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Wales is currently at Alert Level 1.

This guidance is intended to cover all alert levels although some aspects are not permitted at some of the levels. Note that all regulations and guidance are subject to change. You must ensure that you consider the up-to-date version of the regulations and the guidance.

1. Introduction

This guidance is for the tourism and hospitality sectors in Wales. It remains in effect until further notice and will be kept under review. We welcome the extensive work that organisations, trade bodies, industry groups and individual businesses have already undertaken to operate in a way that keeps Wales safe.

The Coronavirus Regulations impose strict restrictions on gatherings, the movement of people, and the operation of businesses, some of which have been required to close temporarily.

Businesses that are permitted to operate, or premises that are allowed to open (the current position on which businesses and premises that must remain closed) must do so safely in a way that complies with the Coronavirus Regulations, in addition to other legal obligations imposed on employers (such as health and safety legislation).

To support businesses to operate safely, the Welsh Government has adopted 5 key principles to Keep Wales Safe – at work:

  • Care: our health and well-being comes first
  • Comply: the laws that keep us safe must be obeyed
  • Involve: we will share responsibility for safe work
  • Adapt: we all need to change how we work
  • Communicate: we must all understand what to do

Further guidance on the key principles is available on the Welsh Government website.

This document aims to help employers, employees, and the self-employed working in the tourism and hospitality sectors in Wales to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. When local restrictions or national alert levels are in place then the requirements of those alert levels take precedence. Information on the current restrictions in place (including what is permitted) should be checked regularly for updates.

Tourism and hospitality encompasses all staying and non-staying visitors to these premises, and the activities and expenditure involved in supplying products and services for visitors by both the private and public sectors. It covers a multitude of different working environments, from accommodation providers, to outdoor and indoor visitor attractions, to hospitality premises and a variety of activities and events (see section 3.1 for more information).

2. Legal requirements

The Coronavirus Regulations require that all those responsible for “regulated premises” (as defined in regulation 15) that are open to the public, or where work takes place, take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on the premises, and to minimise the risk of those who have been on the premises spreading the virus.

Regulation 16 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 as amended (the “Regulations”) imposes obligations on people responsible for premises open to the public or where work takes place.There is an updated 4-Step approach to taking reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to Corononavirus in workplaces and premises open to the public, as set out under regulation 16.

The Coronavirus Regulations enable the Welsh Government to issue guidance notes on what is expected of all those responsible for premises that are open to the public, or where work takes place. The following guidance notes have been issued under the regulations to which you must have regard:

For the purposes of this document, these guidance notes are referred to collectively as the “statutory guidance”. Regard must be had to the statutory guidance, and to any guidance, codes of practice or other documents published by other bodies that are incorporated into the statutory guidance. This document contains guidance that is not statutory guidance. It should be taken into account alongside the statutory guidance.

Other important regulations

You must also comply with the Coronavirus Regulations on the following areas which may impact on how you operate your tourism or hospitality business and accept visitors. The law in Wales may differ to the law applicable in other parts of the UK and note that changes are made regularly.

  • Restrictions on gatherings and whether or not extended households can be formed are confirmed in each alert level from 1 to 4.  Whilst these duties are imposed on the general public they are likely to impact on your booking and operating arrangements – see section 7 of this guidance.
  • Restrictions on travel to and from Wales are confirmed in each alert level from 1 to 4 – see section 4.4 (related to employees) and section 8 (in respect of visitors) of this guidance.
  • Restrictions on hospitality premises are confirmed in each alert level from 1 to 4 covering restrictions including around the sale or supply of alcohol, closure times and table service rules in such premises where they apply – see section 9 of this guidance

2.1 Reviews of the law

The Welsh Government has published an update to the Coronavirus Control Plan, which builds on the traffic-light framework of restrictions originally put in place in May 2020.

This updated Coronavirus Control Plan, which takes account of vaccination and the dominant Delta variant, sets out how we will move through the alert levels and how we can help people and businesses plan for the future, as we continue our careful approach to unlocking the current restrictions.

The 4 alert levels are:

  • Alert level 1 (low risk): This represents the level of restrictions closest to normality, which are possible while infection rates are low and other preventative measures, such as social distancing and working from home, remain in place.
  • Alert level 2 (medium risk): This includes additional controls to limit the spread of coronavirus. These may be complemented by more targeted local actions to manage specific incidents or outbreaks. 
  • Alert level 3 (high risk): These represent the strictest restrictions short of a firebreak or lockdown. These respond to higher or rising level of infections where local actions are no longer effective in containing the growth of the virus.
  • Alert level 4 (very high risk): Restrictions at this level would be equivalent to the firebreak regulations or lockdown.

The Welsh Government reviews the Coronavirus Regulations at least every 3 weeks. These reviews provide an opportunity to assess the effectiveness and consequences of the provisions and may result in revocations of or amendments to the regulations. It is important to note that if there is an increase in COVID-19 cases, new rules may be introduced to reduce the spread of the virus and protect public health outside of the standard 3 week review period.

In addition, an increase in the transmission of COVID-19, either across Wales or in a specific locality, might affect what is considered a “reasonable measure”. What might be regarded as reasonable when the prevalence of the virus is low may be different to when the prevalence is high. In these circumstances, there may also be more activities where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is such that the only means of minimising the risk is not to do it or even to close premises or parts of premises. It is therefore important to regularly revisit your specific COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure that the actions you are taking are in line with the most recent regulations and alert level and the circumstances as they apply at a given time.

3. How to use this guidance

As outlined above, the Welsh Government has issued guidance under the Coronavirus Regulations which explain what measures should be taken to minimise exposure to COVID-19 on premises that are open to the public, or where work takes place. This document builds on the requirements in the statutory guidance with practical advice as well as signposting other sector-specific and other relevant guidance. You should use this document to help you decide what specific actions you should take to operate safely, depending on the nature of your business or work, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated.

In the event of any discrepancy between this guidance and the Statutory Guidance (see section 2), you should have regard to the statutory guidance. This document is not a substitute for legal advice, which you should consider obtaining where necessary, nor does it supersede any legal obligations including in relation to health and safety, employment or equalities. It is important that as a business or an employer you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics. Failure to comply with the relevant legislation and statutory guidance could result in enforcement action by the relevant authorities.

The Coronavirus Regulations set out a specific and separate system of enforcement in respect of the restrictions set out in those regulations. This means that enforcement officers can require certain (specified) measures to be taken in relation to premises, and they can if necessary and proportionate close them. Closure can be required either because specified measures in an improvement notice are not subsequently taken, or because the breach of the requirements in regulation 16 (e.g. social distancing on regulated premises) is sufficiently serious to justify closing a premises immediately or with only very limited notice. The Welsh Government has issued guidance for enforcement officers that you may wish to review so that you understand what action can be taken if you fail to comply with the Coronavirus Regulations and/or do not have regard to the statutory guidance.

The Welsh Government has also published the revised Coronavirus Control Plan for Wales setting out how we will all work together to manage the risks of COVID-19 and it is recommended that you review the plan.

When considering how to apply this guidance, take into account members of the public and customers, as well as employees, agency workers, volunteers and contractors, and anyone else on the premises.

To help you decide which actions to take, Coronavirus Regulations require you to carry out a specific COVID-19 risk assessment (section 4), just as you would for other health and safety-related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with staff and representatives (recognised trade union or a representative chosen by workers) and it is now a legal requirement that information about the risks and mitigations identified in the COVID-19 risk assessment are shared with employees (irrespective of the business size). HSE (Health & Safety Executive) provide useful templates to help you undertake risk assessments that will take you through the hierarchy of controls from the most to the least effective. An overview of the hierarchy of controls can be found in Appendix 1.

