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His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021

Read about the arrangements following The Duke of Edinburgh’s death

Guidance on how you can keep safe and what rules are in place to protect people during the move from alert level 4 to alert level 3.

First published:
26 March 2021
Last updated:

General

What restrictions are in place?

The current restrictions mean that:

  • people must not enter other people’s homes, except for very limited purposes
  • people must limit the number of people that they meet socially and they can only do so outdoors
  • face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions), including on public transport and in taxis
  • people should try and work from home if they can
  • people should maintain social distancing, including outdoors
  • people should wash their hands regularly and follow other advice on hygiene
  • people must self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.

What happens if I don’t follow this guidance?

Most of what is set out in this guidance reflects requirements in the Regulations, which is the law and so may be enforced by the police or local authority enforcement officers. However, even when things are permitted, we ask you to think carefully about what is the most sensible thing for you to do to protect your family, friends and your community, rather than thinking about what the law allows you to do.

Where you breach the law, you may be told to go home or removed from where you are and returned home. You could be asked to pay a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will rise to £120 for the second breach and continue to increase for further breaches. For more serious offences, penalties start at £500. Or you could have criminal proceedings brought against you, and if found guilty, you will have to pay a fine.

How long will these measures stay in place?

The national measures are kept under constant review.

Seeing other people at home

Can people from another household come into my home?

Generally, people from another household must not come in to your home except for in limited circumstances (see below information on support bubbles, as well as certain reasonable excuses including compassionate groundsproviding care and working in people’s homes).

Meeting people from another household socially indoors is not allowed under the rules, unless the household is part of your support bubble. This is because it significantly increases the risk of spreading the virus.

Up to six people from two households (not including children under 11 from either household or carers of a member of the household) are permitted to meet outdoors, including in private gardens and private outdoor spaces. Where this is the case, visitors can go through the house to reach the garden or outdoor space, but must not stay in the house. You should not use kitchen equipment, cutlery or anything else in another household.  If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.

There is also an additional penalty for taking part in house parties and a higher penalty for organising such parties.

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

Can I form an extended household?

No, while the current restrictions are in place, you cannot form an extended household. There are exceptions to this where some households can form a support bubble with one other household.

Can I form a support bubble?

The following households can form a support bubble:

  • households with an adult living alone
  • households with a single responsible adult
  • households with one or more children under the age of 1 year old
  • you are 16 or 17 living alone or with others of the same age, with no adult

For more information on support bubbles and what is meant by a single responsible adult, please see our guidance on seeing people in private homes.

I am eligible to form a support bubble, are there any limits on who I can form one with?

There are no rules saying your support bubble has to be within any set distance of your home. There are also no rules preventing support bubbles being formed with households outside Wales, and we recognise these may be the right answer for people living close to a border, although if you form a support bubble with someone outside Wales you should be aware of the rules in place in that other country. 

We recommend that support bubbles are formed locally wherever possible. In particular, we ask that people think very carefully about possible alternatives before forming support bubbles which would require extensive travel or travel into areas outside Wales where there may be a higher risk of becoming infected with coronavirus.

Can I change my support bubble?

We recommend people avoid changing support bubbles unless absolutely necessary, in order to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus between households.

However, we recognise that people’s relationships and circumstances may change over time. Those eligible can form a new support bubble provided that:

  • both households end their current support bubbles
  • both households refrain from mixing with any other household (including your new support bubble) for a period of 10 days before forming the new support bubble.

If someone in your previous support bubble develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus up to 48 hours after members of the bubble last met, all members of the bubble must self-isolate. You must not form a new bubble until you have completed your self-isolation.

For more information on what is meant by a single responsible adult, please see our guidance on seeing people in private homes.

Are the rules different if I live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or supported living?

No. If you are eligible to form a support bubble and live within a shared building (a House in Multiple Occupation or HMO) the same rules apply; you can be in a support bubble with one other household from outside of your shared home. Please see the guidance on supported living for more information.

If you share facilities such as bathrooms or kitchens you should be aware of the increased risks and take appropriate precautions to minimise that risk – see Public Health Wales guidance for further information.

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.

My child does not live with me but there are regular arrangements in place so we can continue to have contact with each other – can these arrangements continue?

Yes – for children who do not live in the same household as their parents and have existing arrangements in place to visit and safely have contact, these arrangements can continue. This could include children in foster care, children’s homes and adoptive placements.

Meeting people outside the home

Can I meet up with people from another household outdoors?

Up to six people from no more than two households (excluding any carers or children under 11 from either of those households) can meet outdoors at any one time.

However, we ask you to

  • please try and reduce the number of different people you see. It is better to see the same people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
  • please maintain social distancing and hand hygiene

You must not meet up with people from outside your support bubble, if you have one, indoors.

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

Are the rules on who I can meet different indoors and outdoors?

Yes, you can only meet members of your support bubble indoors. However, up to six people from two households (not including carers or children under 11 from either household) are permitted to meet outdoors, including in private gardens and private outdoor spaces.

