Police granted new powers to arrest people ignoring lockdown rules in Wales

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has signed into law new public health regulations strengthening police enforcement powers in Wales.

Individuals will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities and supplies, which should be as infrequently as possible;

  • One form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household;

  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and

  • Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot reasonably practicably work from home.

The Welsh Government says people should stay at least 2m away from each other at all times.

Participating in gatherings of more than two people in public spaces is also not permitted except in very limited circumstances, for example, where it is for essential work purposes. The police will have powers to enforce this.

If people do not comply with these new laws, they can be directed to return home removed from where they are and returned home.

A number of fines can also be handed out.

Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the Regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them.

South Wales Police's Chief Constable, Matt Jukes, said the new powers are to keep the community and their families safe.

The Welsh Government said the legislation is in place stop the spread of the virus.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said ''If we all follow these rules, we will stop this terrible virus from spreading, we will save lives, and we will protect the NHS. The new powers I have signed into law will give our police the powers they need to protect the public and keep people safe.''

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know: