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 business and premises that must remain closed are listed here) 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 do not apply. However, when local restrictions or national alert levels are in place then the requirements of those alert levels take precedent. Wales is currently in Alert Level 4 (from 20 December 2020).
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 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 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 reduce the risk of those who have been on the premises spreading the virus.
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:
- Guidance for premises open to the public and where work takes place
- Keeping records of staff customers and visitors
- Face coverings
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.
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 are confirmed in each alert level from 1 to 4 – see section 7 of this guidance for the limits on the number of people who can gather indoors and outdoors in regulated premises. Whilst these duties are imposed on the general public they are likely to impact on your booking and operating arrangements.
- 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 premises authorised to sell or supply alcohol (e.g. licensed premises) are confirmed in each alert level from 1 to 4 – see section 9 of this guidance covering restrictions around the sale or supply of alcohol, closure times and table service rules in such premises.
- Restrictions on closure times for all hospitality premises – see section 9.
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 sets out how and when Wales will move between these alert levels.
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.
See also alert levels in Wales simple guide.
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 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. 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 21(2) (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 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, you must carry out an appropriate 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 the recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers.
This document will be updated over time. This version is up to date as of 25 January 2021. You can check for updates at Keep Wales Safe - at work.
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 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 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.
For operators of road, rail, tramway and water passenger services (e.g. coach, bus and tour operators, heritage railway and boat trips) - 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 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.
4. Workplace guidance
4.1 Thinking about risk
Objective: That all employers and businesses carry out a 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 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.
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.
If you employ people then you have a duty to consult your staff on health and safety with meaningful discussion with them and/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 who were previously shielding) or are in the increased risk group. The online COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool is a two-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 a 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 all 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. 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, 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”. 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 mandation 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 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 does not apply to persons from the same household, or between a carer and the person being assisted by the carer.
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. 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 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 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 or extended household (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/extended household as someone who has a tested positive, or are a confirmed contact of someone who has tested positive (and you 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 should allow or enable an employee to self-isolate if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.
You should 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 had COVID-19 symptoms, that they have had a test and received a negative result
- 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 a fever, in the last 48 hours
- If a member of their household or extended household (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 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.
Work-related travel in and from Wales must follow the requirements set out in the travel guidance and employees will need to take account of the guidance on the requirements to wear face coverings on public transport. Anyone returning to Wales from a non-exempt country (any country that is not on the exempt country list) must self-isolate immediately on return and cannot attend the workplace, and should follow the specified period of self-isolation and other requirements set out in the travel self-isolation guidance.
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.
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 14-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.
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 all 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.
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 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. 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. Customer related guidance is provided separately under section 7.
Steps that will usually be needed:
- Taking all 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 them.
- Ensuring all staff and customers wear face coverings 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).
- Assessing the size of the premises and its layout and the number of staff present during a shift.
- All businesses must 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 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).
- Implementing one way systems, where the building (and other legislation – e.g. Equality Act 2010) allows.
- Maximising ventilation and enhance airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) where possible.
As outlined above, as well as keeping everyone 2m apart where possible, 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 all reasonable measures” means. Your 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 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)
- 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, if available.
- 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.
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 will usually be needed:
- Taking all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2m is maintained between people waiting to enter your premises except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer.
- 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 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.
- 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 and should not enter the premises.
- Placing markings outside the premises to define appropriate 2 metre queue spacings.
- 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 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.
- 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 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).
- 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 measures 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, must be avoided. To that end, TV broadcasts, recorded music and any other approved forms of entertainment should be kept at background level, dancing and singing avoided, and live performances should only take place if you can demonstrate that risks can be mitigated. Further information on the rules on rehearsing and performing is available.
- 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 basis, 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 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 or extended household (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.
- 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 re-opening premises
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:
- Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
- The Building Engineers Services Association, and
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.
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.
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 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
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 over 4 (See Section 7 for 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 customer 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 there is more than one case of COVID-19 associated with your workforce or premises, you will be contacted by NHS Wales TTP.
- 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 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.
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. This requirement only applies to public areas. There are is an exemption for under 11s 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 and only in those areas designated for the consumption of food and drink.
For any other indoor premises, or areas within those premises to which the public may also have access, or may 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 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. 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 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 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.
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 4 restrictions apply across Wales.