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

You can vary the people you meet as long as the maximum number of people meeting at one time, that do not live together, is six from a maximum of two households (not including any carers or children under 11 from either household). We ask you 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.

If you want to see different people, we recommend that you leave time in between meeting different groups of people to ensure that you have not developed symptoms of coronavirus from the first group of people you met.

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.

What are the rules for meeting members of my support bubble outdoors?

If you are meeting with members of your household or support bubble outdoors, the maximum number of six does not apply. In these circumstances, the entire bubble could meet up together outdoors even if the number of people in the group exceeds six.

If you are meeting members of your support bubble outdoors, you must not meet any other household at the same time.

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

Up to six people from two households (not including carers or children under 11 from either household) are permitted to meet in private gardens. Visitors can go through the house to reach the garden, but must not stay in the house. You should not use kitchen equipment, cutlery or anything else in another household.  If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.

Are picnics with people outside my household or support bubble allowed?

Yes, if you remain outside and a maximum of six people from two households (not including carers or children under 11 from either household) meet at once. You should maintain physical distancing and should not share or use the same items as people outside your household or support bubble, for example plates, cups and food packages. Any item that is passed between people in different households will increase the risk of the spread of the virus.

Can an unlimited number of children aged under 11 meet outdoors?

Outside of the home, the number of children aged under 11 who can gather is not limited in law. However, no more than two households can meet at any one time socially.

Young children are not included in the number 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. We also advise that children aged under 11 avoid mixing with children from more than one household at any one time

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.

Are there any circumstances in which gatherings of more than six people from two households are permitted?

There are some situations in which people may well need to come together in groups of larger than six from two households, 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 six people from two households are also permitted to enable any organised outdoor activities for the development and wellbeing children. If the public health conditions remain favourable organised outdoor activities for up to 30 adults will be permitted from 26 April.

Vaccination and testing

When will I receive the vaccine?

Health boards in Wales started administering vaccines on 8 December. NHS Wales will vaccinate people in order of clinical risk (on GOV.UK). When you are eligible for the vaccine (on Public Health Wales), you will be invited to a dedicated clinic.

For more information, please see the coronavirus vaccination programme page.

Can I meet up with a group of people if one or all of us have had the coronavirus vaccine or have recently had a negative test for coronavirus?

The rules are the same for people who have had the vaccine or have received a negative test as for everyone else. You must not meet indoors with anyone you do not live with except in limited circumstances. A maximum of six people (not including carers of children under age 11) from two households can meet outdoors. 

Can I meet up with someone if I’ve just been tested and I didn’t have coronavirus?

The rules are the same for you as for everyone else. Even if you do not currently have coronavirus, you are at risk of catching it from other people and then passing it on to others.

Childcare, care and support

Are childcare and play services allowed to operate?

Yes childcare services are still open, including day care, child minding, sessional, crèche; out of school/holiday provision, staffed playwork provision and Flying Start provision, as long as it is legal for the premises from which they operate to be open. Nannies can also continue to provide childcare. 

The current Regulations only allow for gatherings in the following circumstances:

  • providing, receiving or accessing care or assistance including childcare
  • participating in outdoor organised activities for children

There is guidance to help childcare settings ensure that their services are safe. This is not expected to change immediately, although we will be keeping it under review. Guidance for operating open access play settings remains in place and will not change.

I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can I still see them?

Where parental responsibility is shared, existing arrangements can continue and the child can move between both parents, and therefore between both parents’ households (and support bubbles where relevant).

Can family or friends provide informal childcare?

Yes, but unless they have formed a support bubble, this form of childcare should only be used when no other methods are available. Children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill. Adults dropping off children for childcare should not enter someone else’s home if they are not in a support bubble.

I have caring responsibilities for somebody I do not live with – 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 household or support bubble. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

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

Can I visit a loved one living in a care home?

Routine indoor care home visits are permitted for a single designated visitor.

Indoor visits are also permitted for non-designated visitors in exceptional circumstances, including, but not restricted to, end of life.

Outdoor visits and visits within visitor pods or similar enclosed spaces can continue to take place.

All visitors should be tested prior to an indoor visit or visit within a visiting pod or similar enclosed space, and rapid testing has been made available to care homes to facilitate this.

The ultimate decision on whether, and in what circumstances care home visits take place rests with the individual provider.  In each case, the provider needs to put in place appropriate risk assessments, social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling and gain their permission to visit.

Visits will be temporarily suspended in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at the home.

For more information, please see the care home guidance.

What do you mean by compassionate grounds?

You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone in exceptional circumstances where that person may be suffering from a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement, is isolated, or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.

Visits to places such as supported accommodation, children’s homes or hospitals are permitted in exceptional circumstances, where they are allowed by the relevant setting. In each case, the service provider needs to put in place appropriate social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling.

I am a parent of a young child, am I able to form a support bubble?

Under current restrictions, we have had to suspend the ability to form extended households and only parents of children under the age of one, single parents or single households are able to form support bubbles with another household.

However, even for those who are not part of a support bubble, our rules allow parents to access support from their families (or close friends), if they need it and there is no reasonable alternative.

