made on 1 June:

  • outdoor exercise is unlimited, as long as individuals strictly follow social distancing rules and hand washing and respiratory hygiene practices
  • those who are shielding can meet outside with people from another household – but should not go into another person’s house or share food with them

People who are shielding should continue to follow all the other advice previously given. They should not go shopping or attend work outside of home. They should continue to have food and medicine delivered to them.

What is the advice if I live with an extremely vulnerable person?

If you live in a home with someone who is shielding, please refer to our shielding guidance.

I am homeless, what should I do?

Extra funding has been provided to local authorities in Wales to help people who are homeless or rough sleeping. 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.

Please stay 2 metres away from others. You must not gather in a public place with more than one other person.

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.

Families and meeting others

Who am I allowed to meet up with outdoors?

Members of two separate households (and any carers) are allowed to meet outdoors as long as they stay local and maintain social distancing. This does not need to be the same people from the same household every time. There is a low risk of infection if the 2 metre physical distancing rule is maintained while outdoors, but low risk does not mean no risk, so although you can do this, please think about whether you should do this.

Can members of one household meet members of more than one other household outdoors as long as they are separate meetings?

Yes. You can only meet members of one household at a time. But you can organise separate meetings with others (again outdoors and subject to social distancing).

How many people am I allowed to see at any one time?

As long as it is only two households who are meeting, there is no restriction on the number of people who can meet outdoors at any one time. Gathering with members of more than one other household at the same time, however, is still not allowed under the coronavirus regulations.

Can I now enter a social bubble with another household?

No – this is not an approach we have taken in Wales at this time. Gatherings with members of another household should continue to take place outdoors only.

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, a lower risk doesn’t mean no risk. Even in these circumstances it is vital we all maintain social distancing so we can continue to tackle the spread of this virus.

Are picnics and barbecues with other households allowed?

Yes, as long as they are outside and (for the time being) you stay in your local area. You should maintain social distancing and should not share or use the same items as the other household, for example plates, cups and food packages. Any item that is passed between two households will increase the risk of the spread of the virus.

Is social distancing still needed?

Yes, social distancing when meeting anyone not from your household is still essential to stop the spread of the virus.

Can I drive to see another household?

Yes, as long it is within your local area, you see them outdoors and you follow social distancing practices.

Cases of coronavirus are falling in Wales and – if conditions allow – Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July.

Can I visit members of my family or close friends who live outside my local area?

You can leave your local area to provide care for or to help someone who needs it, such as an older person, a child or a vulnerable adult. But you should consider whether there are alternative sources of support available. You can also leave your local area to visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

In considering whether there is a need to travel outside your local area, you should remember that there is a responsibility on all of us to recognise the risks that the virus presents to ourselves, our families and friends and our wider communities.

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

Can I travel to parks, beaches, visitor attractions and beauty spots to meet another household?

At the moment, while the stay local requirement remains in place, you should aim to meet another local household as close to your home as possible, for example a local park. If other outdoor visitor areas are local to your home, then travel to them is allowed but you should take care to always maintain social distancing and hand hygiene. You should also try not to use toilets and other shared facilities (where they are available).

Travelling to meet another household in parks, beaches and attractions outside your local area is not allowed at the moment. Many attractions and beauty spots (including car parks and public toilets) remain closed so you should check before travelling.

Cases of coronavirus are falling in Wales and – if conditions allow – Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July.

Should I use a face covering when I meet another household?

Please see our advice on face coverings

I share parental responsibility for my child, can they visit the other person with parental responsibility?

Yes. You can continue existing arrangements for access and contact if you share parental responsibility for your child with another person. Please ensure you follow the guidance on frequent handwashing and do not place others at risk if you or a member of your household is self-isolating. If however you have coronavirus symptoms, live in the same house as or are an identified contact of someone with symptoms, or are in an at-risk or extremely vulnerable group, you should stay at home and children shouldn’t visit.

Health care and carers

I need to access health services, what do I do?

You can leave your home to access health services, but you should phone beforehand. Please follow any guidance your local surgery or health service has put in place to protect you and staff, including the need to keep 2 metres away from other patients waiting to see a GP or nurse. If you can rearrange your appointment, please do so, and use NHS 111 Wales online services where possible.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus do not visit your GP, hospital or pharmacy. For more information please use the NHS 111 Wales symptom checker.

What should I do if I have a hospital or GP appointment?

We advise everyone to access medical assistance remotely, wherever possible. However, if you have a scheduled hospital or other medical appointment during this period, talk to your GP or clinician to ensure you continue to receive the care you need and consider whether appointments can be postponed.