3.1 Areas covered by this guidance

This guidance is aimed at business owners and workers listed in the areas below. It must be noted that this guidance is not an indication that all businesses below can open. The current position on which businesses and premises must remain closed is available here.

Hotels and holiday accommodation

E.g. holiday sites, camping sites, hotels and B&Bs, other holiday accommodation (including holiday apartments, hostels, self-catering accommodation, holiday homes, caravan parks and other short-term holiday letting).

Visitor attractions; museums and galleries; amusement parks and theme parks; bowling alleys, amusement arcades and indoor play areas

E.g. heritage railways, gardens, theme parks, family entertainment centres, static and travelling funfairs, bowling arcades, zoos and aquariums, etc.

Holiday, leisure activity or events businesses – to cover all operators

E.g. guided walking tours, outdoor activity and adventure providers, outdoor centres, English language centres, etc.

Venues for events or conferences (including venues for weddings other than places of worship and registry offices)

E.g. events taking place in meeting, conference, convention and exhibition centres.

Premises selling food and drink

E.g. restaurants, cafes, bars, public houses and hotels and holiday accommodation.

Operators of road, rail, tramway and water passenger services (e.g. coach, bus and tour operators, heritage railway and boat trips)

These are defined as Public Transport Services under the Coronavirus Regulations - the Welsh Government has issued Guidance on public transport, and operators must have regard to it. Some operators may run tours/excursions from their premises. In these circumstances, when undertaking your specific COVID-19 Risk Assessment and deciding what reasonable measures you will implement, this Tourism and Hospitality guidance should be considered in addition to having regard to the guidance on public transport. You should also refer to section 7 in respect of limits on the numbers of people that can gather in respective environments (including considerations around household mixing and organised activities).

4. Workplace guidance

4.1 Thinking about risk

Objective: That all employers and businesses carry out a specific COVID-19 risk assessment

As an employer or business operator, you have a legal responsibility to protect employees and visitors; and anyone else on the premises, from risks to their health and safety. You also need to assess the risks from COVID-19 and take reasonable measures to minimise exposure to the virus. Risk assessments are used to identify and address these risks or minimise them.

When undertaking your specific COVID-19 risk assessment you must comply with the Coronavirus Regulations and have regard to the statutory guidance and use this document to inform your decisions and control measures, recognising you cannot eliminate all risks. Risk assessments must be reviewed and updated regularly, whenever circumstances change including whenever the coronavirus alert levels change in Wales.

A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control risks. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you reasonably need to. There are interactive tools available to support you from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Managing risks and risk assessments at work.

These risk assessments will be the starting point for implementing the reasonable measures that are required to be taken to minimise exposure to the coronavirus on premises open to the public and in workplaces.

This involves considering issues such as:

  • whether ventilation is adequate
  • hygiene factors including hand washing and access to hand washing facilities
  • ensuring physical distancing is taking place and if 2m is achievable
  • the extent to which the use of screens, PPE and face coverings can mitigate risks, especially where the 2m distance is not achievable.

It will also include considering how employers maximise the number of people who can work from home.

If you employ people then you have a duty to consult your staff on health and safety with meaningful discussion with them or their recognised trade union (if one exists). At its most effective, full involvement of your staff creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem solving. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19. The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks and will have a view on how to work safely. Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously. You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

If you are required by law to have a written risk assessment (if you have 5 or more employees) then significant findings must be written down and control measures put in place. Risk assessments are a legal requirement for pregnant women, no matter the size of the business, and further guidance is available for employers of pregnant women.

Your assessment should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, (those defined on medical grounds as clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19) – previously known as ‘shielding’ or are in the increased risk group). The online COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool is a 2-stage risk assessment for NHS and social care workers, which is suitable for use for all staff who are vulnerable or at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, including people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

If an individual is concerned about the safety measures in any premises where work is undertaken or that is open to the public, then they can report this to the Public Protection services of the relevant local authority (which include environmental health and health and safety).

Where the enforcing authority - such as the local authority - identifies that those responsible for work are not taking action to comply with relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks.

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues. If concerns still cannot be resolved, then employees can take the following further steps:

  • Contact your employee representative.
  • Contact your trade union or association if you have one.
  • Use the HSE form available here.
  • Contact HSE by phone: 0300 790 6787.

4.2 Managing risk

Objective: To reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on your premises to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures

As outlined above, all those responsible for premises open to the public, or for work being carried out at any premises, must take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on the premises and reduce the risk of those that have been on the premises from spreading the virus.

The most effective way to minimise exposure to COVID-19 on your premises is to enable some or all of your staff to work from home, some or all of their time. However, it is recognised that many people who work in or for the businesses operating in tourism and hospitality cannot work from home.

For staff that may be able to work from home, for example, support/office staff, there is an expectation that employers should be as flexible as possible and make adjustments wherever that is possible. This may include issuing staff with laptops or mobile phones and facilitating communication from wherever members of staff may be. 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.

Where staff have to attend a workplace you should take all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2m is maintained between them in all parts of your premises (at some alert levels this only applies indoors). You should also take all reasonable measures to ensure customers are kept 2m apart from each other, and from staff. Furthermore, if people need to wait to enter your premises, at some alert levels you will need to take all reasonable measures to ensure that a physical distance of 2m is maintained between them whilst they wait to enter. These requirements are referred to in this document as the “physical distancing duty”. At some alert levels the physical distancing requirement is limited under specific circumstances – see the physical distancing section of the reasonable measures guidance for details. In addition to taking all reasonable measures to keep people 2m apart whilst on your premises, the person responsible for the premises will need to take any other reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on the premises and reduce the risk of those that have been on the premises from spreading the virus. This includes the requirement (see alert levels for details) for staff and public to wear face coverings in indoor public places. See further information on managing areas outside your premises (see section 4.8), and managing areas inside your premises (see section 4.9). This guidance also covers other measures, beyond the physical distancing duty, that businesses may wish to consider in order to minimise exposure to COVID-19 on your premises.

Where there is a requirement to maintain 2m distance that requirement does not apply to persons within each permitted group. Distance will need to be kept between each permitted group and other individuals and permitted groups.

At alert levels 1 and 2, a permitted group is a group which consists of no more than 6 people, not counting any persons under the age of 11 or any carer of a person in the group; or consists of members of the same household and any carer of a member of the household. At alert levels 3 and 4, a permitted group is a group which consists of members of the same household and any child under the age of 11 or carer of a member of the household.

You could also consider any advice that has been produced specifically for your sector, for example, by trade associations or trade unions. UK Hospitality Cymru, in conjunction with representative bodies such as BHPA, has developed further information on many parts of the tourism and hospitality sector that may help you when undertaking your risk assessment: including hotels and other guest accommodation, restaurants, pubs and bars, amusement parks and holiday parks.

You should consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks or issues with accessibility, which may need mitigations. Whilst the risk to health from COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the threat of terrorism nonetheless remains substantial. It is essential that businesses and other organisations remain cognisant of these threats as they look to adjust their operations, ensuring that security measures are proactively adapted to support and complement other changes.