To help parents with young children, our rules allow for informal childcare arrangements with friends or family to continue. The rules also allow meetings with friends or family if extra support and help are needed, but only if there are no other reasonable methods by which the support and help can be provided.

Even though this extra support is permitted, we cannot over-state the seriousness of the situation regarding the spread of coronavirus fuelled by the new variant, and would ask that everyone thinks carefully about the most sensible thing to do to protect their family, friends and community, rather than just thinking about what the law allows them to do. If you do require extra help or support from family or friends, you should minimise the number of people you engage with for support, and the number of meetings, as much as possible.

Please visit the parenting help and support pages for information on sources of advice and support for parents.

I am a disabled person, or a parent of a disabled person with care responsibility, can I access help and support?

Our rules allow for disabled people to access support or care if required. This can be formal support through carers or informal support from families or close friends.

Even though providing extra support may be permitted, we cannot over-state the seriousness of the situation regarding the spread of coronavirus fuelled by the new variants, and would ask that everyone thinks carefully about the most sensible thing to do to protect their family, friends and community, rather than just thinking about what the law allows them to do. If you do require extra help or support from family or friends, you should minimise the number of people you engage with for support, and the number of meetings, as much as possible, particularly if you are, or the person you are providing support to is, clinically extremely vulnerable.

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 10 days 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. Read the full Self-isolation guidance.

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 10 days.

If you do not live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 10 days starts from when you last had close contact with them. Contact tracers should advise you of what is required.

If you do live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 10 days starts on the day they reported their symptoms. Or, if they have not displayed any symptoms, the 10 days starts from the time of their test.

When a contact tracer calls you, they will also advise you to book a PCR test as soon as possible, and again on day 8. Testing of asymptomatic contacts provides further opportunities to identify more index cases and their close contacts that would otherwise be unknown to TTP, helping to further break chains of transmission.

Taking a test is not an alternative to self-isolating. If the tests are negative, you will still need to self-isolate for the full 10 day period because it can take up to 10 days or more for symptoms to develop, or for the virus to appear in your system.

If any of the test results (immediate test or day 8 test) come back positive, you will start a new 10 day period of self-isolation from the day you took your 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.

These exceptions do not apply to people required to self-isolate when arriving in Wales from a country under additional measures. In these instances you must follow the advice outlined in the self-isolation guidance for travel in to Wales.

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

People 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 or the NHS Covid-19 App 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.

People can also apply to their local authority for a discretionary payment if they are unable to work from home and are losing income and facing financial hardship. Parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate through their education setting are also able to apply. 

The Self-Isolation Payment scheme has been live since 16 November. People are able to apply for the payments via their local authority website and they will be backdated to 23 October. Please see the self-isolation support scheme page to find out more.

People who are self-isolating may also be able to access help from voluntary organisations in their area if they do not have any friends or family who can help them with getting food and other essentials.

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 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. The Self-isolation guidance provides information on the evidence that can be provided to your employer confirming the requirement for you to self-isolate.

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).

I have had the coronavirus vaccine – do I still need to self-isolate?

Yes – the rules are the same for people who have had the vaccine as for everyone else.

Do I still need to self-isolate if I’ve been tested and I didn’t have coronavirus?

Yes – if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect then you must do so for the full 10 days. If you catch coronavirus from someone, it can take time for you to develop the virus – that is why self-isolation is important.

Do I still need to self-isolate if I’ve previously had coronavirus?

Yes – the rules are the same for people who have previously had coronavirus as for everyone else. You might have some immunity to coronavirus, but it's not clear how long that immunity will last. You may therefore still be carrying the virus and at risk of passing it on to others.

Although rare, there are cases of reinfection from COVID-19.  In general, reinfection means a person was infected once, recovered, and then later became infected again.

Work

What are the rules about working from home?

We strongly encourage 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 is permitted to 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.

If you have concerns that your health and safety is being compromised at work, you should discuss this with your employer in the first instance. If you are unable to find a resolution, you should contact your trade union or seek advice from Acas.

If you were previously shielding or are worried about being a higher risk of more serious symptoms, you can complete the COVID-19 workforce risk assessment. You should discuss the results with your employer who may take appropriate action. You should also speak to your trade union representative if you are a member of a union.

Can I carry out work in someone’s home?

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople undertaking building, repair or maintenance work, 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. Physical distancing  will need to be observed whenever you can. However, we recommend that people consider whether the work can be safely deferred. In addition, if there is a reasonably practicable alternative to having people enter you home to carry out work, then that alternative must be followed.

However, people carrying out repairs, maintenance, activities related to home moves, construction work, gardening or domestic cleaners, are among the examples of people who are not realistically going to be able to provide some services without access to private homes or gardens, so this work can legally continue.

There are separate rules to allow close contact service providers to operate within private homes.

Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure they 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 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.

Does my business have to close under the new restrictions?

We have published a full list of businesses that are required to close.

Minimising any contribution to the spread of the virus is important, which is why certain businesses are required to close.