7.1 Alert level 1
Under alert level 1 nightclubs and adult entertainment venues must close.
- Only form an extended household with no more than 2 other households and they should stay the same.
- Meet no more than 5 other people indoors.
- Meet no more than 5 other people in private gardens.
- Meet in groups of no more than 30 people outdoors.
More details can be found in the alert level 1 guide with further guidance to follow here.
7.2. Alert level 2
Under alert level 2, venues for events and conferences, ice skating rinks for public use, and nightclubs and adult entertainment venues must close.
- Only form an extended household with no more than 1 other household and they should stay the same.
- Not meet with anyone in a private home other than those you live with or your extended household.
- Meet no more than 3 other people indoors in a cafe, restaurant or other open premises.
- Meet no more than 3 other people in private gardens.
- Meet no more than 3 other people outdoors (unless with extended household of a larger number).
More details can be found in the alert level 2 guide with further guidance to follow here.
7.3 Alert level 3
Under alert level 3, indoor and outdoor visitor attractions and entertainment venues (such as cinemas, bingo halls and casinos) are required to close.
This includes for example, cinemas, funfairs, amusement parks, theme parks, museums, galleries, educational and heritage attractions and heritage sites such as stately homes must close.
In holiday accommodation (such as hotels, tents, caravans or self-catering), only one household is able to share accommodation; this is restricted to families living together (or a carer), not extended families.
In all regulated premises (other than private dwellings or holiday or travel accommodation), indoors and outdoors, the maximum number of people that can meet, without a reasonable excuse, is set to 4. This means that up to 4 people (not including children aged under 11 or a person who is caring for someone participating in such a gathering) from different households can meet – but this should be a maximum not a target. The only exception is if more than 4 people live together in one household, in which case there is no maximum if they meet indoors or in any part of regulated premises that is outdoors (see regulation 21(1) for the meaning of “regulated premises”). Other than that exception, the intention is that four is an absolute maximum rather than a “target” number.
You should take all reasonable measures to ensure that individual bookings you take are limited to up to four people (not including children aged under 11, or a person who is caring for someone participating in such a gathering), or if the booking is being made for more than 4 people that they are all living together in one household. You should not knowingly take a booking for over 4 people (unless they are from the same household).
Hospitality premises (including bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants) must take all reasonable steps to minimise risk, including, ensuring compliance with 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 and maximising ventilation. Where up to 4 people from different households are sat together at a table, 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.
In premises authorised to sell or supply alcohol (e.g. licensed premises) only, there must be a person controlling entry in respect of the sale or supply of food or drink for consumption on the premises. This also applies during this period of further restrictions where alcohol cannot be consumed within hospitality premises. Controlled entry includes setting a limit on dwell time and pre-booking wherever possible with details of all members of the group taken as part of the booking and verified on arrival. “Walk-ups” should be kept to a minimum and subject to access through a controlled entry point with provision and verification of names of all members of the group at that point. As part of the controlled entry requirements, booking periods/dwell times of up to 2 hours (120 minutes) should be considered as a rule of thumb.
Hospitality premises should also avoid shared activities that would entail people breaching the rules on indoor gatherings e.g. skittles, darts, pool and other ‘pub games’. However, each proposed activity can be considered on its own merits. For example, a quiz maintaining separate groups and complying with the rules on indoor gatherings (where each group collects a quiz sheet at the beginning of an evening and submits it at the end of the evening) would not necessarily constitute a gathering and could therefore be permissible whereas a traditional pub quiz involving more than, for example, 4 people from different households would not be permissible.
If more than 4 people who do not all live together gather for an indoor or outdoor organised activity in accordance with the regulations they will have a reasonable excuse to do so. Where such organised activities take place in regulated premises that are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, such activities must not involve the sale or consumption of alcohol. All organised activities are capped at 15 participants if they take place indoors or 30 if outdoors. These numbers do not include any children aged under 11 or people who are working or providing voluntary services. Guided tours should comply with the rule of four (not including children aged under 11 or a person who is caring for someone) or one household (in which case there is no maximum) unless the tour operates as an organised activity, in which case the same principles as described above will apply.
