Posted: Mon 19th Oct 2020

Coronavirus circuit break: Welsh Government publishes ‘frequently asked questions’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

The Welsh Government has published a ‘frequently asked questions’ document following the announcement that Wales will enter a two week ‘circuit break’ or ‘fire break’ national lockdown from 6pm on Friday.

What do you mean by a “circuit breaker lockdown”?

A short, sharp “circuit breaker” or “fire-break” will be introduced across Wales at the end of this week to help regain control of coronavirus. This means that a series of restrictive measures will be in place from 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020.

Why is this being done?

The fortnight-long action is needed to save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Cases of coronavirus have been rising sharply in Wales as the virus has woken up for winter. While the national and local measures put in place across Wales have helped to keep that spread under check, there is a growing consensus that additional action is now needed.


Between October 10 and 16, there were 3,870 new confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded by Public Health Wales, based on positive test results but the real level of infections will be much higher. The number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms is growing daily and sadly, so too, are the number of people dying with coronavirus.

The R number is at 1.4 and the seven-day rolling incidence rate for Wales stands at more than 120 cases per 100,000 population.

What restrictions will be in place?

There are 5 main things:

  • 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
  • certain businesses and venues, including bars, restaurants and most shops must close
  • secondary schools will provide learning online only for the week after half-term, other than for children in years seven and eight. Primary schools and childcare settings will remain open.
  • 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

If you break these new laws:

  • You may be told to go home or removed from where you are and returned home.
  • You could have to pay a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will rise to £120 for the second breach,
  • Or you could have criminal proceedings brought against you, and if found guilty, you will have to pay a fine.

Even where something may be allowed, we ask you not to think about whether it is permitted but whether it is truly necessary and sensible. The purpose of this short lockdown is to create a concerted national effort to do everything we can to stop the spread of corononavirus, and every individual contribution to that counts.

How long will these measures stay in place?

These measures will be in place for from 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020.

What will happen after Monday 9 November?

Following the end of the fire-break, a new set of national rules will be introduced, covering how people can meet and how the public sector and businesses operate.

My area is currently subject to local restrictions – do these continue as well?c

No – the circuit breaker lockdown will apply in the same way across Wales.

Staying at home

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. We encourage this to be done locally.
  • to access childcare and education
  • to access medical services or other 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 wedding, civil partnership or funeral if you are invited
  • to attend court or meet other legal obligations
  • 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 “bubble” with.

What if I do not have a home, or I am in unsuitable accommodation?

Your local authority should help find you suitable emergency accommodation and support if you do not have a home or are in unsuitable accommodation, they have funding to support this.

If you are in need of support then you should contact the housing options team in your local area, their contact details will be located on your local authority’s website.

The Welsh Government also funds Shelter Cymru to provide independent housing advice and support. Further information, advice and support can be found on the Shelter Cymru website.

Will shielding be reinstated?

It is not necessary for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to adopt strict shielding measures during this period. The regulations in place themselves act to reduce the circulation of the virus and by sticking strictly to the rules, people who are vulnerable will reduce their risk of exposure. Further reductions in risk can be achieved by:

  • Keeping contacts outside the household to a minimum and avoiding all situations either inside or outside where a a physical distance of 2m from those outside your household cannot be maintained,
  • Shopping at quieter times of day and going once per week rather than every day, if you cannot do this online
  • Washing hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water and using hand sanitiser where hand washing facilities are not available,
  • Wearing a face covering when required, and
  • Avoiding touching surfaces that have been touched by others.

Seeing other people

Can I meet up with another household?

For most households the answer will be no, you must not meet up with anyone you do not live with, except in very limited circumstances such as providing or receiving care (see answer below on caring responsibilities).

If you are an adult living alone or are a single parent household, you can form a temporary extended household with one other household. This will allow you to spend time with the people in that household as if you lived with them.

Can friends or family from another household come into my home?

No – see answer above.