I run a business that is required to close. Is there any support available?

A further £150 million has been made available to support Welsh businesses in dealing with the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The additional support will help businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors that pay non-domestic rates and will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund. This will see an eligible business with a rateable value of under £12,000 receive an extra £4,000 grant payment.

Firms with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £500,000 will receive £5,000. The funding is available to firms regardless of the number of employees and ensures micro businesses benefit from the support. Many businesses will already have received their share of this funding, which was announced in mid-March, to help them meet operating costs until May. For others, including the hospitality and tourism sector, cash grants will continue to be paid during April.

Local authorities, who have been crucial throughout the pandemic in getting money to businesses quickly are in the process of administering these payments.

This is in addition to the two rounds of the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) – Sector Specific Fund support which has provided financial assistance to tourism, hospitality, leisure and supply chain businesses.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than £2bn of Welsh Government support has reached businesses throughout Wales. This has been vital in protecting firms through this incredibly difficult time and has safeguarded 165,000 jobs. In addition, the Welsh Government’s 100% rates relief package focuses on those sectors hardest hit and will continue for a further 12 months.

More information about the funding and how it can be accessed is available on the Business Wales website.

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 existing Job Retention Scheme (on GOV.UK) which will continue until the end of September 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.

Information on the Cultural Recovery Fund and 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.  

Can I deliver housing-related support in emergency accommodation, supported accommodation or in someone’s home?

Homelessness, housing and support services can be delivered face-to-face but support providers should ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading. Service providers should also consider whether the support can be delivered by telephone or video calls.

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

Can schools open?

Yes, all learners are able to return to on-site learning. 

For the latest information on how schools are operating, please see our schools guidance.

Are face coverings required in education and childcare settings?

If social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be worn anywhere on the school estate, including in the classroom by staff at primary and secondary schools and secondary school learners. The exception is at mealtimes when eating and drinking and when they are outside and able to maintain social distance, unless the school risk assessment indicates that additional measures are needed, for example, on a school yard where there are a large number of learners in a relatively small space without separation of contact groups and where social distancing cannot be maintained (such as when waiting to enter school).

Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on school transport.

Visitors to the school or setting should use a face covering, including parents when dropping off and picking up learners.

For more information, please see the schools guidance.

For colleges, face coverings should be worn by staff and learners in all areas where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. This includes when moving around the premises, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. This should form part of a provider’s risk assessment. 

Face coverings should also be worn on dedicated transport.

For more information, please refer to the college guidance

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 maintaining good surface, hand and respiratory hygiene measures as well as voluntary routine testing for older learners and staff.

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.

I am a key worker – what happens if my child’s school has to close temporarily?

Schools which close their premises for more than two days for reasons related to coronavirus are required to make available on-site education provision for critical workers’ children from the third day of closure and onwards.

However, where a school has an INSET day then the school is ‘closed’ to learners. Therefore, these days do not count as a school being open for learners – either remotely or face-to-face.

My child has additional learning needs – is there support for them if their school has to close temporarily?

Schools who close their premises for more than two days for reasons related to coronavirus are required to make available on site education provision for vulnerable children from the third day of closure and onwards. 

However, where a school has an INSET day then the school is ‘closed’ to learners. Therefore, these days do not count as a school being open for learners – either remotely or face-to-face.

Can I travel back to university in Wales?

Yes. There are currently no travel restrictions in place into or out of Wales. You are permitted to travel from within the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) to Wales and vice versa to access education. This includes moving to a term time address and commuting for students and staff.

Current restrictions allow international students to travel to the UK for educational purposes, although you would need to follow the appropriate quarantine rules when you arrive. Please contact your university before you arrive.

What are the rules on teaching at universities?

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

Universities in Wales are open for on campus activity, as many students and staff need access to a laboratory, specialist academic library, appropriate study spaces or studios. Universities are managing these activities using appropriate measures such as click and collect or bookable study slots to minimise numbers on site and to support NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.

Universities have been operating in-person education throughout the pandemic. This is because some courses have practical elements, professional body requirements or require access to specialist equipment or facilities to enable students to complete the relevant qualification requirements for this year.

Please see the higher education guidance for more information.

Are university students who are living in their term time accommodation able to go home?

There are no travel restrictions in place into and out of Wales, however, we are asking all students living in Wales, and all our Welsh students living outside Wales, to help us keep Wales safe by minimising travel between university and home.

You should not travel home if you have been asked to self-isolate or have Covid-19 symptoms.

What are the rules for colleges?

All learners can return to college and to work-based learning settings.

For the latest information on how colleges are operating, please see our college guidance.

Are activities and clubs for children allowed to run?

Outdoor organised activities for the development and well-being of children and young people are allowed. This includes sports clubs, parent and toddler groups, youth groups and religious groups. This applies to children aged under 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020). 

Indoor activities and residential activities are not currently allowed. This includes indoor activities that offer qualifications such as in dance, acting, music and martial arts, unless it is organised by a maintained school.

Clubs used as childcare, such as holiday or wrap-around childcare, can continue.

