What you and businesses can and cannot do during the outbreak and what happens if you break these new laws.
What restrictions are in place?
There are 4 main things:
- certain businesses are not allowed to open
- people should not gather indoors with anyone who is not a member of their household (or extended household) unless they have a good reason
- rules have been made about keeping people apart when they go out (known as social or physical distancing)
- people must not gather in public places other than with members of one other household or extended household
Can I now travel to England?
Yes, you can travel to England and elsewhere in the UK and beyond. Please be aware that different restrictions apply in other parts of the UK, which you will be required to follow. You should familiarise yourself with those rules before travelling.
What is an extended household?
Two households will be able to join together to form an extended household. This means all the people living in these two separate households will become part of one extended household for the purposes of the coronavirus restrictions.
They will enjoy the same legal freedoms people living in individual households currently have – such as being able to meet indoors, have physical contact and stay in each other’s homes.
What is the purpose of having an extended household?
The idea is to allow families or close friends who have been separated over these last few months to reconnect with each other and enjoy each other’s close company once again.
These extended household arrangements also support caring arrangements. In particular, they may help working parents with informal childcare over the summer months, as more businesses reopen their doors and return to formalised working arrangements and they may help people with other caring responsibilities.
Is there a limit on the number of people who can be in an extended household?
No. There is no limit on the number of people who can be in an extended household, providing they all live in the two households being joined together.
Only two households are able to join together to form an extended household and only one extended household can be formed.
These limits on the number of households will help to prevent the virus spreading.
How do I choose which other household to pair with?
Choosing which household to go into an extended household with is an important decision, and for many people this may be a difficult one.
There is no right or wrong way to decide. However, in other countries where this approach has been followed, people have found it helpful to:
- Think about who is in the most need of support, rather than just trying to decide whose company they have most missed.
- Think about the risks – people who are shielding can form an extended household, but this will increase their risk of being exposed to coronavirus.
- Think about the consequences – if anyone in the extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, everyone will be asked to self-isolate at least until the outcome of a test is known. For some people this will have a greater consequence than for others, and needs to be thought about carefully.
What happens if I can’t agree with the people I live with about who we should pair up with?
Everyone living in the two households which form the extended household must belong to the same extended household. So all the adults in both households must agree to the decision to create the extended household.
Can I change who I am in an extended household with?
No. Once you have agreed and formed an extended household with another household, you can’t switch to pair up with someone else instead. This is to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. You cannot substitute members of the household either.
Can I go into an extended household with a household in England?
Yes, but the arrangements will need to comply with the rules in both countries. The rules that apply in England are available here.
I live in a house of mixed occupancy – does everyone in the house need to agree to be part of the same extended household?
No, in circumstances like this you each form separate households. However where people have some private space but share facilities, such as bathrooms, living rooms or kitchens, coronavirus could spread throughout the house.
So you should be aware that if you all form extended households you are putting yourselves (and others) at increased risk. Our advice is that you should think very carefully about forming an extended household in these circumstances.
I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can they be treated as part of both extended households?
Where parental responsibility is shared, existing arrangements can continue and the child can move between both parents, and therefore between both parents’ households.
The change to regulations regarding extended households should not have an impact on this, and the child should be considered to be part of the household or extended household of the parent they are with at any particular time – in other words if either or both parents form an extended household with a household which does not include the other parent, the child could continue to move freely between the parents, and be part of both extended households (i.e. the child does not have to socially distance within the extended household, whichever parent they are with).
Seeing people outside your extended household
Who am I allowed to meet up with outdoors?
Members of two separate extended households (and any carers) are allowed to meet outdoors as long as you maintain social distancing. This does not need to be the same people from the same household every time. Maintaining the physical distancing measures while outdoors means there is a low risk of infection, 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 extended household meet members of more than one other extended household outdoors, as long as they are separate meetings?
Yes. But you can only meet members of one extended household at a time and this must be outdoors. Social distancing practices should also be followed.
How many people am I allowed to see at any one time?