Are the rules on who I can meet different indoors and outdoors?

No. The purpose of this short lockdown is to reduce all physical contact between households to an absolute minimum, so as to do as much as we can to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Can I form an extended household (or bubble)?

No, you cannot form an extended household. The only exception to this is if you are an adult living alone or are a single parent household, you can be in a temporary extended household with one other household.

Are the rules different if I live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or supported living?

No. If you are a single adult or a single parent household within that shared home (a House in Multiple Occupation or HMO) the same rules apply; you can be in a temporary extended household with one other household from outside of your shared home. This also applies to students living in HMOs and to people in supported living arrangements where people have individual tenancies.

If you share facilities such as bathrooms or kitchens you should be aware of the increased risks and take appropriate precautions to minimise that risk – see PHW guidance for further information.

I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can I still see them?

Where parental responsibility is shared, existing arrangements can continue and the child can move between both parents, and therefore between both parents’ households.

I have caring responsibilities for somebody I do not live with – can I visit them?

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. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

When considering whether there is a need to visit someone outside your household, especially indoors, you should remember we all have a responsibility to recognise the risks the virus presents to ourselves, our families and friends and our wider communities.

People need to make judgements for themselves about what is reasonable, in line with that overarching principle. Keep in mind that the purpose of the restrictions is to prevent the spreading of the virus, including to those we care about.

What do you mean by compassionate grounds?

You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone where that person is struggling with restrictions on meeting others generally or they may be suffering from a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.

Other examples of things that may be permitted, include visits to people living or staying in supported accommodation, in children’s homes or hospitals or care homes, where these are permitted. In each case, the service provider needs to put in place appropriate social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling.

I rely on my wider family and friends to provide childcare while I am in work. Can they still do this for me?

Yes, but this form of childcare should only be used when no other methods are available. Children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill.

Exercise and outdoor activity

Can I leave home to exercise?

Yes. Exercise is important for physical and mental health, and you can leave home as often as you like to exercise as long as you do so from home and alone or with members of your household (and/or a carer).

What kind of exercise is permitted?

There are no legal limits on this, but in practice this is constrained by other restrictions that have been imposed such as the closure of leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools. As one of the purposes of the restrictions is to reduce pressure on the Welsh NHS, we also ask people to avoid activities that involve a significant degree of risk (for example swimming or other exercise at sea, or in lakes, rivers or other waterways).

Are there any limits on how far I can run or cycle for exercise?

There are no limits on the distance you can travel during exercise, though the nearer you stay to your home, the better. Your exercise should start and finish from your home and you should exercise alone or with a member of your household.

Does taking a walk count as exercise?

Absolutely. All time spent outdoors is beneficial, as long as people avoid interacting with people they do not live with.

Can I exercise by going fishing or horse riding?

This is not specifically prohibited. However, you should not be driving to get to somewhere to exercise, and the need to carry sports equipment isn’t regarded as a justification on its own for driving in these circumstances. This will mean in practice most people cannot do these things for the short period of the lockdown.

All exercise must be undertaken alone or with members of your household.

Can I play tennis or golf?

Golf and tennis clubs will be required to close during the period of the lockdown.

Will parks be open?

Yes, parks are allowed to remain open for outdoor exercise. You can attend parks with members of your household but you must not arrange to meet with other households.

Will children’s playgrounds be open?

Yes. The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant and keeping parks and playgrounds open supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.

However, risk cannot be eliminated, and parents and guardians are encouraged to ensure playgrounds do not get too busy, and take responsibility for social distancing, especially for adults and children over 11. .In particular, you must not arrange to meet with other households at playgrounds and should not socialise there.

We also encourage frequent handwashing or sanitisation, not eating or drinking in parks, wiping down equipment with your own wipes, and maintaining low numbers within parks and on equipment by taking turns or using parks at less busy times.

Can I drive somewhere to exercise?

Exercise should be undertaken locally – from home or as close as possible to the home.  In general this should not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose.  No journeys of any significant distance should be taken, for example, just in order to exercise in the countryside or at beauty spots.

People with specific health or mobility issues may, however, need to travel from their home in order to be able to exercise.  For example, some wheelchair users may not be able to start to exercise immediately outside their homes for practical access reasons, and may need to drive to a suitable flat location, such as a park, for this purpose.  In these circumstances the journey should be to the nearest convenient accessible location and no long journeys should be undertaken unless absolutely necessary.

The need to carry sports equipment isn’t regarded as a justification on its own for driving in these circumstances.

Can I do other things while out for exercise?

Yes, as long as they are also permitted, and do not involve gathering with people from other households outside a permitted “bubble”. Combining exercise with walking a dog or going to a shop to buy food, for example, is considered to be reasonable.

Leaving your home to exercise should not be used as an excuse to undertake other activity which is not permitted. The purpose of leaving home is to exercise. Going for a walk and then having a picnic or spending a prolonged period on a park bench, for example, is not considered to be exercise and is not intended to be a reasonable excuse.

Will professional or elite sports be allowed?

Sportspeople who work and earn a living through sport are allowed to continue working, and like everyone else they can leave home to do so if they cannot work from home. However, the elite programme, overseen by Sport Wales, will be suspended during this circuit breaker period.

Will professional sports fixtures, such as the rugby union autumn internationals or the EFL Championship matches, be allowed to continue during this period?

Yes, fixtures involving professional sportspeople are allowed to continue behind closed doors. All participants, such as players, officials, coaches, and broadcasters, are there in a working capacity.

Work

What are the rules about working from home?

You must work from home if you can.

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 remains 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.

Can I carry out building, repair or maintenance work in someone’s home?

Work carried out inside other people’s homes can only take place if it is urgent or to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing or carry out an adaptation to allow that household to remain in their property, or the property is vacant.  Work should not be carried out at someone else’s house if the worker or any member of the household is self-isolating or showing COVID-19 symptoms, however mild.

Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information.

If attendance is unavoidable (because of an urgent or emergency situation), additional precautions should be taken to keep workers and householders completely separate from each other.  In these cases, Public Health Wales can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

I have already started building, repair or maintenance work in someone’s home, can I complete that work?

Not unless the work is urgent or it would be unsafe to leave the work incomplete.  You are able to attend the household to ensure that environment is safe for the householders, collect any of your belongings, for example tools.  You should make arrangements to do this as soon as possible and ensure that you spend the least amount of time at the household.

Can I deliver housing-related support in emergency accommodation, supported accommodation or in someone’s home?

Homelessness, housing and support services can be delivered face-to-face but support providers should ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading. Service providers should also consider whether the support can be delivered by telephone or video calls during this period.

Can I do voluntary work?

Yes, although you must do so from home if reasonably practicable. If you are looking for more local volunteering opportunities you can contact your local County Voluntary Council (CVC).

You can also go out to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them. But it is important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk.

Does my business have to closed under the new restrictions?

We will shortly publish a full list of businesses that are required to close temporarily.

We recognise the enormous efforts businesses have made to become safe places. This closure requirement is not a reflection on those efforts and many business environments make a low or moderate contribution only to the risk of transmitting the virus. But at this stage, minimising any contribution to the spread of the virus is important, which is why we are requiring certain businesses to close temporarily.

I run a business that has been closed due to the new restrictions. Is there any support available?

Yes – please see our pages on financial support for businesses.

I live in England but work in Wales, can I still travel?

Anyone who is in Wales, whether resident or travelling here, is bound by these rules. However, travelling to a workplace in Wales is a reasonable excuse to leave home. Similarly, people living in Wales can travel to England for work purposes where this is necessary and they cannot work from home.

Education and childcare

Will primary schools remain open?

Yes, primary schools will remain open other than during usual half term holidays.  The Welsh Government has said throughout that ensuring children can continue to be taught in school is a priority, and schools are also a safe environment.