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, risk assessments should consider the space available to allow social distancing as far as is possible with children and limit the number of children that can attend.

Please see the childcare and play guidance for further information.

Are libraries allowed to open?

Libraries and archive services can open.

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 and seek help for urgent medical issues. You can leave your home to access local health services, including your GP surgery, dentist, optometrist or other health service (including mental health services). 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 local surgery, dentist, optometrist 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 and wearing of face coverings (unless exempt).

If you have symptoms of coronavirus do not visit your GP, hospital, pharmacy, optometrist or dentist. You should immediately self-isolate and arrange a coronavirus test. For more information please use the NHS Wales symptom checker.

Can I visit someone in hospital?

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

Our first priority is the prevention and control of infection in our healthcare settings. This is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of patients, staff and visitors.

The hospital visiting guidance during coronavirus sets out the baseline for Health Boards, Trusts and providers of hospice care to follow for visiting in Wales during the pandemic. Providers of health care have flexibility to depart from the Guidance in response to their local conditions.

Can I visit someone in supported living?

You are only permitted to visit someone in their supported living home if you are part of their support bubble.

In addition to any support bubble arrangement, meetings outdoors (including in private gardens) with up to six people from two households are permitted. Social distancing should be maintained. It is important decisions related to people in supported living are taken collaboratively involving the people living there, their families, the providers of care and support and the commissioners of services.

See the Supported Living guidance for further details.

Can I still see my support worker?

Yes, you can still see your support worker. However, support services should assess whether support can be delivered through phone or video. If support is delivered face-to-face then the support provider should ensure that it is done in a safe manner, with social distancing and provision of PPE if necessary.

What advice should I follow if I am on the Shielding Patient List?

Those who are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and on the shielding patient list should follow the guidance issued to this group..

Sport, exercise and outdoor activity

What kind of exercise is permitted?

There are no legal restrictions on this, but in practice this is constrained by other restrictions, such as the closure of indoor sport and leisure facilities.

To avoid increasing the burden on the NHS and the emergency services, we continue to advise people not to take unnecessary risks while exercising or taking part in any activity. For water sports, we advise people to consider the RNLI’s essential lifeguard and safety advice on water activities at the beach, on the coast or at sea.

Which sport, leisure and recreation facilities can open?

Outdoor sport and leisure facilities, such as parks, children’s playgrounds, tennis courts, golf courses  and bowling greens, can open. Facilities that are mainly outdoors but have some shelter, for example, golf driving ranges, can also open.

 All indoor sport and leisure facilities must close.  A full list of types of businesses required to close is available in our guidance on business closures.

Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission. However, the risk cannot be eliminated   People should ensure that they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene when visiting these facilities. The operators of these facilities must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain physical distancing.

Who can I exercise with?

You can exercise in public outdoor places with:

  • members of your household or support bubble, or
  • with people from one other household, as long as the total number of people exercising is no more than six (excluding any carers or children under 11 from either of those households), and you remain outdoors

In addition to this children and young people aged under 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020) can take part in organised outdoor activities, which could include organised sport activities, where they are held outdoors.

If the public health conditions permit, adults will also be able to participate in organised outdoor activities from 26 April.

You should ensure that you maintain social distancing from the people you are exercising with if they are not in your household or support bubble.

What do you mean by an organised outdoor activity?

Organised outdoor activities encompass a broad range of activities that can be attended by people of any age. This includes activities such as team sports, exercise classes, meetings of religious groups and support groups. During these activities, up to 30 people of any age will be able to gather from a mix of households as long as they remain outdoors. Organised outdoor activities do not include activities such as parties or wider social gatherings of families and friends beyond the arrangements for meeting other people.

An ‘organised activity’ must be organised by a business, public body or a charitable, benevolent, educational or philanthropic institution, a club or political organisation, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity. The organiser of the activity must meet requirements in the regulations to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus and must carry out a risk assessment.

If public health conditions allow, these activities will be permitted from 26 April.

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.

Can children play outside in the street in their neighbourhoods?

The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and being able to play outside supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.

The rules for meeting outdoors are the same for children aged 11 and over as they are for adults. A maximum of six people from two households can meet (excluding children under 11 from either household). Children can also play outside with members of their own household or support bubble.

There are no legal limits on the number of children aged under 11 that can gather, but no more than two households can meet at the same time.

This also applies where children are in the same ‘school or class bubble’. This is because play at school is likely to be more controlled and organised with less likelihood of coming into unintended contact with people from outside of the bubble. 

Will professional sports and elite sport continue?

Yes, professional sports and elite sport will be able to continue. Spectators will continue to be prohibited from attending sporting events.

Shopping and personal services

What shops are allowed to open?

All retail can open and close contact services can open.

People should ensure that they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene when visiting shops. Shops must take all reasonable measures to manage risk, including ensure measures to maintain physical distancing are put in place.

How far can I travel to shop?

There are no travel restrictions currently in place within or into or out of Wales, but people are advised to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors..