I need a carer, can my carer still help me?

Yes, there are various exceptions to the restrictions that mean people can still receive care.

Going into other people’s homes

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

Meeting people socially indoors is not allowed under the rules, as it significantly increases the risk of spreading the virus. But if two households are meeting in the private garden of one house, visitors can go through the house to reach the garden. You should not stay in the house, or use the kitchen, cutlery or anything else.  If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.

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.

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 the virus. Part of the reason why we are asking people to stay local is that we want to minimise use of shared facilities like toilets. If you have to use facilities in another household, the toilet and hand basin should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use. Hand towels should not be shared.

Can tradespeople enter my home?

Yes. Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople, can continue. Our advice, however, is that both the tradesperson and household members should be well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. Please see the self-isolation guidance for more information.  Like other businesses, tradespeople must take all reasonable measures to ensure that social distancing and other appropriate safety measures are maintained at all times when working in other people’s households. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures for more information.

We recommend no work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where a person who is classed as extremely vulnerable is undertaking ‘shielding’ measures, unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing. 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.

Shopping and food

What shops will be open?

All non-essential retail shops can be open from 22 June, if they are able to comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law. For the time being the stay local requirement remains in place – Ministers have said they will lift this on 6 July if conditions allow. People should avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.

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

The legal requirement to stay local remains in place for the time being. As a rule of thumb this generally means not travelling more than five miles from home. Ministers have said they will lift this on 6 July if conditions allow.

You are able to get food and other essential goods from outside your local area if you can’t reasonably be expected to do this locally. But in other cases you must stay local. Travelling from Pontypridd to Cardiff to go to a clothes shop, for example, is not allowed.

Can I go shopping with my friends?   

Meeting with people from other households is only allowed outdoors while maintaining 2m distance, as the risk of transmission of the virus is much greater indoors. So you can only shop with people from other households outdoors, for example in outdoor markets (while still complying with social distancing practices). Indoor shopping should only be done alone or with people you live with. 

Can I use click and collect services outside my local area?

In most cases the answer to this will be no while the requirement to stay local remains in place. Collecting things bought online is generally limited to your local area. You need a reasonable excuse for travelling outside the area to collect something you need. That is unlikely to be the case if it can be conveniently delivered to you.

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

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

Can I visit a garden centre outside my local area?

For most people the answer is no while the stay local requirement remains in place. You can only leave your local area to go to a garden centre if you can’t get whatever you are buying within your local area or you have a good reason for not buying it in your local area. 

When will hairdressers reopen?

This will be reviewed over the next three weeks as we prepare for the next review of the regulations on 9 July. Ahead of this, we have asked hairdressers and other personal care services to begin to take steps to prepare now, in the event the conditions will be right to make further changes to the regulations.

Will mobile hairdressers be able to resume work when hairdressers reopen?

This is something we are still considering. We’re currently working on how hairdressers can safely begin to resume services over the next three weeks for the next review of the regulations on 9 July – we need to look carefully at mobile hairdressing as part of this.

When will pubs, cafes and restaurants reopen?

Pubs, cafes and restaurants can already be open to provide takeaway services. Over the three weeks from 18 June there will be detailed discussions between the Welsh Government and the sector about the options and potential phases for opening the hospitality sector, including pubs, cafes and restaurants, under social distancing, and if we continue to see a reduction in the spread of coronavirus.

Do you think pubs with large outdoor areas will be allowed to open soon, given that they have plenty of room for social distancing?

At the moment, the law does not allow gatherings to take place – people can only meet others from one other household.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants can already be open to provide takeaway services. Over the three weeks from 18 June there will be detailed discussions between the Welsh Government and the sector about the options and potential phases for opening the hospitality sector, including pubs, cafes and restaurants, under social distancing, and if we continue to see a reduction in the spread of coronavirus.

Places of worship, cemeteries and funerals

Can I go to my place of worship?

Places of worship are allowed to open for private prayer. This includes prayer with members of the same household but social distancing must be observed.

What other services or ceremonies can take place?

No services or ceremonies can take place except for funerals and potentially marriages and civil partnership ceremonies.

Will my place of worship be open immediately?

Each place of worship will decide whether to open for these limited purposes. Some may decide not to open while others may decide to open at a slower pace or decide to continue using online technology to practice their faith. You should contact your place of worship to check if it is open before attending.

I am a religious leader, can I go to my place of worship?

Yes, but you will not be able to hold services with other people present, other than funerals, marriages or civil partnerships.

You can, however, broadcast (without a congregation) an act of worship, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast.

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 and to individuals.

Can I go to a funeral?

Yes, but you must be invited. Numbers are constrained by the need to put social 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 social distancing practices when doing so.

Sport and outdoor activity

Which sport, leisure and recreation facilities are now open?

All outdoor sport and leisure facilities with the exception of playgrounds and outdoor gyms are allowed to open. The operators of these grounds and facilities must take all necessary measures to manage risk and maintain social distancing. 

Team sports, contact sports and large gatherings of people are not allowed.

The type of facilities that can now re-open, subject to all other measures being met, include:

  • outdoor tennis courts
  • outdoor bowling greens
  • outdoor basketball courts
  • outdoor golf driving ranges
  • outdoor cycling velodromes
  • outdoor athletics tracks
  • outdoor cricket nets

Which outdoor sport, leisure and recreation facilities must remain closed?

The coronavirus restrictions regulations set out the list of all businesses, which must be closed – these include playgrounds and outdoor gyms. Restrictions on gatherings mean that in practice enclosed,managed sports pitches (such as five-a-side football pitches) cannot open. 

Why are some indoor and outdoor facilities still not allowed to open?

We are learning more about the virus every day and we know the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors. However, a lower risk doesn’t mean no risk. Even in these circumstances it is vital we all maintain social distancing so we can continue to tackle the spread of this virus. 

Some outdoor facilities carry a greater risk of transmission where surfaces or equipment are shared between people, such as playgrounds and outdoor gyms.  Enclosed, managed, sports pitches should remain closed until team sports can resume.

Are basketball courts allowed to re-open?

Yes, but the restrictions on the number of people allowed to exercise together remain in place so team games are not permissible at this time. You can play on a court, alone or only with a member of your or one other household.

Are skate parks allowed to open?

Yes. All outdoor sport and leisure facilities, excluding playgrounds and outdoor gyms and enclosed sports pitches, are allowed to open if the facility operators are ready to open them. They should take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain social distancing. But team sports and gatherings of people from more than two households undertaking leisure or recreation activities together are not allowed.

Can elite athletes resume training?

Some elite athletes, such as our Olympic and Paralympic Games hopefuls, are now able to resume their training programmes. They need to resume structured training and have access to appropriate facilities to properly prepare for the time when sporting competition resumes.  Sport Wales will manage a programme for a small group of athletes who have been nominated to participate in the programme by their sports’ national governing body.

There are strict protocols in place to allow athletes to train and prepare safely, without compromising their own health and the health and safety of others.  

The changes to the regulations on 22 June allow elite athletes to:

  • travel for training in Wales and across the UK
  • train in small groups and to train with coaches from outside their household
  • access facilities (for example swimming pools, boxing gyms, weight-lifting gyms, squash courts) for the purposes of undertaking training

Who can I play sport or exercise with?

You must play sport or exercise alone or with members of your or one other household.  Exercising or playing sport in groups, for example with friends, is still not allowed.

Can outdoor sports classes restart?

Yes but only if no more than two households are taking part at any one time and social distancing is maintained at all times between the households.

What about cycling?

Cycling is allowed but you must cycle alone or only with a member of your or one other household.  Cycling in groups larger than that is not allowed, regardless of whether social distancing practices are followed.

People are expected to only cycle on routes they know well and are well within their ability level. Cyclists on shared paths should be considerate of walkers, runners and other people cycling: they should stay 2 metres away from others, slow their pace and stop to let people pass as appropriate.

Cycling to work, or for work, is allowed, if you can’t work from home.

Does my entire bike ride have to be in the local area?

No. We recognise there are certain forms of exercise, which, though you start locally, may temporarily take you further afield. For example, a strong cyclist may get their exercise through bike rides of 40 miles or more.

Exercise as a form of “active” travel in this way (a long cycle ride, run or walk) is now allowed, but the exercise must start and finish from home.

For more information please see our guidance on staying local and gatherings.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

Can I drive somewhere to exercise or play sport?

Yes, as long as you will be staying within your local area. No journeys outside your local area should be taken to exercise in the countryside, at the coast or at other beauty spots, for example – many beauty spots have been closed to prevent people gathering.

You should also not travel (by car or motorcycle or using public transport) to the furthest reaches of your local area before starting your exercise to allow you to travel further outside your local area while exercising. The exception that allows people to exercise outside their local area requires the exercise to start and finish from home.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

I have mobility problems and need to drive to exercise – can I do that?