As long as only two extended households 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 extended household at the same time, however, is still not allowed under the coronavirus regulations.
Can friends or family from another extended household come into my home?
Not generally, no, unless they are passing through to reach an outdoor area, or they have another legitimate purpose for being there such as providing care.
Why do the rules say meetings can be outdoors but not indoors?
We are learning more about the virus every day and we know the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors – the virus survives for minutes outdoors but can live for hours on surfaces indoors. However, lower risk outdoors doesn’t mean no risk. It is still vital for us all to be physical distancing.
If I meet a person from another household in their garden can I use their toilet?
You should try not to – the more we go into other people’s homes and touch things, the more the risk of spreading and/or contracting the virus. If you have to use facilities in another household, the toilet and hand basin should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use. Hands should be washed thoroughly after use and hand towels should not be shared.
I am not part of an extended household with someone but I think they still need my care or support – can I visit them?
You are allowed to provide care for or to help someone who needs it, such as an older person, a child or a vulnerable adult, even if they are not part of your extended household. This includes being indoors with them. But you should consider whether there are alternative sources of support available. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.
In considering whether there is a need to visit someone outside your extended household, especially indoors, you should remember we all have a responsibility to recognise the risks the virus presents to ourselves, our families and friends and our wider communities.
People will need to make judgements for themselves about what is reasonable, in line with that overarching principle. Keep in mind that the purpose of the continuing restrictions is to prevent the spreading of the virus, including to those we care about.
What do you mean by compassionate grounds?
You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone where that person is struggling with the lockdown generally or they may be suffering from a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.
Other examples of things that may be permitted, include visits to people living or staying in care homes, in supported living services, or in children’s homes or young offender institutions. In each case, the service provider will need to put in place appropriate social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling.
Are picnics and barbecues with another extended household allowed?
Yes, if you remain outside. You should maintain physical distancing and should not share or use the same items as the other extended household, for example plates, cups and food packages. Any item that is passed between two extended households will increase the risk of the spread of the virus.
Is physical distancing still needed?
Yes, physical distancing when meeting anyone not from your household (or your extended household if you have formed one) is essential to stop the spread of the virus.
Can I travel to parks, beaches, visitor attractions and beauty spots to meet another household?
Yes but you should take care to always maintain physical distancing and hand hygiene. You should also try not to use toilets and other shared facilities (where they are available).
Some attractions and beauty spots remain closed, as do some car parks, so you should check before travelling.
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 whatever existing arrangements you have if you share parental responsibility for your child with another person. If however you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating for any other reason, or are shielding, you should stay at home and children shouldn’t visit.
Who can I go on holiday with?
You can currently go on holiday with the people you live with (members of your own household) or members of your extended household if you have agreed to form one. This helps to reduce the risk of coronavirus being transmitted.
These arrangements will be kept under review.
What kind of accommodation is now open in Wales?
Self-contained accommodation can now open – this is any accommodation, which does not require guests to share washing facilities, toilets or kitchens. Examples include holiday cottages and holiday caravans, including some touring caravans and motorhomes and some glamping accommodation with their own kitchens and bathrooms, which no other guests use.
Hotels and other serviced accommodation, for example, B&Bs and hostels, which have en-suite rooms and can provide room service meals, also come into this category. Social and physical distancing measures will continue to apply, and accommodation providers will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus.
Will restaurants and bars be open in self-contained accommodation?
Bars, restaurants and café areas are now able to open outdoors, and accommodation providers will also be able to serve meals and drinks to a guest’s bedroom – they must follow the social and physical distancing measures.
Can I take my caravan/motorhome to stay in a caravan park?
Yes, as long as your caravan/motorhome has its own supply of water for on board shower, WC and cooking. Shared facilities, apart from water and disposal points, will be closed. This includes toilets, shower blocks, laundry facilities, nightclubs, swimming pools and children’s play areas.
Can I go camping?
Not yet. The First Minister has said campsites and other businesses with shared facilities should prepare to reopen from 25 July, if conditions allow.
Why are some venues being prioritised over others?