What restrictions are in place on alcohol sales?

Shops that are allowed to be open must stop selling alcohol from 10pm and cannot begin to sell alcohol again until 6am the next day. Online deliveries from supermarkets and other providers must not include alcohol after 10pm. The intention of the restrictions is to ensure that supermarkets (regardless of where their operations are based) are not supplying alcohol to customers in Wales at the point of delivery after 10pm. Any retailers located within Wales but providing deliveries across the border to customers in England should follow the English regulations. 

Am I allowed to use “click and collect” services?

Yes - shops can continue to offer click and collect or similar services to help manage customer footfall.

Are car boot sales permitted?

Car boot sales where individuals come together to sell items such as household and garden goods cannot currently take place. These are considered to be organised outdoor activities which will be considered for reopening for up to 30 people on 26 April.

Can I go shopping with my friends?

No. Meeting with people from outside your household or support bubble for shopping is not allowed.

Can close contact services open?

Close contact services, such as hairdressers, massage, acupuncture, tattoo and beauty services can open. Some high risk procedures, as identified in the close contact services guidance, are not permitted.

Businesses should seek to do so by appointments as this would ensure that a number of reasonable measures are met, including ensuring contact information is obtained and that access to premises is controlled.

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 when attending these services, and you are advised to attend your appointment alone if possible.

Can those providing close contact services come to my home to work?

Those providing mobile close contact services, such as mobile hairdressers, can offer appointments in a person’s home as part of their work.

Mobile close contact service providers and close contact service providers in home based settings must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and consider the guidance on working in other people’s homes. This is particularly important as these services involve people being close together for a prolonged period of time.

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

You should attend these appointments alone unless you are taking children or accompanying a vulnerable adult. 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 reopen for beauty and therapy treatments only. Spa gyms, spa pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and swimming pools must remain closed.

Visiting places

Are accommodation businesses in Wales allowed to open?

Self-contained accommodation can open. This includes any accommodation which does not require guests to share washing facilities, toilets or kitchens. Hotels and other serviced accommodation, for example, B&Bs and hostels, which have en-suite rooms and can provide room service meals also come in to this category. All accommodation providers will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of the virus.

Can I travel to and from my second home or holiday home?

Travel out of Wales to countries within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area (CTA) is permitted. However, there may be restrictions in place within some countries within the CTA. You will therefore need to check the restrictions in the area you would like to travel to ensure that travel for this purpose is permitted.

If you live elsewhere in the UK or wider CTA, you will need to check the restrictions in place where you live before you travel to Wales for this purpose.

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.

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

You will only be able to share holiday accommodation with the people you live with in your household, and people in your support bubble (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household). 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. 

Can I go camping?

Camping sites are permitted to open as long as shared facilities and communal areas remain closed. This includes facilities such as toilets, showers and laundry areas but it does not include water points and waste disposal points which can remain available. You can only go camping with people in your household or support bubble.

Can I visit outdoor visitor attractions?

Most visitor attractions must stay closed. However, a limited number of outdoor visitor attractions can open. This includes the public outdoor areas of historic monuments (such as castles) and the outdoor areas of a historic park or garden (such as those run by the National Trust).

If the public health conditions permit, all outdoor visitor attractions will be able to reopen from 26 April.

Visitors are strongly advised to check before travelling to determine whether or not the historic site or garden is open.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs

Are cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars able to open?

These premises are currently allowed to open for takeaway services only. Food and drink may not be consumed at the premises. Alcoholic drinks cannot be sold between 10pm and 6am.

Physical distancing measures must be applied, and customers and staff are required to wear a face covering.

If the public health conditions permit, outdoor hospitality will be able to reopen from 26 April.

How will cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars operate safely outdoors?

If the public health conditions permit, outdoor hospitality will be able to reopen from 26 April. Venues are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:

  • customers will be encouraged to pre-book with details of all members of the group.
  • contact details will be required for contact tracing purposes
  • entry to the premises will be controlled
  • licenced premises, 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
  • face coverings must be worn other than when seated to eat or drink

When utilising outdoor spaces, hospitality venues are required to ensure that the use of physical coverings, awnings, gazebos, marquees and similar structures are implemented in a way that is aligned with current public health advice. Generally this means that structures with a roof or ceiling must be open-sided (at least 3 sides or more than 51% open).

Who will I be able to visit outdoor cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars with?

The rules for visiting outdoor hospitality venues such as cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be the same as anywhere else outside the home.

Arts and entertainment

What entertainment venues are closed?

All arts and entertainment venues and the majority of visitor attractions are currently closed This includes:

  • cinemas (including drive-in cinemas)
  • bowling alleys
  • soft play centres
  • trampoline parks and centres
  • skating rinks
  • indoor skate parks and centres
  • museums
  • galleries
  • bingo halls
  • casinos
  • amusement arcades
  • funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks
  • theatres and concert halls
  • nightclubs
  • sexual entertainment venues

Please see the business closures guidance for more information.

If the public health conditions permit, some outdoor venues and attractions may be able to open from 26 April.