4.3 Sharing your risk assessment

Objective: To reassure everyone working on your premises by sharing your risk assessment with them

You are required by the Coronavirus Regulations to provide information to those entering or working at your premises about how to minimise exposure to COVID-19. We encourage all businesses to demonstrate to their workers and customers that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate mitigating actions.

You should share your actions with your workforce – it is now a legal requirement that information about the risks and mitigations identified in the COVID-19 risk assessment are shared with employees (irrespective of the business size). If possible, you should publish this information on your website, particularly where you are an employer with over 50 workers. You should ensure that your risk assessment is updated in line with the latest guidance.

A notice that you may wish to display on your premises to show your staff and customers that you have followed this guidance is available here.

The “We’re Good To Go” industry standard marque is a self-assessment scheme that has been designed in partnership with the national organisations (Visit Wales, Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Scotland and Visit England). It aims to provide reassurance for all sectors of the industry, as well as reassurance to visitors, that businesses have clear processes in place and are following industry and Government COVID-19 guidance. The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the industry.

4.4 People who need to self-isolate

Objective: To make sure employers comply with their duties under the Coronavirus Regulations and do not insist that staff come to work if they should be self-isolating

No one should attend a workplace-setting if they:

  • Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect because they have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in recent close contact with a confirmed/positive case of COVID-19, and are still within their self-isolation period as set out in the regulations and guidance. In such circumstances employees must stay at home and self-isolate – if they do not they will be breaking the law and could be fined.
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, and are waiting for a test result
  • Are a confirmed case and have self-isolated according to the guidance, but still have a fever, or have had a fever within the last 48 hours
  • Are a member of the same household, support bubble or extended household (if permitted at current alert level see ‘visiting people in private homes section’) as someone who has COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19, and are still within the self-isolation period as set out in the guidance
  • Have personally received a negative test for COVID-19 but are a member of the same household, support bubble or extended household (if permitted at current alert level) as someone who has tested positive, or are a confirmed contact of someone who has tested positive (and they have been notified as such by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect) and are still within the required self-isolation period set out in the guidance

If an employee has a positive test result and/or is told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect as a contact of a positive test then they should inform you, as their employer, as soon as is possible and in line with your sickness policies, and in any case before they are due to next attend the workplace and they must not attend the workplace.

You must allow or enable an employee to self-isolate if they have symptoms or live with someone who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect or have had close contact with a person that has tested positive.

If multiple cases of COVID-19 appear in your setting or workplace, an outbreak control team from either the local authority or Public Health Wales will, if necessary, be assigned to help you as an employer to manage the outbreak. Employers should seek advice from their local authority in the first instance.

Your coronavirus risk assessment should also make provision for multiple cases and nominate a single point of contact for liaison. In some circumstances an Incident Management Team (IMTs) which includes representation from Health Protection/Public Health Wales, local authorities, health boards and Test, Trace, Protect teams may be established in order to consider and advise on next steps. If necessary, you, as an employer, will be asked to record details of symptomatic staff and assist with identifying contacts. Keeping all employee records up to date (e.g. contact details, shift patterns, attendance, etc.) to assist with any internal tracing of workers’ movements in relation to individual(s) who have tested positive for COVID-19 is therefore an important pre-requisite. See Keeping records of staff, customers and visitors for contact tracing purposes and Contact tracing: your questions.

You must not threaten the security of an employee’s job in order to persuade them to return to the workplace before their isolation period ends.

Helping your staff self-isolate at home in accordance with the guidance will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection households can pass on to others in the community and therefore, potentially, to the rest of your workforce, to you and to your family.

If possible, and if they are well enough (if they are a confirmed case of COVID-19), you should support staff to work from home while self-isolating. If they cannot work from home then refer to the guidance for employers relating to statutory sick pay due to COVID-19.

Before an employee returns to work after a period of isolation, you should confirm that:

  • If they have been identified as a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, they have completed their required period of self-isolation and have not personally developed COVID-19 symptoms late in their self-isolation period.
  • If they were personally confirmed as having COVID-19, they have completed their required period of self-isolation and do not have, or have not had any continuing symptoms (other than a loss of or change to normal taste or smell) in the last 48 hours.
  • If a member of their household, support bubble or extended household (if permitted at current alert level see ‘visiting people in private homes section’) was the confirmed case of COVID-19, they have completed their required period of self-isolation as an identified contact of that household member and have not personally developed COVID-19 symptoms during their self-isolation period.

If the answer to any of these scenarios is ‘no’ then the employee cannot return to work and you should not insist that they do.

People who are identified as a close contact with someone who has coronavirus will be advised by contact tracers to book a PCR test as soon as possible at the start of their self-isolation period, and again on day 8. If the tests are negative, they will still need to self-isolate for the full 10 day period. There is no requirement in the coronavirus restrictions regulations of proof of a negative test to return to work.

Work-related travel to and from Wales must follow the rules set out in our Border rules for people travelling to and from Wales. Employees will also need to take account of the guidance on the requirements to wear face coverings on public transport.

Currently there is no direct arrival into Wales from travellers who have been in a country on the 'red list'. This is subject to change at short notice, and so the latest information as to countries affected should be checked regularly here.

PLEASE NOTE, changes are made regularly to the exempt country list for Wales and further restrictions preventing any travel abroad, or into or out of Wales, may be put in place from time to time. Any such restrictions will take precedence to any information given here and should be adhered to. It is therefore advisable to check the latest position before employees’ departure on both the outward and return journeys for any work-related travel.

Anyone that develops COVID-19 symptoms at work should be sent home immediately to self-isolate, and their workplace cleaned in accordance with guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

Further guidance is provided in Section 5 below on what to do if there is more than one case of confirmed COVID-19 associated with your workforce within a 10-day period.

4.5 Protecting people who are at higher risk

Objective: To protect people who were previously shielding or are in the increased risk group

The guidance on protecting people defined on medical grounds as clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19) – previously known as ‘shielding’ is kept updated with the latest advice to support the clinically extremely vulnerable in protecting themselves from exposure to coronavirus.

If you have employees in this category you should support them to follow the public health advice in place at the time. Each employee in this category should have a personal risk assessment which is reviewed regularly, but particularly following periods where individuals are returning to a workplace or levels of virus in communities changes. It is important that measures identified are followed but also that the broader workforce strictly follow COVID measures put in place to protect employees.

In addition, there is another wider group of people at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 who are advised to closely follow social and physical distancing measures at all times.

You should therefore discuss with all employees who were previously shielding and those at increased risk the practicalities of them working from home. You should be as flexible as you can and make any reasonable adjustments to allow them to do so, for some of, or all of their time.

If it is agreed that they will attend the workplace you will need to take reasonable measures to minimise their risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. They should be offered the option of the safest available on-site roles which will enable them to stay 2m away from others.

Particular attention should also be paid to people who live with people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

4.6 Equality in the workplace

Objective: To ensure that everyone in your workplace is treated equally

In applying this guidance, employers should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals.

It is unlawful to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, sex, disability, race or ethnicity.

Employers also have particular responsibilities towards staff that have disabilities and those who are new or expectant mothers.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Understanding and taking into account the particular circumstances of those with different protected characteristics.
  • Involving and communicating appropriately with workers whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or make any measures you are thinking about implementing inappropriate or challenging for them.
  • Considering whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under equalities legislation.
  • Making reasonable adjustments to avoid workers with disabilities being put at a disadvantage, and assessing the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.
  • Making sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustifiable negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example, those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments (and complying with the Equality Act 2010).