Regulated venues are allowed to host meetings for up to 15 people indoors as long as the venue is compliant with the regulations. Meetings can take place indoors for up to 15 if they can demonstrate that all present are working and that it is “reasonably necessary” to do so and there is “no reasonably practicable alternative” (eg. the need to prove a business reason to meet in person for hands on training that cannot be done virtually). The regulations allows more than one meeting of up to 15 at the same time in the same venue, but of different organisations. Social distancing measures, reasonable mitigations and comprehensive risk assessments are required to be compliant.
7.4 Alert level 4
Under alert level 4, mixing between households is not permitted (except in some limited circumstances). No indoor or outdoor gatherings are allowed. Indoor and outdoor visitor attractions, entertainment venues, leisure and fitness facilities, event and conference venues, nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are all closed. All hospitality businesses are closed apart from for takeaways and delivery. Holiday accommodation has to close – but see further information below. The business and premises that must remain closed are listed here.
Accommodation which is closed can continue to provide accommodation for anybody who is living there as their main residence when alert level 4 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.
Places of worship and Register Offices are able to remain open for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. Other ‘approved premises’ such as hotels, are required to close alongside other businesses in the hospitality sector. Life event receptions and wakes are not permitted.
8. Travel restrictions
Alert level 4 guidance applies.
8.1. Alert Levels
8.1.1 Alert level 1
Travelling is allowed within a Level 1 area and to and from another Level 1 area or any Level 2 areas, but travelling from a Level1 area to any area of Wales which is at Level 3 or 4, or to any areas of high incidence of coronavirus elsewhere in the UK, is not allowed. More details to follow.
8.1.2 Alert level 2
Travelling is allowed within a Level 2 area and to and from another Level 2 area or any Level 1 areas, but travelling from a Level 2 area to any area of Wales which is at Level 3 or 4, or to any areas of high incidence of coronavirus elsewhere in the UK, is not allowed. More details to follow.
8.1.3 Alert level 3
Travelling is allowed within a Level 3 area but travelling from a Level 3 area to any other area of Wales, or to any areas of high incidence of coronavirus elsewhere in the UK, is not allowed;
8.1.4 Alert level 4
Travel is limited to essential travel only at this level, for example travelling for work purposes or to return home.
Visitors are asked to return home - or at least to leave the area within alert level 4 - as soon as possible, ideally before it enters into alert level 4. If someone is unable to return home before alert level 4 comes 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 alert level 4, 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.
8.2 Taking and handling bookings
Tourism and hospitality businesses must take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus and should not knowingly accept customers in breach of the travel restrictions for alert level 4. 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 travel restrictions are subject to on-going review.
9. Restrictions on hospitality opening hours and alcohol consumption
9.1 Restrictions on opening hours and alcohol consumption
9.1.1 Alert level 1
Persons responsible for premises which are authorised for the sale or supply of alcohol may not sell or supply alcohol between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.
More details to follow.
9.1.2 Alert level 2
Premises licensed to sell alcohol may only serve alcohol with meals and may not serve alcohol after 10.00 p.m. (closing no later than 10.20 p.m.).
More details to follow.
9.1.3 Alert level 3
All restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can open indoors and outdoors for the consumption of food and non-alcoholic drinks and must close by 18:00 and may not open to customers before 06:00 each day. Alcoholic drinks cannot be served at any time within these premises and this will be strictly enforced.
- Takeaway services without a licence to sell alcohol can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks for consumption off the premises at any time. Premises with a licence for off-sales can continue to sell alcohol until 22:00 as part of the takeaway offer, and can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks only after that time until 06:00.
- Hotels and other accommodation providers can serve food and non-alcoholic drinks in bar/restaurant areas within their premises up to 22:00 but must close by 18:00 to non-residents. For room service, guests can order food and drink at any time for consumption in their own rooms, but must not include alcohol after 22:00 and before 06:00 the following morning.
- Bookings made for life event ceremonies such as weddings, civil partnerships, funerals, bar mitzvahs, baptisms, or others, for the ceremony itself then a limit should be set by the venue. For life event receptions and wakes, limits include 15 indoors and 30 outdoors, current hospitality restrictions associated with alcohol apply and the venue must close by 18:00 to non-residents.
- The 18:00 closing rule does not apply to such premises if they are canteens in workplaces (with no reasonable practicable alternative for the workforce to obtain food or drink during those times) or those located at seaports, airports, educational establishments, hospitals or care homes. Those premises can remain open after 18:00 but must not serve alcohol at any time.