What attractions can open and what must close?

The majority of visitor attractions must close. This includes for example cinemas, funfairs, amusement parks, theme parks, museums, galleries, educational attractions and indoor visitor attractions.

Currently, a limited number of outdoor visitor attractions can open. However, if the public health conditions permit, all outdoor visitor attractions, including funfairs, theme parks and outdoor swimming pools, will be able to reopen from 26 April.

Are drive-in events allowed?

Drive-in events are not currently permitted. However, if the public health situation remains favourable, drive-in events will be permitted from 26 April.

How will entertainment venues and visitor attractions operate safely outdoors?

If the public health conditions permit, outdoor visitor attractions will be allowed to reopen from 26 April. Those responsible are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:

  • entry will be controlled
  • physical distancing measures will be applied
  • face coverings must be worn

Who can I visit outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor visitor attractions with?

The rules for visiting outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor visitor attractions will be the same as anywhere else outside the home.

Travelling and transport

Are there travel restrictions in place in Wales?

There are no restrictions in place for travel into or out of Wales as long as you are travelling to or from a country within the UK or wider Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands). However, you will need to check the restrictions in place in the area you are travelling from or to as some countries within the Common Travel Area have travel restrictions in place. This may prevent you from travelling unless you have a reasonable excuse, for example, travelling for work or education.

If travelling by public transport we would encourage you to plan your journey and use apps, such as Transport for Wales’ capacity checker, to try and avoid travelling in busy periods to help us maintain social distancing.

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.

Can I travel abroad?

You can only travel from Wales to an international destination outside of the Common Travel Area if you have a reasonable excuse. This does not include holidays.

If you need to travel internationally for one of the permitted reasons, you must complete an international travel declaration form and take it with you to your port of departure. You may also wish to take with you to the port evidence supporting the reason for your trip. Failure to complete a form or providing false information could result in a £60 fine. A larger Fixed Penalty Notice of £5000 may be issued  if you are found to have travelled internationally without a reasonable excuse.

If you intend to travel to a destination outside the Common Travel Area and use an airport, rail hub, or ferry port in England you need to complete the English  travel declaration form (on GOV.UK) and follow their guidance.  

Failure to complete the English travel declaration form could result in a £200 fine and traveling without a reasonable excuse could result in a fine of £5,000.

Similar arrangements apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

I live in Wales, can I go on holiday in Wales or elsewhere?

You are allowed to go on holiday within Wales to self-contained accommodation with your household or support bubble.

People living in Wales can travel to other areas within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area. However, you will need to check the restrictions in place for the area you are travelling to, as some areas and countries within the Common Travel Area have travel restrictions in place, meaning that travel into that area or use of self-contained accommodation is not permitted.

Overseas travel is not permitted, except in limited circumstances. It is not currently a reasonable excuse to travel to other areas of the UK or abroad for holiday purposes.

If you have pre-booked – and paid – for a holiday in other parts of the UK or abroad, we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss the current situation where you are travelling. 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.

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

Travel into Wales from other parts of the UK and wider Common Travel Area is permitted.

However, you will need to ensure that you follow the rules where you live, including restrictions on gatherings which prevent people from staying overnight in other households.

What are the rules for people arriving in to Wales from international destinations?

Generally, travelling into Wales from outside of the Common Travel Area is not permitted unless you have a reasonable excuse such as for work purposes or education.

Pre-Departure Testing (on GOV.UK) requirement: all travellers to Wales must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours before departure for all travellers age 11 and over. If your test result is positive, you must not travel.

If you arrive in Wales without proof of a negative test result, you could be fined £500. For more information, please see the guidance on testing for people travelling to Wales.

From 15 February, all people who have been in a RED list country in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into Wales. Travellers returning to the UK from RED list countries must arrive through one of the designated ports of entry to the UK in England or Scotland. They must then isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel.

All travellers to Wales from AMBER list countries (any country outside of the Common Travel Area and not on the RED list) must have pre-booked tests before departure for themselves and all members of their group including children aged 5 or over at day 2 and day 8.  This is in addition to the Pre-Departure Testing (on GOV.UK) requirement.

Will I need to self-isolate if I travel in to Wales from an international destination?

If you have been in a RED list country in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into Wales. See information above.

If you are travelling from an AMBER list country (any country outside the Common Travel Area and not on the RED list) you will must isolate for 10 days.

There are no provisions where a negative test taken before travel or in England through the Test to Release Scheme or on arrival in Wales would avoid or reduce the isolation requirements in Wales. There is no Test to Release Scheme in Wales. 

For more information, please see the guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to Wales.

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.

Is public transport still operating?

Services are continuing, particularly during peak times. However, bus and rail timetables have been reduced and potentially subject to late cancellations. Face coverings must be worn on public transport. Please check the latest service information before you travel.

Can taxis still operate?

Yes, taxis can still operate where measures are in place to mitigate the risks which are involved when sharing a vehicle. Face coverings must be worn in taxis.

Can I car share or give someone a lift?