4.7 Minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on your premises

Objective: To take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the virus by those that have been on the premises, by maintaining 2m physical distance between everyone on your premises as required and implementing extra precautions.

As outlined in section 4.2 above, you should implement all reasonable measures to keep everyone on your premises 2m apart, including individuals who have to wait to enter your premises (unless requirements are limited under some alert levels – see physical distancing measures). The physical distancing duty applies to all parts of your premises; including, but not limited to, entrances and exits, toilets, kitchens and break areas and outside. This section relates to workplace guidance. Links to customer-related guidance are provided separately under section 7.

Steps that will usually be needed for indoor premises (and outdoors at some alert levels):

  • Taking reasonable measures to ensure that persons in regulated settings are only admitted to the premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain a 2m distance between permitted groups – see physical distancing measures.
  • Ensuring all staff and customers wear face coverings in indoor public places as required under the Coronavirus Regulations unless the person is under 11 or has a reasonable excuse not to wear the face covering e.g. to eat or drink). Those individuals with exemptions from wearing face coverings should be treated sensitively and all staff should be made aware that they may remove their face coverings temporarily whilst maintaining a distance of 2m to assist people who are reliant on lip reading to communicate.
  • Assessing the size of the premises and its layout and the number of staff present during a shift.
  • All businesses should set and display the maximum capacity for the premises and put in place measures for communicating and managing the maximum capacity set.
  • Providing regular and visible written/ verbal communications to your staff and persons visiting your premises.
  • Staggering staff shift start, end and break times to avoid crowding.
  • Considering how staff security checks can be managed while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Deploying fixed teams of staff on each shift to reduce interactivity between team members. Set a maximum staff number, or space per staff member, in kitchens to allow for social distancing whilst taking into account the cramped nature of many kitchens. Encourage new ways of working, adapting shift patterns and menus to significantly reduce the number of people working in kitchens at any one time.
  • Designating a named member or members of staff (depending on number of covers) during all opening hours to monitor COVID-19 hygiene and enforcement of social distancing/safety protocols – acting as ‘Covid Secure Monitors’. This is an important role in ensuring a COVID-secure environment and you should ensure that priority is given to this role and that a responsible member of staff is in place for each shift.
  • Employers should appoint and engage with a staff representative, and/or trade union representative wherever possible, for all employee related COVID-19 issues.
  • Ensuring customers are fully aware of their responsibilities for observing social distancing and all COVID-19 safety measures – using verbal communication (e.g. announcements) and clear signage and other visual communications (e.g. posters or airline style flashcards), taking account of people with audio and/or visual impairment and the Equality Act 2010.
  • Implementing one way systems, where the building (and other legislation – e.g. Equality Act 2010) allows.
  • Considering the flow of guests/visitors and how to avoid permitted groups mixing by keeping guests/visitors apart as they move around the premises throughout their visit/stay, with particular regard to enclosed public areas such as lifts, stairs and corridors (see also section 4.9).
  • Instructing guests/visitors to move through enclosed public areas as quickly as possible, and to avoid shouting or singing in such areas.
  • Maximising ventilation and enhance airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) where possible.
  • Within accommodation, ensuring that guests keep the doors to their rooms closed at all times, apart from when entering and leaving.

As well as taking all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2m is maintained between people, when required (see above), you must also take other reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on your premises and reduce the risk of those that have been on your premises from spreading the virus. The extra precautions you may need to take will depend on the nature of the work, for example, if closer working is required that makes observing the physical distancing duty difficult, and the type of premises the work takes place in. Your premises may have multiple “types of premises” within the overall premises, for example, cafes, retail outlets, etc. You therefore need to consider each of these areas separately as the measures you might need to take in one part of your premises may be different to those that you take in another part of your premises. You must have regard to the statutory guidance, which has been produced to help people understand what “taking reasonable measures” means. Your specific COVID-19 risk assessment will help you decide what actions you need to take.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Using additional signage, written communication, verbal announcements, posters and informational materials to remind staff and customers about:
    • increased hand washing and doing so thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water and then drying thoroughly, and
    • good respiratory hygiene (covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, disposing of the tissue immediately and then washing their hands. If tissues are not available always cough/sneeze into the crook of the arm rather than the hands. Remember: catch it, bin it, kill it, wash your hands)
  • Providing alcohol-based hand sanitiser in high traffic/customer interaction areas such as entrance and exit points
  • Providing additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities if possible.
  • Providing soap, water, paper towels and alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Facilitating regular handwashing breaks for all staff.
  • Introducing frequent deep cleaning, with attention to multi contact points – for example, between shifts, staff change overs and/or during breaks.
  • Encouraging the use of disinfectant wipes to clean all equipment before and after each use and ensure there are sufficient waste disposal points for waste generated
  • Providing sufficient gloves and/or visors for those colleagues who require them.
    • If you supply re-useable visors ensure colleagues are reminded to clean them regularly during use, before and after each use and to wash their hands before putting them on and after taking them off.
    • You should note that visors are not a replacement for a face covering. Staff that use a visor must also wear a face covering in the areas of the premises where they are required.
  • You may wish to consider measures particularly for staff and visitors on arrival such as asking people to sanitise their hands and asking questions around whether they are displaying any symptoms.

4.8 Managing areas of your premises that are outside

Objective: To manage outside areas effectively (including customer areas, deliveries and public areas)

Steps that may be needed:

  • taking all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2m is maintained between people waiting to enter your premises (when required under current restrictions), except between members of the permitted groups. Limiting the number of entry and exit points into and out of the premises - consider having separate entrance and exit points if possible.
  • Limiting the number of entry and exit points into and out of the premises - consider having separate entrance and exit points if possible.
  • Outside queues should be managed to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals, other businesses or additional security risks, for example by introducing queuing systems.
  • Using a colleague to meet customers, explain the physical distancing measures implemented on your premises and control the number of customers entering the premises at any one time. In some circumstances, that colleague may need to be Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensed.
  • Considering whether temporary barriers should be available in case it is necessary to stop people joining a queue.
  • Providing clear messaging through verbal and written communication e.g. announcements and signage outside the premises to inform those that are entering your premises that a face covering must be worn and social distancing adhered to (when alert level requires it outdoors).
  • Considering those with protected characteristics and who may therefore have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering.
  • Placing clear signage outside the premises explaining the physical distancing measures in place that customers should follow.
  • Arranging clear signage to remind people that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should be following government guidance on self-isolation and should not enter the premises.
  • Placing markings outside the premises to define appropriate 2 metre queue spacings, when required.
  • Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to spread the number of people arriving throughout the day for example by staggering opening hours; this will also help reduce demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.
  • Speaking with neighbouring businesses and relevant partners such as local authorities, landowners (where they exist) to determine the best way to avoid congestion for queues outside your premises. In the event of a dispute between business owners over a contested outside space, we suggest the business owner discusses the issue with their local authority or landlord to help resolve any dispute.
  • Considering whether additional security staff may be required to support and protect staff.
  • Scheduling deliveries to avoid crowding in delivery areas. Consider non-contact stock deliveries.
  • Providing cleaning stations at the front of your premises including: alcohol-based hand sanitiser. You should be mindful of potential littering and ensure that there are bins available for wipes/paper towels and used single-use face coverings to be disposed of safely.
  • Identifying and regularly cleaning key touch points e.g. door handles, lift buttons, keypads, and stair/escalator hand rails.