9.1.4 Alert Level 4
All accommodation must close unless authorised to remain open by a local authority or Welsh Ministers to accommodate vulnerable groups, key workers etc. All hospitality businesses must close apart from for takeaway or delivery services:
- For businesses accommodating key workers and other eligible guests (as authorised by the local authority or Welsh Ministers – see 8.1.2) in hotels and other accommodation, only room service can be available. Guests can order food and drink at any time for consumption in their own rooms, but must not include alcohol after 22:00 and before 06:00 the following morning.
- Takeaway services without a licence to sell alcohol can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks for consumption off the premises at any time. Premises with a licence for off-sales can continue to sell alcohol until 22:00 as part of the takeaway offer, and can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks only after that time until 6:00am.
9.2 Table service rules
This only applies within alert levels 1-3 as under alert level 4 all hospitality and accommodation businesses are required to close. If authorised to accommodate key workers or other eligible guests (see 8.2), only room service or takeaway/delivery will apply – see 9.1 for details.
The sale or supply of food or drink for consumption within licensed premises, must be carried out with the reasonable measures specified in the Coronavirus Regulations. This also applies during the period of further restrictions where alcohol cannot be consumed within hospitality premises. This means that customers must be seated in the premises anywhere other than at a bar:
- When ordering food or drink
- When being served with food or drink, and
- When consuming food or drink.
See also section 6.2 with reference to the wearing of face coverings.
Licensed premises are also encouraged to use smartphone apps for customers to order and pay for food to minimise contact between staff and customers. If paying at the counter, social distancing should be maintained.
Where licensed premises provide food on a buffet basis, customers may select food from the buffet and return to where they are seated provided a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any persons at the buffet (except between two members of the same household, or carer and the person assisted by the carer). When the customer selects food from the buffet, a face covering should be worn to approach the buffet and hand sanitiser used. In order to minimise contact with high touch utensils, customers should not serve themselves from the buffet. Food should be physically put on the plate by staff rather than customers, and rigorous cleaning regimes should be maintained around the buffet area. If customers purchase alcoholic drinks at a cinema, they will need to be seated and served at a table.
Table service restrictions do not apply to establishments that are not authorised to sell or supply alcohol, but these establishments should consider if it is a reasonable measure to do so. Social distancing of 2 metres should however be maintained between customers whilst queueing at a counter to place their order, and if eating on the premises, food and drink should be consumed at a table.
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 effort to help businesses be ready for re-opening. 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.
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.
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.
- Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses
- Children’s soft play and indoor play areas, including parties: coronavirus
- Reopening children's playgrounds and outdoor play areas: coronavirus
- Protecting staff and children from the coronavirus: guidance for open access playwork providers
In addition to the UK Hospitality guidance The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) is also developing guidance for individual attractions amongst their members and sharing templates / best practice examples to enable risk assessments for indoor and outdoor attractions.
- Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses
- Association of Leading Visitor Attractions
- Underground attractions: Welsh Government supplementary guidance
Culture and Heritage venues/buildings/attractions:
Indoor and outdoor event venues (e.g. theatres, cinemas and concert halls and outdoor festivals):
Some will be covered by UK government guidance on events and entertainment.
- General link to follow – check back
- Guidance to local authorities, approved premises and places of worship on marriages and civil partnerships: coronavirus
- Risk assessments for wedding venues and events
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.
Coach and bus tour operators:
- Welsh Government regulations (in respect of numbers that can gather)
- Welsh Government guidance (in respect of coach transport)
Sport, recreation and leisure guidance:
including watersports, beach activities and boating
to follow the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) Recovery plan
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.
The Meetings Industry Association has produced guidance specifically for conferences and meetings venues, which is also wrapped into the wider UK Hospitality guidance.
- Meetings Industry Association
- Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses
Exhibition and conference centres:
Guidance is available from the following industry bodies:
- International Congress and Convention Association
- International Association of Convention Centres
- The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry
- Association of Event Organisers
- Event Supplier and Services Association
- Association of Event Venues
- Business Visits and Event Partnership
You should consider workplace guidance as well as relevant guidance on pubs and restaurants and the UK hospitality guidance for catering requirements.
- Welsh Government Workplace Guidance
- Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses
10.4 Events guidance
Guidance for outdoor events and festivals is being developed in accordance with likely re-opening schedules - check back for this.
Downloadable posters and other resources:
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)