As 'Freedom Day' looms for England, what are the Covid rules in Wales?

Wales will not be easing its Covid restrictions in line with England. Credit: PA Images

England looks set to enjoy its so-called 'Freedom Day' on July 19 with the scrapping of coronavirus restrictions.

But ministers in Wales have insisted they will not be rushed into a decision about doing the same.

The Welsh Government said it will be "following the data rather than following the politics" when considering whether rules can be eased over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Number 10 says it is a matter for devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland whether or not to ease restrictions as fully as is planned for England.

So until further notice, what restrictions are still in place in Wales?

You can form a three-household 'bubble' in order to see people at home. Credit: PA Images
  • Can I meet people in my home or theirs?

Your household is able to join together with up to two other households to form an extended household, or 'bubble'.

This means you can spend time with your extended household at your home or theirs, including staying overnight in each other’s homes.

A fourth household can join an extended household in limited circumstances, such as when an adult is living alone.

You extended household or 'bubble' must not change.

Up to six people can meet indoors at a pub or restaurant. Credit: PA Images
  • Can I meet people inside at a pub or restaurant?

Up to six people from different households are able to meet in 'regulated indoor premises' - for example, cafes, restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions.

The group of six does not include children under 11 from the households, or carers of a member of these households.

People don't need to socially distance within their group, but should maintain a two-metre distance from other people who are not part of their group.

Up to 30 people can meet outside. Credit: PA Images
  • How many people can I meet outdoors?

Up to 30 people are able to meet outdoors or in somebody's garden, as well as in outside areas at restaurants, pubs, bars and visitor attractions.

The 30-person limit does not include children under 11, or carers of a member of these households.

Travel within Wales is not restricted. Credit: PA Images
  • Can I travel in and out of Wales, or around Wales?

There are no restrictions in place for travel into or out of Wales as long as you are travelling to or from a country within the UK, or Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

However, you will need to check the restrictions in place in the area you are travelling from or to.

Travel within Wales is not restricted.

Face coverings must be worn whenever indoors, including on public transport. Credit: PA Images
  • Do I have to wear a face covering?

Face coverings must still be worn in all indoor public places. This includes public transport and taxis, and in places where takeaway food and drink is sold.

This applies to everyone aged 11 and over, unless you are classed as exempt.

  • Do we still have to socially distance?

Under Covid restrictions, people should stay two metres away from anyone who is not part of their household or extended household. This applies indoors and outdoors.

You should also remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The two-metre rule is still in place in Wales. Credit: PA Images
  • Do I still have to self-isolate?

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, or have come in to close contact with someone who has, you are required by law to self-isolate for 10 days when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.

You should also self-isolate and take a Covid test if you have any symptoms of coronavirus or feel generally unwell.

  • Can I return to the office or other place of work?

The Welsh Government says: "We strongly encourage people to work from home where possible. However, people who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces, can do so, provided their workplace is permitted to open.

"Our guidance to employers is that 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."

The advice in Wales remains that people should work from home if they are able to. Credit: PA Images
  • What remains closed in Wales?

Nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and ice rinks are currently closed in Wales under coronavirus regulations.

  • What about outdoor events?

Regulated events are allowed outdoors with up to 10,000 people seated or up to 4,000 people standing, subject to a risk assessment.

The cap on guest numbers at weddings and civil partnerships has been lifted. Credit: Nick Karvounis / Unsplash
  • How many people can I have at my wedding?

There is no longer a cap on the number of people allowed to attend an indoor wedding, civil partnership or wake. Instead, the number of guests is determined by each individual venue, which will carry out a risk assessment based on its size.

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

Routine indoor care home visits can take place, and up to two indoor visitors may visit at the same time. All visitors should be tested prior to an indoor visit.

Outdoor visits and visits within visitor pods or similar enclosed spaces can continue to take place.

  • Can I care for someone I do not live with?

You are allowed to provide care for or to help someone who needs it, such as an older person, a child or a vulnerable adult, even if they are not part of your household or extended household. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

Hospital patients in Wales could soon have more visitors after a change in the rules. Credit: PA Images
  • Can I visit someone in hospital?

Hospital patients in Wales could soon have more visitors after a change in Covid guidance came into force from Monday (July 5).

Revised NHS Wales hospital visiting guidance will give health boards the option to use lateral flow or point-of-care testing to allow hospital visits, including in maternity units.

People are advised to check the health board or trust website for local information prior to visiting.