4.9 Managing areas inside your premises

Objective: To manage specific indoor areas within your premises effectively

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Using floor markings inside to facilitate compliance with the 2m physical distancing requirements outlined above, particularly in the most crowded areas and where queuing is likely.
  • In outdoor areas, distancing is not mandated at some alert levels. However, the COVID-19 risk assessment may identify using distancing outdoors as a reasonable measure. If this is the case, the requirement should be clearly communicated to the customers.
  • Reviewing the layout of the premises to ensure aisles/walkways are as clear as possible to accommodate 2m physical distancing, including the removal of furniture and other fixtures, including displays.
  • Considering one-way systems using floor markings and signage to highlight system and direction.
  • Limiting the number of customers in enclosed spaces such as lifts.
  • Erecting physical barriers using flexi-plastic to provide a barrier between staff and staff and customers - it should be noted that staff would need to wear a face covering if they were to step outside of the barrier area.
  • Requiring face coverings to be worn by staff and customers in indoor parts of the premises that are open to the public (whether on payment or otherwise) and in other parts of the premises where physical distancing cannot be maintained. View further guidance on face coverings and exemptions. Face coverings have not generally been recommended for outdoor use, except where physical distancing cannot be maintained. However, the COVID-19 risk assessment may identify using face coverings outdoors as a reasonable measure. If this is the case, the requirement should be clearly communicated to the customers.
  • Including back-to-back seating (if the seats are high backed), or side-to-side seating (rather than face-to-face), including installing physical barriers such as protective screens between tables that can be washed and cleaned effectively where it is not commercially viable for hospitality premises to place tables 2 metres apart.
  • Considering the use of staff to manage the flow of customers around the premises if necessary.
  • Leaving non-essential doors open to minimise the number of people who touch them. This does not apply to fire doors, which must be managed in accordance with your fire management procedures.
  • Removing promotions and features where customers are likely to congregate, such as demonstrations.
  • The use of Apps or other communications devices is recommended, to reduce contact with customers, including options for menus, ordering, billing and contactless payment.
  • Increased environmental cleanliness and providing reminders about their importance, including the need to regularly wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and drying thoroughly, or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Making regular announcements to remind staff and customers to follow physical distancing advice.
  • Placing clear signage throughout the premises, reminding customers of the physical distancing and face covering measures as appropriate to the indoor/outdoor parts of the premises and asking them to follow these rules. View Safety and physical distancing signs for employers: coronavirus
  • Loud noises which will require people to raise their voices or shout, and therefore increase aerosol spread, should be avoided where possible (at some alert levels indoors only). To that end, businesses should ensure that TV broadcasts and recorded music are kept at background level. Live performances can take place subject to businesses undertaking a full risk assessment for each venue in line with all guidance in place for hospitality settings and our guidance for a phased return for Rehearsing, performing and taking part in the performing arts. Businesses need to be mindful of any noise nuisance from the premises at all times.
  • Recording the provision of accurate contact information to support Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) (see section 5).
  • Making staff aware of your compliance with the TTP strategy and the need for you to release their personal contact information in the event of a TTP enquiry that involves your business/organisation and its employees.
  • Ensuring that employees who need to self-isolate are not present on the premises (see section 4.4).

4.10 Customer toilets

Objective: To manage all public areas and conveniences on your premises

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • If customer toilets are open ensure they are cleaned regularly, including manual multi-person touch points such as door handles, wash hand basins, flushes, taps, etc.
  • Ensure physical distancing within the toilets where possible, by for example, closing every other toilet and every other wash hand basin.
  • Baby changing facilities should be available but increase the frequency of cleaning.

4.11 Staff only areas

Objective: To keep workers safe in every part of your premises

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Applying physical distancing measures when applicable in staff break areas and permitting their use provided staff comply with the measures in place.
  • Encouraging staff to remain on-site and, when not possible, maintaining social distancing while off-site.
  • Introducing a staggered or extended break rota to avoid crowding
  • Spacing out chairs and tables to ensure a 2m physical distance between them, for example, by removal or marking as “do not use”.
  • Promoting increased hand hygiene and physical distancing via notices placed visibly in these areas. View Safety and physical distancing signs for employers: coronavirus.
  • Removing sofas from break areas. You could consider replacing them with individual chairs provided they can be placed 2m apart.
  • Considering providing a takeaway service to avoid crowding in the canteen (further information is available from the Food Standards Agency on adapting restaurants and food businesses for takeaway and food delivery during COVID-19).
  • Permitting food consumption or breaks to be taken outside of usual areas.
  • Restricting the number of people using designated smoking areas at one time. Closed or substantially enclosed smoking shelters might be subject to the rules on gatherings indoors, and similarly if not enclosed or substantially enclosed might be subject to the rules on gatherings outdoors. Also, consider increasing the number of designated areas or asking staff to smoke off-site. Providing alcohol-based hand sanitiser at entry/exit points.
  • Canteen staff should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them thoroughly, and before and after handling food (in accordance with normal food hygiene measures).
  • If possible, increasing the number of hand washing stations available.
  • Cutlery trays should be avoided. Cutlery and condiments can be issued to the person when they purchase any food.
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products.
  • Placing notices promoting hand hygiene and physical distancing visibly in these areas.
  • Reminding staff to wash their hands regularly using soap and water for 20 seconds and drying thoroughly or using alcohol-based hand sanitisers before and after eating or drinking.

4.12 Delivery networks

Objective: To protect the health of employers, contractors and customers when undertaking deliveries or off-site services

As per the advice in sections 4.1 and 4.2, all employers must assess risks, and reduce them as far as is reasonably practicable. This applies equally to risks associated with delivery and collection. A thorough risk assessment will ensure you comply with the law, but if in doubt always seek legal advice. The HSE has more information: Delivering safely.

The Welsh Government has produced guidance on working in or from vehicles, which you should consider to help you decide what actions you need to take should any staff that you are responsible for operate in or from a vehicle from your premises.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Minimising the number of people outside of a household, support bubble or extended household (if permitted under current restrictions see ‘visiting people in private homes section’) travelling together in any one vehicle, for example by maintaining consistent pairing where two-person deliveries are required.
  • Hands should be washed with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, and dried thoroughly, on arrival and departure. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser should be supplied for situations where hand washing is not possible
  • Alcohol-based sanitiser and wipes should be provided in all delivery vehicles and at entry/exit points to sites
  • Ensuring vehicle are cleaned regularly especially between shifts and at the end of day.

4.13 Accidents, security and other incidents

Objective: To prioritise safety during incidents

In an emergency, for example an accident, provision of first aid, fire or break-in, people do not have to stay 2m apart if it would be unsafe to do so.

People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards, including washing hands.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Reviewing your incident and emergency procedures to ensure they reflect the physical distancing principles as far as possible, including considering how to minimise household-mixing when congregating in assembly areas.
  • Considering the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks.

4.14 Premises ventilation and water supply

Objective: To prioritise safety considerations in premises

Those in control of a premises have a legal duty to ensure effective ventilation.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers has provided advice to help employers provide adequate ventilation in their workplaces and premises during the pandemic. The guidance builds on helping you to identify and take action in poorly ventilated areas. It also provides guidance on other factors to consider when assessing the risk from aerosol transmission, and determining whether adequate ventilation is being provided to reduce this risk.

You should be maximising the fresh air in a space and this can be done by:

  • natural ventilation
  • mechanical ventilation
  • a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation, for example where mechanical ventilation relies on natural ventilation to maximise fresh air

Read the HSE guidance on air conditioning and ventilation and find out how you can provide adequate ventilation in your workplace, helping to protect workers and other people from transmission of coronavirus.