Yes. People with specific health or mobility issues may need to travel by car from their home to exercise, including possibly outside the local area. For example, some wheelchair users or users of mobility scooters may not be able to exercise immediately outside their homes for practical reasons. In such circumstances the journey should be to the nearest convenient accessible location.

Can gyms be open?

Gyms are not allowed to open at the moment.

Can I travel to do sports outside my local area?

If your preferred form of sport, exercise or leisure is one that can only be undertaken in specific locations, this still needs to be carried out locally. Examples of this might include golf, angling or watersports. If there is a place where you can do these within your local area, then you are free to do so, but it would not be permissible to drive outside your local area for these purposes.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

Can I play golf?

Yes. But it must be done locally, which means people cannot drive to play golf outside their local area, and you must play golf alone or only with members of your or one other household.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

Is angling allowed?

Yes. But it must be done locally, which means people cannot drive outside their local area, and you must do so alone or only with members of your or one other household.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

Why is my local park closed?

The regulations do not require parks to close. Local authorities will make decisions about whether local parks are open. We encourage people to go out to exercise but in doing that people should avoid places that can be busy (be they particular parts of parks, footpaths or other places).  We would also advise people to avoid using gym equipment in parks because the risk of transmission is greater when surfaces or equipment is shared.

Who will ensure the facilities are used safely and responsibly?

The operators of a particular facility or sports ground will be responsible for making sure it is used safely and responsibly. This includes preventing public gatherings and enforcing social distancing measures.  Many of the facilities will be governed by strict protocols developed by the relevant national governing body – for example, the governing bodies for tennis, cricket and bowls have guidance in place to ensure their sports can resume while maintaining the social distancing and hand hygiene measures.

Can I go out in my boat?

Yes, if you can do it locally. Outdoor leisure activities are allowed under the regulations if they can be done within your local area, including sailing, windsurfing and motor boating. This generally means not travelling further than five miles to access marinas, ports and harbours.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

There should be no overnight stays on boats, no landing in any place beyond the immediate local area and a return to the point of departure. Activities should only be undertaken with crews of people from the same 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.    

Can I go camping?

No. Camping in your own garden is permitted, but we advise against camping anywhere else, including another person’s private garden. Campsites remain closed to visitors at this time.

Animals

Can I use a vet outside my local area?

Yes, if there is not a suitable service local to you or if you are already registered with a vet outside your local area. You are, however, encouraged to delay any treatment that isn’t urgent.

Am I allowed to travel to pick up pets?

Collecting a pet is not listed as a reasonable excuse to leave your local area, but on animal welfare grounds, our view is that travelling a reasonable distance to collect an animal should be allowed.

Differences between Wales and England etc.

Why are there different laws across the UK?

Coronavirus does not respect borders, and where possible a coordinated four-nations approach is taken across the UK. However health and social care are devolved subjects, as are related subjects like schools and tourism. The Welsh NHS is run by the Welsh Government and we need to manage the impact coronavirus has. In addition there are certain issues that are specific to Wales and should be addressed in the best interests of the people of Wales.

Why are some restrictions in Wales different to England’s?

Most of the restrictions were introduced at the same time in Wales and England and they contained many similar provisions. However, there were some significant differences – for example, the English legislation has not imposed requirements on employers to take all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing where people work, and there was no provision made in the English legislation requiring local authorities and national park authorities to close beauty spots.

All governments are required to review the regulations every 21 days, based on the unique circumstances in their country – including specific scientific evidence. The Welsh Government assesses the extent of the spread of coronavirus, and its impact, in Wales and takes decisions accordingly.

The English regulations allow people to leave their local area for any recreational purpose – will this mean more people coming to Wales?

We receive weekly updates from the four police forces in Wales, which monitor compliance with the regulations; we also monitor traffic flow on all main routes in and into Wales. We understand that having slightly different rules in Wales and England may be confusing for some, particularly along the border, and we are working very hard to make sure people are aware that in Wales, the Welsh rules apply.

Travelling to Wales to spend time in the countryside or at the coast is not allowed under Welsh law at the moment. This applies equally to people who live in Wales and to people who don’t. We will use whatever means are available to convey this message, including signs on the major roads and motorways and articles in local newspapers along our borders.

There is no bar on people who live near the Welsh border coming to Wales, but like everybody else they must stay local at the moment. Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July if conditions allow.

What do the new rules mean for people who live in Wales but work in England?

Our overarching advice has not changed – people should work from home wherever possible and continue to avoid all unnecessary journeys. If your normal place of work is in England, please discuss your working arrangements with your employer. However similar reasonable excuses to go to work apply in Wales and in England.

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 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.

Share this page