Coronavirus regulations in Wales – what we can and can’t do

New rules are now in force in Wales, which may differ to other parts of the UK, so it is important that we understand them.

You can:

  • Go out for exercise.

The summary of the position on going out to exercise in Wales during the coronavirus lockdown is as follows:

  • going out to exercise is a valid reason to leave home and is encouraged;
  • Exercise outside the home is allowed and the number of times anybody goes out to exercise is not limited;
  • exercise can be combined with other – incidental – activity that is beneficial to people’s health and well-being; Going for a walk and also stopping to have something to eat or sit in a park, for example, is intended to be permitted. Most of the time away from home should, however, be spent exercising;
  • exercise should be local, involve minimal risk and be done in accordance with advice on social distancing;
  • travelling by vehicle to exercise should be avoided unless there is a good reason for doing so.
  • Cycling is a very effective form of exercise, and is also a healthy and environmentally friendly way of going to work. Cycling is generally a low-risk activity but with emergency services under pressure, it is important to take steps to manage risk wherever possible. An accident or a breakdown far from home would place additional strain on health services or require a further journey to be made by someone else to provide assistance.
  • People are expected to only cycle on routes they know well, and that are well within their ability level. Cyclists on shared paths should be considerate of walkers, runners and other people cycling: they should stay two metres from others, slow their pace and stop to let people pass as appropriate.
  • Cycling to work, or for work, is also considered to be a reasonable excuse to be outside (so long as going to work, or doing the work, is itself justifiable).
  • Please see the exercise guidance for more information: https://gov.wales/leaving-home-exercise-guidance

You can also:

  • Travel to work, provided your place of work remains open and you cannot work from home.
  • Go out to buy food, medicines, or other supplies, but you should stay at least 2m away from other people.
  • Please see guidelines on social distancing https://gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance
  • Go out to your garden, yard, garage or shed.
  • Visit your GP or local health services, including the dentist.
  • Provide care or help to a vulnerable person. This includes getting food and medicines for them.
  • Help the NHS by donating blood.
  • Leave your house to avoid injury or illness or to escape the risk of harm.
  • Leave your house to attend a funeral if you are responsible for organising the funeral, if you are invited by the organiser, or if you are the carer of any person attending the funeral:

You can’t:

  • Gather in a group of more than 2 people in a public place, unless you live with them, or they are your carer.
  • Travel or be outside without a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse includes the examples listed above.

Can I walk with a friend if we stay 2m apart?

This has been one of the most asked questions since the revised lockdown guidelines were published and has maybe caused the most confusion (as the Wales regulations differ on this from the England regulations which state that you can “meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines”).

The answer here in Wales is no, according to this paragraph in the Welsh Government guidelines:

“The purpose of the restrictions imposed by the Regulations is to help contain the spread of coronavirus and to reduce the burden on the Welsh NHS. As a result, the exception that allows people to go out to exercise is subject to the need to do so alone or with other members of the household (or with carers as appropriate), and the requirement not to congregate in public places.

So, for another few weeks, the rules on going out to exercise is still on your own or with other members of your household or a carer.

The Welsh Government is responsible for the public health response to the coronavirus in Wales and has issued its new lockdown guidelines to take measures to prevent or slow the spread of coronavirus, and support NHS Wales.

Stay at home. Save lives. Protect the NHS.

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