There is also advice available for building services, particularly around ventilation of buildings, both in use and when returning to buildings which have been closed from the following:

If buildings have been closed or had reduced occupancy water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires disease. HSE guidance covering water management and legionella is available here. (Where mains water has been turned off since the close of the premises at lockdown, when it is reconnected it will need running through to flush away any microbiological or chemical residues built up while the water supply was disconnected).

Steps that will usually be needed:

Checking any water supplies - mains water supplies that have to be reconnected (because they were turned off when a premises was closed) will need running through to flush away any microbiological or chemical residue that might have built up while it was disconnected.

  • The Drinking Water Inspectorate, who are the Regulators and technical experts in England and Wales, has produced this advice on maintaining drinking water quality when reinstating water supplies after temporary closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Checking whether you need to service or adjust ventilation systems, for example, so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.
  • Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment, however where systems serve multiple buildings or you are unsure, advice can be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.
  • Removing any fans from, for example, workstations, to avoid the recirculation of air.
  • Opening windows and doors frequently to encourage ventilation, where possible, and if it is safe to do so.

4.14.1 Ventilation and the new variants (technical details for those with mechanical systems)

Ventilation is a key mitigation measure to control the far-field (more than 2m) transmission of COVID-19 by aerosols between people who share the same indoor space. Ventilation is not likely to have significant impacts on close range transmission by droplets and aerosols (within 1-2m) or transmission via contact with surfaces (high confidence).

Higher viral load associated with people who have the new variant could have significant implications for transmission via the air, as previous scientific modelling suggests that viral load is a major determinant of airborne transmission risks. SAGE before the emergence of new variants stated; for most workplaces and public environments adequate ventilation equates to a flow rate of 8-10 l/s/person based on design occupancy, although guidance for some environments allows for lower flow rates of 5 l/s/person. Since the introduction of the new variant, SAGE has recommended where possible, increasing ventilation flow rates mentioned above by a factor of 1.7 (70%) to account for the increase in transmissibility.

For some existing and older buildings, ventilation systems may not have been designed to meet current standards and additional mitigations may be needed. As a precautionary measure it is recommended that ventilation is included as part of any workplace or public indoor environment COVID secure risk assessment, and the necessary mitigation measures are adopted.

In most buildings, maintaining comfortable temperatures and humidity above 40-60% relative humidity is likely to be beneficial to reducing the survivability of the virus. However, this is likely to be less important than the ventilation rate mentioned above (medium confidence).

5. Keeping records of staff, customers and visitors

Guidance has been published that explains how employers in Wales can play their part in helping to deliver Wales’ Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) strategy to slow the spread of the virus, protect our health and care systems and save lives. This covers their responsibilities to employees and contractors associated with the operation of their business and includes relevant information for the self-employed.

Furthermore, the Coronavirus Regulations require that in order to reduce the risk of any person who has been on regulated premises spreading the virus, it is a reasonable measure for such businesses to keep records of staff, customers and visitors for 21 days. There is a higher risk of spreading coronavirus in some sectors. This is because staff, customers and visitors will spend a longer time on these premises than in other surroundings and potentially come into close contact with people outside of their household.

When they are permitted to open according to the alert level in place, hospitality businesses (licensed and unlicensed) are amongst the list of businesses where it is mandatory to collect contact information. “Contact information” means the person’s name and sufficient information that would enable the person to be contacted (including a telephone number) to inform them that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 whilst on your premises. In regulated premises this must include the date and time when the person was at the premises. This can either be done on paper or electronically, but should adhere to data protection requirements.

In all hospitality premises customers are required to provide verification of their name when filling in contact details. Methods of verification may vary but might for example include drivers licence, bank or credit cards. Particular attention should be given to the details of a household group (See Section 7 for links to more information). All adult customers will need to provide proof of name and address, e.g. an electronic or paper based official document. A household means a group of people living in the same home. A household can be one person living on their own, flatmates, or a family living in the same home. What is important is that it is always the same people and the same home.

The Welsh Government has issued Statutory Guidance on collection and retention of contact details from people who have been at particular premises to which you must have regard and further business support in the toolkit.

The NHS COVID-19 app complements the above mandatory arrangements on keeping records of staff, customers and visitors, by providing your customers with the fastest way to see if they are at risk from coronavirus. However the NHS COVID-19 app does not substitute this guidance and is not essential or mandated. You may wish to create a QR code for use with the app as an additional measure to help stop of the spread of COVID-19. Create your own QR code poster.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Making staff and customers aware of your compliance with the TTP strategy
  • Advising staff and customers that you are required to release their personal contact information in the event of a TTP enquiry that involves the business/organisation/premises.
  • Recording and retaining accurate names and contact details to support TTP and undertake any necessary TTP actions required by employers.
  • As part of your risk assessment, ensuring you have an up to date plan in case there is a COVID-19 outbreak within your workforce/on your premises. This plan should nominate a single point of contact (SPOC) where possible who should lead on contacting local Public Health teams.
  • If multiple cases of coronavirus appear in a workplace, an outbreak control team from either the local authority or Public Health Wales will, if necessary, be assigned to help you as an employer to manage the outbreak. Employers should seek advice from their local authority in the first instance.
  • If the PHW health protection team declares an outbreak, you will be asked to provide your staff and customer TTP records and details of symptomatic staff. You will be provided with information about the outbreak management process, which will help you to implement control measures, assist with communications to staff and customers, and reinforce prevention messages.

6. Face coverings

6.1 Personal protective equipment (PPE) (not face coverings)

PPE is manufactured in accordance with regulated standards and protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment, such as face masks. Face coverings generally commercially available to the public are not considered to be PPE.

Where employees are already using PPE in their work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, they should continue to do so.

At the start of this document we described the steps you (employers) need to take to manage COVID-19 risk in the workplace. This includes allowing employees to work from home and taking all reasonable measures to maintain 2m physical distancing between all employees working on your premises.

When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what employees usually wear is not recommended. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks employees normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through physical distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.

The exception is clinical settings, like a hospital, or a small handful of other roles for which Public Health Wales advises use of PPE. For example, first responders and immigration enforcement officers. Employees in one of these groups should refer to the advice on the NHS Wales website.

Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited. However, if your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, then you must provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided must fit properly. Further information on PPE in Wales.

6.2 Face coverings

Wearing a face covering is mandatory for everyone in Wales in the indoor areas of premises that are open to public (on payment or otherwise) and also on public transport. Employers also need to take account of the guidance on measures they need to take with regard to face coverings as part of their responsibility as managers of premises (including ensuring their safe disposal by staff and guests – see the FAQs within Face Coverings Guidance). There is an exemption for under 11s  and for people who cannot wear face coverings due to health conditions or disability and a list of reasonable excuses such as for hospitality premises, where customers are allowed to remove face coverings to eat or drink when reasonably necessary.

For any other indoor premises, to which the public do not have access (e.g. staff rooms or offices), but where social distancing cannot be maintained, the Welsh Government considers that employers and others responsible for premises in Wales should generally, as a reasonable measure, consider whether their specific COVID risk assessment suggests that face coverings be worn by staff and visitors. This should be done unless there are good reasons to the contrary.