Will secondary schools remain open?

Secondary schools will re-open after the half-term for children in years seven and eight. Pupils will be able to come in to take exams but other pupils will continue their learning from home for an extra week.

What will happen in universities?

Universities can continue to provide a combination of in person teaching and blended learning.

While incidents of Covid-19 have risen in the student population, evidence shows this is taking place outside the teaching and learning environment. Universities are operating Covid-secure campuses and adhering to strict social distancing. Coronavirus cases amongst staff remain low.

It is also much safer for students to remain on campus than to travel home.

Are university students who live away from home expected to return home?

We are asking all students living in Wales, and all our Welsh students living outside Wales, to help us keep Wales safe by not travelling between university and home.

You should only move between your term time address and your home address if absolutely necessary, for example for work, to provide or receive care or because of concerns about your wellbeing. You should not return home for a ‘visit’ during this period. You should not travel home if you have been asked to self-isolate or have Covid-19 symptoms.

Are childcare providers still allowed to operate?

Yes. Children can continue to access their usual childcare provider, and you can travel to provide, access or receive childcare.

All childcare providers, including Flying Start childcare, can remain open and offer their normal services, including provision through the half term holidays.  This includes childcare providers operating from community centers, places of worship and school sites. Nannies can also continue to provide childcare.

Can family or friends provide informal childcare?

Yes, but this form of childcare should only be used when no other methods are available. Children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill.  Adults dropping off children for childcare should not enter someone else’s home.

Are clubs for children allowed to run?

No.  With the exception of very limited exceptions, mixing between households is not permitted during this period (childcare and play running over the school holidays is an exception). This includes all indoor and outdoor gatherings, including these sorts of activities. It reflects that people should not be exercising with people they do not live with.

Will libraries be open?

No, libraries will be closed during the period of the lockdown.

Health and social care

Can I still access health services?

You can leave your home to access local health services, but you should phone beforehand. Please follow any guidance your local surgery or health service has put in place to protect you and staff, including the need to keep 2m away from other patients waiting to see a GP or nurse.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus do not visit your GP, hospital or pharmacy. For more information please use the  NHS Wales symptom checker.

Can I visit someone in hospital?

You are advised to contact the health board or trust for local information prior to visiting

Can I visit someone in a care home?

Local authorities in Wales are responsible for determining the approach to care home visits in areas where there are local restrictions. Likewise individual providers will need to ensure they are able to support visits safely. We are asking both local authorities and care home providers to ensure that appropriate and sensitive arrangements are made to support indoor visits in exceptional circumstances such as end of life visits. This should be discussed and agreed with the individual care home in advance prior to travel.

Can I visit someone in supported living?

If you are a single household in supported living you are entitled to extend your household to include one other household.

It is important decisions related to people in supported living are taken collaboratively involving the people living there, their families, the providers of care and support and the commissioners of services.

Can I still see my support worker?

Yes, you can still see your support worker. However, support services should assess whether support can be delivered through phone or video. If support is delivered face-to-face then the support provider should ensure that it is done in a safe manner, with social distancing and provision of PPE if necessary.

Shopping and personal services

What shops are open?

All leisure and non-essential retail will be closed. This includes clothes shops, furniture shops and car dealerships among many others. A full list of types of business required to close will be available in our guidance on business closures.

Shops allowed to remain open include supermarkets and other food retailers, pharmacies, banks and post offices. However, wherever possible people should avoid unnecessary visits to these, and use alternative approaches such as online services and deliveries.

How far can I travel to shop for essentials?

Please stay local to your home whenever possible. There are no set rules on this, but people are advised to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid crowded spaces wherever possible, particularly indoors. Alternative approaches such as online services and deliveries should be used wherever possible.

Am I allowed to use “click and collect” services?