We do not recommend that you share a car with people who are not part of your household or support bubble unless it is necessary and there are no other alternatives. Where it cannot be avoided, you should take steps to minimise the risk of coronavirus such as increasing physical distancing as much as possible and wearing a face covering.

If you cannot work from home and need to travel to work, you should consider how to do so in the safest way possible. Please see the guidance on travelling safely for more information.

Can I have driving and riding lessons?

Driving lessons, motorcycle lessons and CBT are permitted. 

Are driving or motorcycle practical tests permitted?

Motorcycle practical tests are permitted.

Driving tests (on GOV.UK) are currently suspended. You should rearrange your test unless you have a test booked as part of the limited practical test service in England and Wales for NHS health and social care workers, emergency services and local council workers who need to both drive as part of their job and respond to 'threats to life' as part of their job.  

There is currently no charge for rearranging your test with DVSA (on GOV.UK).

Can I book a theory test?

Theory tests (on GOV.UK) are permitted.

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 take-away food and drink is sold. 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?

If social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be worn anywhere on the school estate, including in the classroom by staff at primary and secondary schools and secondary school learners. The exception is at mealtimes and when they are outside, unless the school risk assessment indicates that additional measures are needed, for example, on a school yard where there are a large number of learners in a relatively small space without separation of contact groups (such as when waiting to enter school).

Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on school transport.

 Visitors to the school or setting should use a face covering, including parents when dropping off and picking up learners.

For more information, please see the schools guidance.

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.

Election

Will the Senedd election go ahead on 6 May?

The Welsh Government remains committed to holding the election on 6th May 2021 and preparations are in place for the election to take place on this date.

Please see the elections guidance for further updates.

Are political parties, candidates and other campaigners permitted to engage in door-to-door canvassing and deliver election leaflets?

Yes. Our campaigning guidance sets out the current position for persons undertaking election campaigning activities in Wales. 

Moving home

Can I move home?

Yes, moving home is permitted.

Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.

For more information, please see the guidance on moving home.

Can home viewings take place?

Yes, but we strongly advise that virtual viewings are used wherever possible. Household mixing must be avoided during viewing. For more information please see our guidance on moving home during coronavirus.

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

People responsible for valuing and surveying, such as estate agents, are not prohibited from entering people’s homes, 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. See guidance on working in other people’s homes for more information.

For more information, please see the guidance on moving home.

Can I be evicted from my home?

No, evictions are not currently allowed to take place with very few exceptions (e.g. where related to anti-social behaviour). Any evictions that are currently scheduled will be postponed.

Please see the guidance on paying your rent during the coronavirus pandemic for further information.

Are refuges still open?

Emergency accommodation for victims fleeing domestic abuse and sexual violence remain open and continue accepting referrals. Live Fear Free helpline is a 24 hour, free service for anyone experiencing violence or abuse, or for anyone concerned about a victim’s safety. Live Fear free can be contacted by

Phone: 0808 8010 800 or Text: 078600 77333

Live chat

Guidance for providers of refuge accommodation on making these safe can be accessed here.

Places of worship and major life events

What are the rules for religious services?

Places of worship are allowed to be open to the public for worship and life event ceremonies. However, wherever possible we still advise that people avoid congregating with people they do not live with. For example faith leaders may still choose to broadcast (without a congregation) an act of worship whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast. Weddings and funerals may also be broadcast from places of worship.

Ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events such as bar mitzvahs and baptisms are permitted in places of worship. People are able to attend at the invitation of the organiser. Please see the guidance on funeralsguidance on weddings and places of worship for more information.

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

Venues that are ‘approved premises’ for hosting a wedding and civil partnership ceremonies may open but only for that purpose. Alternative ceremonies such as a humanist wedding can be held in regulated premises. This is subject to the need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of spreading the virus on the premises.

Wedding venues are permitted to let prospective clients view their premises by appointment only.

Wedding or civil partnership ‘receptions’ are not currently permitted.

Are there limits to the number of people who can attend ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events?

The number who are able to attend a wedding, civil partnership, funeral or life events indoors is 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.

What are the rules on holding receptions and other celebrations?

Wedding and civil partnership receptions are not currently allowed. Celebrations or social gatherings associated with other life events, such as for bar mitzvahs or baptisms are also not currently allowed.

If the public health conditions permit, outdoor wedding receptions and celebrations for other life events will be permitted for up to 30 people (not including children aged under 11 or carers). Outdoor wedding receptions must take place in regulated premises and must follow the rules in place for hospitality settings. Outdoor wedding receptions must not take place in the gardens or grounds of private homes.

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.

Can I go to a funeral?

Yes, but you must be invited. Numbers are constrained by the need to put physical distancing measures in place. 

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

No – these gatherings are not currently allowed. However, if the public health conditions permit, outdoor wakes will be permitted for up to 30 people (not including children aged under 11 or carers).

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.

Enforcement and fines

Who enforces the restrictions?

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

What can police and local authority 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. Officers are also able to issue fixed penalty notices, starting from £1,000 for a first offence and rising with any further offences.

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 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.