Rules on people in Wales meeting from different households during lockdown explained

The Welsh Government has clarified its position on whether people from different households can meet up in a public place, after the First Minister suggested it was allowed.

Mark Drakeford told a press conference on Monday two people from different households are allowed to meet in public during the lockdown, provided they follow social distancing rules.

He said, "The rules are that two people can meet with social distancing. Under our rules, that is permitted. You can’t go above two, because then it becomes a gathering, because the more people that meet increases the risk."

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But, ITV News was later informed that such a meeting cannot be "pre-arranged."

A spokesperson said, "There is no problem if you bump into someone outside of your household as long as you socially distance. Where it would be a problem is if you pre-arranged to meet them. The bottom line is that groups of people shouldn’t arrange to meet."

The Welsh Government guidance also states gatherings of three people or more was not permitted, and people must only leave the house for essential reasons.

It encourages all forms of outdoor exercise to be done locally and to start and end at home.

The Welsh Government issued further advice after updating its website with the latest regulations that the "overarching advice is to stay at home."

"You need a reasonable excuse to go out, and arranging to meet friends and family is not a reasonable excuse."

The new guidelines also state that it considers activity, "incidental" to exercise, which is good for people's health or wellbeing, to be "reasonable".

In England,Boris Johnson announced people may "drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance", so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there.

Although lockdown restrictions were slightly eased in Wales on Monday, the advice in Wales is still "stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS."

The Welsh Government says the lockdown restrictions has helped "stabilise" the spread of the virus and reduced the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

It said, "Preventing unnecessary travel helps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading further and imposing additional burdens on health services. We therefore continue to advise people to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. But exercising outdoors is an important exception to this rule and it can have a beneficial effect on health and wellbeing."