Where shops are allowed to open, they are also allowed to provide a click and collect service. These should be provided in a Covid secure way. You should not travel long distances to access click and collect services.

Can I go shopping with my friends?

No. Meeting with people from outside your household for shopping is not allowed.

Can hairdressers and beauty salons stay open?

No. All close contact services including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, and sports and massage therapists are required to close.

Will refuse and recycling centres be open?

No, these will not be open during the lockdown period.

Travelling and transport

Are there travel restrictions in place in Wales?

Yes. Travel is limited to essential travel only, for example, for caring responsibilities or for work purposes where people cannot work from home.

Can I go on holiday in Wales or the rest of the UK?

No. Travelling into Wales for a holiday is not one of the permitted reasons under the Regulations.

If you have pre-booked – and paid for a holiday – we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss the current situation in Wales and the restrictions which have been put in place by the Welsh Government to restrict non-essential travel. You should also contact your travel insurer to discuss the situation – while many insurers have designed policies with coronavirus exclusion clauses, some annual policies may cover this situation.

Can I go on holiday abroad?

No. Travel abroad is only permitted for people with a reasonable excuse.

We know this will be disappointing but travelling out of Wales for a holiday is not one of the permitted reasons under the Regulations. The Regulations are in place to protect you and your loved ones from coronavirus and to prevent the onward spread of the virus to other areas of Wales, the UK and other countries.

If you have pre-booked – and paid for a holiday – we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss the current situation in Wales and the restrictions which have been put in place by the Welsh Government to restrict non-essential travel. You should also contact your travel insurer to discuss the situation – while many insurers have designed policies with coronavirus exclusion clauses, some annual policies may cover this situation.

Can I collect someone from the airport if they are travelling to Wales to stay with me?

Yes, if the only alternative would be for them to use public transport or a taxi. Please follow our guidance on travelling safely.

Are hotels allowed to open in Wales?

No. Hotels are required to be closed.

However, a hotel which is closed can still provide specific services at the request of the Welsh Government or a Local Authority. Such services would primarily be for the provision of emergency accommodation for people who are homeless or key workers provided under contract to the Local Authority or a Health body. Measures must be in place to protect people from coronavirus.

Will public transport still be operating?

Services will continue, particularly during peak times. However, bus and rail timetables will be reduced and potentially subject to late cancellations. Please check the latest service information before you travel.

I do not live in Wales – can I transit through Wales, for example to use the airport or to pass between England and Ireland?

Yes, this is permitted, but you should keep all necessary stops within Wales to a minimum, and minimise all contact with people as much as possible.

Can taxis still operate?

Yes, taxis can still operate where measures are in place to mitigate the risks which are involved when sharing a vehicle. However, all journeys must be for one of the very limited purposes allowed under the lockdown rules.

Can I still have repair and maintenance work done on my vehicle?

Yes, if this is necessary and cannot reasonably be deferred until after the lockdown period. Routine services should be deferred.

My MOT is due during this lockdown period – do I still have to get it done?

Yes, you will still need a valid MOT certificate if you need to use your vehicle for essential travel. If your MOT is not due during this lockdown period but you have an appointment booked, please consider deferring.

Can I car share or give someone a lift?

Please avoid sharing a car with another person outside your household. You can follow this guidance on travelling safely.

Can I have driving lessons?

No – during the short period of this lockdown, driving lessons should not take place.

I have a driving test booked during this period – can it go ahead?

No – you should rearrange your test for 9 November or later. There is currently no charge for rearranging your test with DVSA.

Moving home

Can I move home?

Yes, if you can’t delay the moving date until after the short lockdown period is over.

Associated activities, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys and valuations can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.

Can home viewings take place?

No. Property viewings cannot take place during the circuit breaker period and high street estate agencies are required to close. Virtual viewings can continue.

Can a mortgage survey be done at my property?

Surveyors should not enter occupied properties during the lockdown period. Vacant properties can be entered and street level surveys can take place.