Decisions are based on a number of considerations – first and foremost people’s health and safety, based on the scientific evidence around the transmission risks of coronavirus.
We know that being indoors, and in close contact with others increases the risk of transmission. We have considered the evidence about how people use a venue, how venues are able to manage public safety and what we know about typical business models to prioritise what kind of venues should re-open first.
We will continue to keep an eye on the impact of the re-opening on transmission rates and will continue with our careful, phased approach.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs
What changes will be in place when restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs open outdoors from Monday 13 July?
We have been working closely with the hospitality sector to develop a range of measures to support staff and customers when bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants open outdoors from Monday 13 July.
- Setting a maximum limit on the number of people who can be present at any one time and how long they can spend at the premises;
- Eating and drinking at tables only, while strictly observing social and physical distancing requirements;
- Introducing guidance to ensure any temporary structures or shelters, such as marquees, do not compromise the beneficial “outdoor” nature of the space and are open on at least three sides and take full account of social distancing requirements.
Access to indoor toilets will be allowed but with enhanced cleaning in place.
When will restaurants, cafes and pubs be open indoors?
We will review the impact and success of outdoors opening over the coming weeks and, at the next 21-day review of the regulations, make a decision about whether hospitality businesses can re-open indoors from 3 August, based also on the latest conditions and evidence.
What attractions will be open and what will still be closed?
Outdoor visitor attractions are open and most indoor attractions can open from 13 July. This includes historic houses, visitor centres and other indoor attractions. Social and physical distancing requirements remain in place and attractions will be required to take all reasonable measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Underground attractions must remain closed for the time being because of the risks associated with these environments – we are continuing to work with the small number of attractions to support safe re-opening.
When will cinemas reopen?
Outdoor cinemas and drive-in cinemas can open from 13 July, and indoor cinemas will be permitted to reopen from 27 July if conditions allow.
Cinemas range from large multiplexes to mixed arts centres and small independents. We recognise that allowing a cinema to re-open does not mean that it may be commercially viable for every cinema to do so – it will be for individual businesses to reopen when it is appropriate and safe to do so, taking into account the requirements in the law and supporting guidance.
When will theatres or concert halls reopen?
Not yet. We have published guidance for the phased re-opening of culture and heritage destinations, which includes guidance for the re-opening of theatres and concert halls.
When will museums, galleries and archive services reopen?
We have signalled that museums, galleries and archive services may be able to re-open from 27 July, subject to conditions remaining favourable. Guidance has been developed with input from the sector to support museums, galleries and archive services to start planning for re-opening.
Travelling and public transport
Can I drive to the coast or to the countryside?
Yes, although some attractions and beauty spots may remain closed, and in some areas there may be limits on car parking or road closures in order to manage visitor numbers. We advise researching the local position before travelling. It also remains sensible to avoid areas you would expect to be crowded or busy times.
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 wearing a face covering on public transport. Please follow the guidance on using public transport.
Will pupils and drivers have to wear face coverings 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.
Can I now have driving lessons?
We want people to be able to continue with their lessons as soon as it is safe to do so and are working closely with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) on how this can be done.
Shopping and food
What shops are open?
All retail shops can open, if they can comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law. People should avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.
Can I now travel as far as I want to go to the shops?
Yes, but people are still advised to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.
Can I go shopping with my friends?
Meeting with people from outside your household or extended household is only allowed outdoors while maintaining physical distancing, as the risk of transmission of the virus is much greater indoors.
You can shop outdoors, for example in outdoor markets, with people from your household or extended household (if you have formed one), and/or one other household or extended household.
Indoor shopping should only be done alone or with people in your household or extended household (if you have formed one).
What if I’m shielding, can I go to the shops?
We do not advise going to shops if you are shielding.
Close contact services
Hairdressers and barbers can open from Monday 13 July – is this safe?
Hairdressers and barbers will be able to reopen in Wales from 13 July on the basis they take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure.
Example of such measures include:
- Operating on an appointment-only basis, which means no walk-in clients
- Only providing services relating to cutting or treating the hair on the head
- Wearing personal protective equipment, such as a visor.
