New coronavirus regulations from 19 December
From midnight on Saturday, 19 December, Welsh Government have put in place some Alert Level 4 restrictions to strengthen the national measures. This is due to rising cases of coronavirus across Wales, along with the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus which is significantly more infectious and spreads more quickly than the original strain. (Read more about this new strain on the Public Health Wales’ daily statement, which includes a useful FAQ.)
The new measures include:
- People must stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
- People must not visit other households, or meet other people they do not live with.
- Many types of businesses are required to close.
As at all alert levels, face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions), including on public transport and in taxis, and people must self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.
What does this mean for Christmas?
You can still see your Christmas bubble on Christmas Day only. Holiday accommodation will no longer be allowed to open.
For more details, please see Welsh Government’s guidance on Christmas arrangements.
When can I leave home?
You should only be outside of your home for very limited reasons, which include:
- The need to obtain supplies and services for you or your household, for example food, medicine, and essential household maintenance. We encourage everyone to make this as infrequently as possible.
- To exercise, alone or with members of your household or support bubble. We encourage this to be done locally.
- To access childcare and education.
- To access medical services.
- To access public services.
- To deposit and withdraw money from a bank or similar establishment.
- To provide care for or to help a vulnerable person; this includes getting food or medicines for them
to help the NHS by donating blood.
- For work purposes, or voluntary or charitable purposes, but only where it is not reasonably practicable to do this from home.
- To visit a cemetery, burial ground or garden of remembrance to pay your respects.
- To attend a place of worship.
- To attend a wedding, civil partnership or funeral if you are invited.
- To attend court or meet other legal obligations, or to vote.
- To escape a risk of illness or injury, such as for victims or people at risk of domestic abuse.
- To access services provided to victims of crime or domestic abuse or those at imminent risk of becoming victims.
Whenever you leave home, you should try to minimise time spent outside of the home, and ensure you stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you don’t live with or are in a permitted support bubble with.
What happens if I don’t follow this guidance?
Most of what is set out in this guidance reflects requirements in the Regulations, which is the law and so may be enforced by the police or local authority enforcement officers. However, even when things are permitted, we ask you to think carefully about what is the most sensible thing for you to do to protect your family, friends and your community, rather than thinking about what the law allows you to do. The purpose of moving to Alert Level 4 is to do everything we can to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect people’s health, so every individual contribution counts towards that collective effort.
Where you breach the law, you may be told to go home or removed from where you are and returned home. You could be asked to pay a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will rise to £120 for the second breach and continue to increase for further breaches. For more serious offences, penalties start at £500. Or you could have criminal proceedings brought against you, and if found guilty, you will have to pay a fine.
How long will these measures stay in place?
The national measures will be reviewed at least every three weeks.
To read more about Welsh Government’s Alert Level 4 restrictions, please click here.