A face covering can be very simple; it just needs to cover the mouth and nose. From a public health perspective, a face shield/visor is not a face covering. They are worn in clinical/care giving settings to protect against large droplet exposure, including by inoculation through the eyes, but when worn outside these settings there is no evidence that face shields/visors protect the wearer or are an effective source control for either larger droplets or small aerosols. Whilst it is appreciated that some people have difficulty making themselves heard when wearing a face covering, visors are designed to protect the eyes from airborne droplets and are not intended for use without a face covering.

A face covering is also not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of higher specification PPE, which are manufactured to regulated standards to ensure protection against hazards to health and safety. Similarly, face coverings are not the same as the PPE used to manage risks like dust and spray in an industrial context. Supplies of PPE, including surgical face masks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards.

The duty to wear a face covering under the Coronavirus Regulations is incumbent on the public who visit, and the staff who work in, indoor public premises. It is important to remember that face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and do not negate the need for those responsible for premises open to the public, or premises where work takes place, to take other reasonable measures. Therefore, you must take all reasonable measures to keep everyone 2m apart – unless the physical distancing requirement is limited under specific circumstances within some alert levels – and implement other precautions, including minimising time spent in contact, using fixed teams and partnering for close-up work, ensuring good respiratory hygiene, regular and thorough hand hygiene and increasing surface cleaning/washing. These other measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace and the Welsh Government would therefore not expect to see employers relying solely on face coverings as risk management for the purpose of their health and safety assessments.

Wearing face coverings outdoors has never been generally recommended, except in locations where distancing may be difficult, such as on a crowded street. Employers and others responsible for premises may identify the use of face coverings outdoors as a reasonable measure to employ as part of their COVID-19 risk assessment, for staff and/or customers. Where this is the case, the requirement to wear face coverings in outdoor areas of the premises must be clearly communicated.

Effective face coverings should have a water repellent outer layer if possible, and comprise of 3-layers of different fabrics, which are non-stretchy. They should fit well with no air gaps around the sides and under the chin. You can make face coverings at home and this guidance explains how to.

Employers should support their workers in using face coverings, particularly where through personal choice employees choose to wear them constantly whilst in the workplace setting. This includes reminding them of the following information:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds, (or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser) and dry thoroughly before putting a face covering on, and after removing it.
  • When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or the face covering as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
  • To not hang a face covering from the neck or pull down from the nose
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or damaged.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Change and wash or discard (as applicable) your face covering daily.
  • If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • After wearing a reusable face covering, it should be placed inside a plastic bag prior to it being washed to prevent onwards contamination from the used face covering.
  • If it is not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste and help keep Wales tidy.
  • Practicing social distancing and frequent and thorough washing of hands is the most effective way of reducing the transmission of COVID-19.

7. Restrictions on gatherings

Alert level restrictions dictate which businesses are permitted to operate, or premises that are allowed to open (see current position on businesses and premises that must remain closed). Those businesses that are allowed to operate must have regard to the following:

  • The Coronavirus Regulations which impose restrictions on individuals, businesses and others to protect public health. As well as listing which businesses must close, along with some operating restrictions the regulations also include the limits on the number of people who can gather indoors and outdoors in regulated premises. Whilst these latter duties are imposed on the general public they are likely to impact on your booking and operating arrangements.
  • Alert level restrictions (ensure you refer to the current alert level).
  • Gathering with other people: current restrictions.

You must have regard for all regulations and guidance relating to limits on the numbers of people that can gather in respective environments (including considerations around household mixing). You should take reasonable measures to ensure that individual bookings you take are limited to the maximum number of people allowed to gather together and you should not knowingly take a booking for more people (unless they are from the same household, support bubble or extended household when that is permitted).

Capacity for different regulated gatherings (also referred to as Organised Activities) would be determined by a risk assessment which includes taking all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to and spread of coronavirus.

Regulated gatherings 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 reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus and must carry out a risk assessment.

At some alert levels permitted groups are allowed (see section 4.2 for a definition).

Refer to the UK Hospitality guidance for detailed operating information.

Accommodation

Refer to the UK Hospitality guidance for detailed operating information.

Accommodation which is closed can continue to provide accommodation for anybody who is living there as their main residence when restrictions are introduced, or is staying there at that time and is unable to return to their main residence. Accommodation businesses should ensure they do not unintentionally make anyone homeless as a result of closure - for advice they should contact the local authority housing options team.

Local authorities or Welsh Ministers can authorise or make a request for accommodation businesses to provide some other services whilst closed. Requests could for example include accommodating key workers, people who have been displaced or are homeless, or medical patients.

Hospitality premises (bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants)

Refer to the UK Hospitality guidance for detailed operating information.

If allowed to operate, hospitality premises (including bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants) must take reasonable measures to minimise risk, including, ensuring compliance with face covering and social distancing requirements and other reasonable mitigations within the venue, e.g. implementing mitigations between tables where it is not possible to maintain 2m of space inside – and outside if required at some alert levels - and maximising ventilation. If ‘permitted groups’ are allowed within Current Restrictions those responsible for the premises are still required to take all reasonable measures to maintain 2 metres distance between these groups indoors (and outside at some alert levels). (Those in a group containing people from different households are still advised to keep their distance from each other as far as possible, including avoiding physical contact such as shaking hands or hugging).

Unless at an alert level where ‘permitted groups’ are allowed, where multiple people from different households are sat together at a table (within the allowed numbers), every effort should still be made by the business and the customer to ensure that they maximise distance at the table. Reasonable measures may include the need to restrict or refrain from doing a particular activity if other efforts or mitigations are likely to be insufficient.

A reasonable measure is, for example, to consider asking customers if they have had symptoms of Coronavirus or a positive test within the previous 10 days, or been in close contact in the previous 10 days with a positive case and refusing entry if that is the case.

Organised activities and events

Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions guidance for the current alert level.

Organised activities, also known as regulated gatherings such as group tours and trips, guided tours and excursions (e.g. guided town walks, guided attraction tours, coach tours, skippered boat trips, etc.) when allowed are - subject to alert level restrictions on numbers (outdoors and indoors). Where such organised activities take place in regulated premises they are required to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

When gathering for regulated gathering is allowed all reasonable measures must be taken to ensure physical and social distancing at some alert levels between households, support bubbles, or extended households (when they are allowed).Other reasonable mitigating measures must also be taken in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. Younger children under the age of 11 do not need to rigidly follow the advice to stay 2 metres apart, depending on their age and ability.

Indoor group visits in regulated premises – if not an organised activity (e.g. guided tour) - when allowed are only permissible with members of the same household, support bubble or extended household (when these are permitted) – or up to 6 people from up to 6 different households - provided their entry indoors is staggered so as not to create a gathering of more than one household or group of 6 indoors. The maximum number of 6 in a permitted group does not include children under the age of 11 belonging to the group or carers for anyone in the group is allowed all reasonable measures must be taken to ensure physical and social distancing at some alert levels between households, support bubbles, or extended households (when they are allowed).Other reasonable mitigating measures must also be taken in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. Younger children under the age of 11 do not need to rigidly follow the advice to stay 2 metres apart, depending on their age and ability. However, the total number of 6 does include members of the same household if there is more than one person from the same household in the permitted group.

Venues and operators need to work together to plan for such visits so that they stay within the requirements of the regulations and guidance.

Transport operators must also have regard to the Guidance on Public Transport. See also section 10 for other sector specific guidance e.g. Tour Guides.

For guidance on events and regulated gatherings see Creating COVID-aware events.

8. Travel restrictions

Alert level restrictions can place limitations on travel allowed to, from and within Wales.