Can my hairdresser/barber come to my house?
Yes, mobile hairdressers can also restart work from Monday July 13, under the same conditions as hairdressers and barbers.
They have been advised to contact households before arrival to discuss the steps required to safely provide services in the home.
When providing hairdressing services in someone’s home, it may not be possible to maintain a distance of 2m at all times. Mobile hairdressers are therefore being advised to wear a PPE visor.
Can I go to the hairdresser with my friends?
We would advise people to attend a hairdresser appointment on their own wherever possible to avoid compromising social distancing.
Our advice to hairdressers and barbers strongly suggests that when they take bookings that they ask people to attend on their own.
When will beauty salons reopen?
We are asking all other close contact services, including beauty salons, to prepare to open from 27 July. A final decision about reopening these sectors will depend on the latest conditions and feedback from the hairdressing sector, as well as the latest scientific and medical advice.
If my hairdresser is open, can they now provide other services such as doing my nails?
Not yet. Hairdressing salons will only be allowed to provide services that relate to cutting or treating hair on the head.
Can I now get a massage, acupuncture or electrolysis?
Not yet. We are asking all other close contact services, including massage, acupuncture and electrolysis, to prepare to open from 27 July. A final decision about reopening these sectors will depend on the latest conditions and feedback from the hairdressing sector, as well as the latest scientific and medical advice.
Can spas open?
Not yet. As and when the types of services that are provided in spas are permitted, we expect spas to be allowed to reopen for the purposes of delivering those services. It will then be a matter for individual businesses to decide when to reopen.
When will tattooists / body piercing services be open?
Not yet. We are asking all other close contact services, including tattooists, to prepare to open from 27 July. A final decision about reopening these sectors will depend on the latest conditions and feedback from the hairdressing sector, as well as the latest scientific and medical advice.
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 physical distancing. You can only participate with members of your own household (or extended household if you have formed one) and members of one other household or extended household, unless you are taking part in an organised activity.
When will all playgrounds be open?
Playgrounds will be able to re-open from 20 July. Some owners and operators may need extra time to prepare for their safe reopening. Owners and operators with responsibility will have discretion about when they consider it safe to open and may decide to keep these areas closed for the time being.
How will playgrounds be kept safe?
Each owner or operator will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus. We will provide guidance, which asks owners and operators to carry out a risk assessment and put in place practical measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus. Each owner or operator will need to apply this guidance to the facility they are responsible for, depending on the circumstances, layout and design. This will include taking account of the size, equipment and how the playground is organised, operated, and managed.
It is not possible to completely remove all risk. But the benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and the re-opening of parks supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.
Parents and guardians will be encouraged to take responsibility for social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene, for example by encouraging frequent handwashing or sanitisation, not eating or drinking in parks, wiping down equipment with their own wipes, and maintaining low numbers within parks and on equipment by taking turns or using parks at less busy times.
Do children still have to socially distance in playgrounds?
Parents, guardians and older children should continue to socially distance. Young children and those with certain conditions will find social distancing difficult and parents and guardians should encourage this as far as possible without causing anxiety. Parks may suggest a maximum number of users and maximum playing time to help users to reduce contact with others and make social distancing easier for children.
Parents and guardians will be encouraged to consider how busy a park is before visiting and making a judgement on whether social distancing is practical at that time.
When will indoor children’s play centres reopen?
Play centres are important for children’s wellbeing. However, many of the highest risk factors for the spread of coronavirus occur in children’s play centres. This includes large numbers of people touching the same surfaces, difficulty maintaining social distancing, and loud noise, which can mean people shout, which is known to increase the risk of spreading the virus.
We will discuss with the operators of these centres what controls could be put in place to enable them to reopen but we have not yet put a date on when this might be possible.
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 physical distancing so we can continue to tackle the spread of this virus.
Some facilities carry a greater risk of transmission where surfaces or equipment are shared between people, such as playgrounds and gyms.
Who can I play sport or exercise with?
