From weddings to Christmas bubbles, what are the current Covid regulations in Wales?

Three households can create a Christmas bubble between 23-27 December

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford introduced new restrictions on the hospitality and indoor entertainment industries on December 4 with restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs having to close at 6pm and barred from serving alcohol.

Indoor tourist attractions and entertainment venues have also been asked to close for the foreseeable future.

Regulations regarding the self-isolation period have also changed. You must now self-isolate for at least ten days, rather than fourteen as previously required. The ten days begin when you first experienced coronavirus symptoms, or when you tested positive.

With Coronavirus cases on the rise across Wales, here’s a reminder of the current covid regulations:

  • Who am I allowed to meet up with?

People you don’t live with can’t come into your home unless they’re part of your extended household or ‘bubble’. Under the current restrictions you can form a ‘bubble’ with one other household. 

There will be a temporary relaxation of these rules between the 23-27 December to allow three households to create a Christmas bubble.

You can meet people outside of your extended household indoors in places such as cafes or pubs or outdoors in a park but cannot meet in private gardens. The maximum number of people from different households you can meet is four. They don’t have to be the same four people every time and children under 11 are excluded from the total.

Coronavirus cases are on the rise across Wales

  • Where can I travel?

There are no travel restrictions within Wales, but the Welsh Government advises avoiding travelling to and from Welsh areas with higher Covid rates. You can go on holiday in Wales if you live here. 

People living in Wales can’t travel to Northern Ireland, areas of England in tier three, or areas of Scotland in level three or above, unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as caring responsibilities, visiting your extended household, or compassionate grounds. 

You can go on holiday abroad, though the Welsh Government strongly advises against it. Depending on where you go, you may have to self-isolate for 14 days when you return.

Wearing face coverings on public transport is required by law. You can share a car with someone outside of your household (although it isn’t encouraged), but you are advised to keep the windows open and sit as far apart as possible.

  • Are shops and hairdressers open?

All retail shops are open but people should avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces. Social distancing rules apply indoors and you must wear a face mask.

Close contact services such as hairdressers and beauty salons also remain open but staff must wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and keep their distance where possible. 

Hairdressers and beauty salons are open in Wales but staff must wear correct PPE

  • Can I go to work or school?

The Welsh Government are strongly encouraging people to work from home where possible. If it isn’t possible  to work from home, people can go into the workplace only if it’s open and only if it’s safe to do so.

Schools remain open in Wales and measures have been taken to minimise the numbers of potential contacts and to stop transmission. Where pupils are required to self-isolate, the school will ensure that they are provided with sufficient work to continue their learning from home. 

Further education colleges and universities continue to operate with many providing a combination of in person learning and online lectures. 

  • Can I visit a loved one in a care home or hospital? 

You can visit someone in a care home, but you should check with the care home for their visiting arrangements before visiting. 

If you want to visit someone in hospital, you should contact the health board or trust for local information before visiting.

Schools remain open in Wales and measures have been taken to minimise the numbers of potential contacts and to stop transmission Credit: PA

  • What activities and events can I take part in?

Outdoors, you can play sports or exercise in a group of up to 30 people. Indoors, you can do so with up to 15 people. However, it must be an organised activity managed, for example, by a gym, leisure centre or sports club. Professional and elite sports can also continue, but no spectators can attend.

Gyms can open but you should wear a face mask inside while preparing to exercise and when exercising in close contact with others. However, there may be circumstances in which you are not required to wear a mask, depending on the layout of the gym and nature of the exercise.

Communal worship can take place in places of worship, though measures should be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. Face coverings should be worn, and people should observe physical distancing.

Weddings and funerals can still take place but the number of guests you can invite depends on the size of the venue. Social distancing measures will have to be in place and every guest will have to wear a face covering. A wedding reception or a wake can also be held after the ceremony but only 15 people can attend, excluding children under 11.

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