Revised coronavirus rules for Wales unveiled
Written by Gavin on 23rd April 2020
The stay-at-home regulations have been revised in Wales to continue to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Welsh Government is changing the core requirement for people not to leave the place where they live to a requirement not to leave or remain away from that place.
This will help clarify that people who leave their home with a reasonable excuse – such as going out to shop for food, for healthcare or for work – cannot remain outside to do other things.
There are some new arrangements that allow people with particular health conditions or disabilities to leave home to exercise more than once a day. This will help families with children with learning disabilities and autism in particular.
The changes come as First Minister Mark Drakeford will today [Friday April 24] announce a new framework and seven key questions to help lead Wales out of the pandemic.
This will help determine when the right time comes for the stay-at-home restrictions to be eased.
Announcing today’s changes to the regulations, which follow the first statutory three-week review of the law, the First Minister said:
“The restrictions are staying in place, which mean you must stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.
“Over the last few months, we have taken unprecedented steps to protect everyone, but particularly those most at risk from serious illness. This approach has helped the NHS prepare and cope with coronavirus and it has also helped to save many lives.
“The changes we are introducing supplement the rules already in force but they respond to some challenges being faced in parts of the country and by families throughout Wales.
“Our message has not changed – anyone can get coronavirus, anyone can spread it. So please, stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.”
Other changes, that will come into force at 00:01 on Saturday, include:
- Applying the 2m physical distancing duty on premises used for “click and collect” style services – this duty is already in place for other workplaces, which remain open;
- Widening the definition of vulnerable person to include other specific groups or conditions where people could benefit from assistance and to whom providing supplies is a reasonable excuse for another person to leave home (for example, people with dementia);
- Extending the physical distancing duty to cafés accessible by the public in hospitals, and those responsible for canteens in schools, prisons and for use by the armed forces, to ensure all reasonable measures are put in place.
The Welsh Government has also asked the four police forces in Wales to provide further advice about whether existing provisions intended to prevent people from travelling to second homes in Wales need to be further strengthened.