You must play sport or exercise alone, with members of your household or your extended household if you have formed one, and/or with members of one other household or extended household.
Can outdoor sports classes take place?
Yes, but only if no more than two households or extended households are taking part at any one time and social distancing is maintained at all times.
When will outdoor gyms be allowed to reopen?
Outdoor gyms will be able to open from 20 July but some owners and operators may need extra time to prepare for their safe reopening. Operators will have discretion over when they consider it safe and viable to open and may decide to keep these areas closed for the time being.
How will outdoor gyms be kept safe?
The owner or operator will be responsible for making sure the facilities are used safely and responsibly. Our guidance for sports, clubs and facilities includes principles to prepare for a safe return to training and play, and the safe management of facilities, which will help owners and operators decide when it is safe and viable to open their outdoor gym.
When will indoor gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools reopen?
Ahead of the next review of the regulations on 30 July, we will have detailed discussions with local authorities and other operators to understand how gyms, leisure centres, fitness studios and swimming pools can introduce measures to safely open.
What do you mean by organised group activities?
Organised outdoor activities, including team sports and classes, involving up to 30 people are able to go ahead from Monday July 13.
The activity must be outdoors and organised by a business, a public body or charitable institution, a club, or the national governing body of sport or other activity.
The person organising the activity needs to have carried out an appropriate risk assessment.
Can I organise a group activity myself?
The activity needs to be organised by a business, a public body or charitable institution, a club, or the national governing body of sport or other activity.
What are the rules about going out on my boat?
You are now able to travel outside your local area on your boat, and there are no longer limits on where you can dock. It is also permitted for you and members of your household or extended household to stay overnight on your boat. Activities should only be undertaken with crews of people from the same household or extended household.
We advise boaters to be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and to not place unnecessary pressure on the RNLI, coastguard and emergency services.
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.
When will you allow home viewings to start up again?
We are in detailed discussions about reopening the housing market fully and hope to do this from 27 July.
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.
Places of worship, marriages and civil partnerships, cemeteries and funerals
What are the new rules for religious services?
Places of worship can open for communal worship, although those responsible for the place of worship are under a duty to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus and to provide information to people who attend about how they can minimise the risk. Ceremonies can also be held either as part of communal worship or as events in their own right. People will be expected to observe social and 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.
Can I now arrange a wedding or civil partnership?
Yes, places of worship and registry offices are open to conduct the solemnisation of a marriage or the formation of a civil partnership as long as social distancing guidance is observed.
This does not, however, include celebrating the occasion with a reception or other forms of social gatherings with family and friends.
A close family member has died and I need to organise the funeral – what do I do?
Funerals can be a distressing experience, and the impact of coronavirus is making it even more difficult to make practical arrangements. Guidance on funerals has been issued to local authorities.
Can I go to a funeral?
Yes, but you must be invited. Numbers are constrained by the need to put 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 physical distancing practices when doing so.
Obligations on businesses and owners of premises
The requirements for businesses to keep people 2 metres apart have been changed – what does this mean?
Businesses, and other premises open to the public, must continue to take all reasonable measures to keep people 2 metres apart whether on, or waiting to enter, premises, other than those who are in the same household or extended household.
However, as more types of businesses and premises reopen, we have introduced additional requirements that businesses must also take in order to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.
These include maintaining hygiene standards and limiting close face-to-face interaction, wherever reasonable. We have also introduced a duty to provide information to those entering or working on premises about how to minimise exposure.
These duties need to be met whether or not reasonable measures can be taken to ensure 2 metres distance between people.
Where it is not reasonable for 2 metres to be kept, then anyone subject to the duty will be required to take other measures to minimise risk, which might include putting physical barriers in place or rearranging the layout and furniture to minimise close face-to-face contact. More guidance on measures that should be taken is available here.
Are you still telling the public to stay 2 metres apart from people outside their households?
Yes – wherever this is possible, we recommend people continue to stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not in their household (or extended household if you have formed one) and to take steps to reduce the circumstances where this is not possible.
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.