Can I travel to and from my second home during the lockdown?

No. Travel in Wales without a reasonable excuse during the circuit breaker lockdown period is an offence. Travelling into, out of or within Wales to visit, check/inspect or stay in a second home is not a reasonable excuse.

Are refuges still open?

These should remain open and continue accepting referrals.  Guidance on making these safe can be accessed here.

Places of worship, marriages and civil partnerships, cemeteries and funerals

What are the rules for religious services?

Places of worship will not be open to the public, other than for wedding or civil partnership ceremonies or funerals, where people can attend at the invitation of the organiser. Please see the guidance on funerals for more information.

Ministers may access the place of worship to broadcast (without a congregation) an act of worship or funeral, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast.

Are all potential wedding or civil partnership ceremony venues now allowed to open?

Places of worship and Register Offices are able to remain open for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. This is subject to the need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of spreading the virus on the premises.

Other ‘approved premises’ are required to close alongside other businesses in the hospitality sector.

Wedding or civil partnership ‘receptions’ are not permitted, and in practice many venues will be required to close for the duration of this short lockdown.

Are there limits to the number of people who can attend ceremonies?

The number who will be able to attend a ceremony indoors will be limited by the capacity of the venue where it is being held, once physical distancing measures have been taken into account

To ensure that the maximum number that can attend is observed attendance must be by invitation only. Please see the relevant guidance on weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.

What are the rules on holding receptions?

Wedding and civil partnership receptions are not allowed.

A close family member has died and I need to organise the funeral – what do I do?

Funerals can be a distressing experience, and the impact of coronavirus is making it even more difficult to make practical arrangements. Guidance on funerals has been issued.

Can I go to a funeral?

Yes, but you must be invited. Numbers are constrained by the need to put physical distancing measures in place.

Can I hold a wake or another form of gathering following a funeral?

No – for the duration of the lockdown period, these gatherings are not allowed.

Can I go to a cemetery to visit a family member’s grave?

Yes. But you should ensure that you follow physical distancing practices when doing so.

Animal health and welfare

Are vets still able to work?

Yes, but you should only seek treatment for your animals if it is urgent and cannot be deferred until after 9 November.

Can I travel to tend to my animals for welfare reasons?

You should try to put in place alternative arrangements that do not involve travel if possible. Please visit our guidance for livestock and equine owners.

Enforcement and fines

Who enforces the restrictions?

The restrictions are being enforced by local authority environmental health officers and the police.

What can enforcement officers do?

They can issue fixed penalty notices or recommend prosecution in a magistrates’ court. In addition, they have wide-ranging powers to take practical steps to disperse gatherings, require people to go home and enter property.

What if reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus aren’t taken on premises or in the workplace?

Local authority enforcement officers are now able to issue a “premises improvement notice”.  This requires the person responsible for the premises to take specified measures, and if those measures are not taken an officer may issue a “premises closure notice” requiring the premises to close. Where necessary, an officer may also issue a premises closure notice without having previously issued a premises improvement notice.

So if people don’t comply premises can be closed down.

What will the police do?

The police in Wales will engage with people, explain what they need to do and encourage them to comply. But our police forces have been given powers and they will use them – the restrictions will be enforced if people don’t respond.

What are the financial penalties?

The coronavirus regulations include provisions for a fixed penalty notice to be issued for most types of breaches of the regulations, carrying a fine of £60; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to a maximum of £1,920. If prosecuted, however, a court can impose any fine (it is not limited).

Organising an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people is a separate criminal offence. These are events that are not licensed or otherwise authorised under the Licensing Act 2003. A breach of this prohibition will be an offence punishable by conviction and an unlimited fine or, as an alternative to conviction, by a fixed penalty set at £10,000.

The unlimited fine or significant fixed penalty for organisers of these illegal events reflects the potentially serious public health consequences at this time.

We hope people understand the severity of the situation we are facing and will comply with the regulations, without having to be issued penalties.



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