The current situation for international travel is explained in Rules for foreign travel to and from Wales: coronavirus (COVID-19).

The UK Government updates its advice regularly with detail on current areas where the COVID-19 variants are spreading and guidance, including travel, for residents in those areas

If restrictions change at short notice due to a heightened risk of COVID meaning that visitors are asked to return home - or at least to leave the area – they should do so as soon as possible, ideally before the restrictions apply. If someone is unable to return home before restrictions come in to force, for example because they are booked on a flight which cannot be changed, they will need to comply with the restrictions in their current location until such a time as they are able to travel home or to another destination outside of the area of restrictions, which they should do as soon as possible.

In these instances, an accommodation provider is allowed to continue providing its services until the visitor can return home. It does not need to be specially authorised to continue accommodating such a visitor.

Welsh Government is urging anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus in the UK to test themselves twice weekly, using the free Covid-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel. Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel. It is also advising travellers to bring lateral flow testing kits with them to continue regular testing while on holiday – this is an additional measure to help keep Wales safe. More information for tourism businesses in these FAQs.

8.1 Taking and handling bookings

Tourism and hospitality businesses must take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus and should not knowingly accept customers in breach of the travel restrictions or indeed any other restrictions/limitations (such as on gathering). Businesses should ask the customer at the point of booking where they are travelling from and check that they comply with the regulations, or may be covered by an exemption. The obligation is on the individual although a business that encourages a breach may also commit an offence.

If a customer has already made a booking and becomes subject to the travel restrictions, ultimately any decisions on refunds are a matter between the business and customer, which will be determined by the terms and conditions of the booking. Further advice you can pass on to your customers. Businesses taking bookings from customers do so at their own risk given these restrictions are subject to on-going review and could change at short notice.

9. Restrictions on operating in hospitality

Refer to the UK Hospitality guidance for detailed operating information.

Alert level restrictions dictate which businesses are permitted to operate, or premises that are allowed to open (see The current position on businesses and premises that must remain closed).

Those businesses that are allowed to operate must have regard for the following:

See also section 6.2 with reference to the wearing of face coverings.

10. Additional resources: providing and explaining available guidance

Many operators are members of trade bodies who, in turn, have developed helpful guidelines for their sectors to coordinate efforts to help businesses to operate safely alongside COVID-19. We have worked with the leading trade bodies and operators across the tourism and hospitality sector to link that work to this guidance.

Consideration should be given to the sector specific guidance and resources highlighted below, where relevant. Many include best practice documents, templates and more detailed sector specific advice on certain environments

UKH Cymru, working with UK Hospitality (UKH) has consolidated many parts of the tourism and hospitality sector into one guidance document: Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses.

Whilst it is not comprehensive, it can be used in conjunction with the links below to provide further information and resources for your risk assessment. This hospitality guidance is applicable to businesses UK-wide and adaptable to local circumstances.

Further information and guidance

Business and employers: coronavirus guidance from Welsh Government will take you to general information regarding employer responsibilities and aspects such as funding and furlough (Job Retention Scheme) detail.

For further information and guidance, we have provided industry specific (e.g. UKH Cymru, Wales Tourism Alliance) links below to external or third party websites. Links taken to other sites are done so at your own risk and the Welsh Government accepts no liability for any linked sites or their content. Any link from us to an external website does not imply or mean that the Welsh Government endorses or accepts any responsibility for the content or the use of such website. In addition some industry specific sites may include UK government references which are not applicable in Wales.

10.1 Hotels and accommodation/hospitality businesses

Hotel and other accommodation:

UK Hospitality Cymru has published guidance which includes hotels and other accommodation.

Self-catering:

In addition to the UKH Cymru guidance above additional sector guidance is available with resources and advice.

Caravan/camping/motorhomes and holiday parks:

In addition to the UKH Cymru guidance above additional sector guidance is available with resources and advice.

Hotel boats/Holiday boat hire and waterways:

Hotel and other accommodation:

UK Hospitality Cymru has published guidance which includes hotels and other accommodation.

Swimming pools:

10.2 Indoor and outdoor attractions, activity providers, tour guides, and coach/bus tour operators

Amusement parks, attractions and family entertainment centres:

Guidance has been published by UK Hospitality.

Attractions/Culture and Heritage venues/buildings/Museums:

In addition to the UK Hospitality guidance, the Welsh Government has developed guidance for underground attractions; and for culture and heritage venues:

Other relevant guidance for museums has been drafted by the National Museum Directors Council.

Culture and Heritage venues/buildings/attractions:

Welsh Government guidance. Other relevant guidance for museums has been drafted by the National Museum Directors Council.

Indoor and outdoor event venues (e.g. theatres, cinemas and concert halls and outdoor festivals):

Zoos and Aquariums:

British and Irish Association (BIAZA) has resources and guidance available for zoos and aquariums.

Reopening natural and cultural sites for recreation:

guidance published by Natural Resources Wales.

Activity and adventure providers:

additional guidance has been published by The Outdoor Alliance, Wales.

Tour guides:

Coach and bus tour operators:

Sport, recreation and leisure guidance:

including watersports, beach activities and boating

Heritage Railways:

to follow the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) Recovery plan

Public toilets:

English Language Schools:

10.3 Business events

This section covers business events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions, trade fairs and consumer shows (organised events) which take place in meetings, conferencing and exhibition centres. See below for references to relevant guidance.

Meetings:

The Meetings Industry Association has produced guidance specifically for conferences and meetings venues, which is also wrapped into the wider UK Hospitality guidance.

Exhibition and conference centres:

Guidance is available from the following industry bodies:

Catering requirements:

You should consider workplace guidance as well as relevant guidance on pubs and restaurants and the UK hospitality guidance for catering requirements.

10.4 Events guidance

Guidance for outdoor events and festivals:

Appendices

Appendix 1: Hierarchy of controls

1. Elimination

Redesign the activity such that the risk is removed or eliminated. E.g. Stop a work activity if it is not considered essential. This may be just one part of a job (e.g travelling to meetings in another part of the country), but other aspects could continue where the risk is acceptable.

2. Substitution

Replace the activity with an activity that reduces the risk. Care is required to avoid introducing new hazards from the substitution. E.g. work at home, use of alternative transport to get to work, online meetings 

3. Engineering controls

Design measures that help control or mitigate risks, such as barriers, guards, etc. Priority should be given to measures that provide collective protection rather than those that just protect individuals or a small group of people. E.g. Use of screens and barriers, automatic doors, effective ventilation and sanitation systems 

4. Administrative controls

Identifying and implementing the procedures to improve safety, such as undertaking risk assessments, preparing and communicating mitigating procedures, and increasing signage. E.g. Spacing marked out on floors, cleaning regimes, signage to encourage behaviours, provision of hand wash stations 

5. PPE

Personal Protective Equipment: local kit to mitigate the risks to those exposed to the hazard. People must be familiar with the function and limitation of each item of PPE for this to be an effective measure. Ideally, PPE is only considered after all previous measures higher in the hierarchy are identified as not being fully effective in controlling the risks. E.g. Gloves; Facemasks.

Environment and Modelling Group Risk Estimation to inform risk assessment

Appendix 2: Downloadable posters and other resources

Business action card
Safety and physical distancing signs for employers: coronavirus on GOV.WALES
Behavioural signs and tools from Visit Wales on Cymru Wales brand site
Health and Safety Executive
Adventure Smart (guidance for visitors)

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