UK | COVID-19: New COVID-19 Restrictions in Wales Until 8 November 2020

The Welsh Ministers made The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 3) (Wales) Regulations 2020 in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wales. The Welsh Ministers consider that restrictions and requirements imposed by these Regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve, which is a public health response to that threat. These Regulations come into force at 6.00 p.m. on 23 October 2020 and expire at the end of the day on 8 November 2020.

There are 7 Parts to the Regulations:

Part 1

Provides that these Regulations come into force at 6 p.m. on 23 October 2020 and expire at the end of the day on 8 November 2020.

Part 2

Imposes limits on movement and travel. Regulation 3 requires people living in Wales to stay at home, unless they have a reasonable excuse not to. In addition, in the limited circumstances where people can leave home, there is a restriction in regulation 4 on people gathering with anyone who is not part of their household. The overall effect of these provisions is to restrict movement of people within Wales. Consistent with that, regulation 5 provides that people who live outside Wales need a reasonable excuse to travel into Wales. Regulations 6 and 7 limit the circumstances in which a pupil or student has a reasonable excuse to attend the premises of a school or further education institution. Regulation 9 makes further provision making it an offence (punished by a higher penalty) for organising large scale music events that encourage people to gather illegally.

Part 3

Relates to business and services whose premises are ordinarily open to the public, requiring many to close. Part 1 of Schedule 1 lists those businesses and services whose premises must be closed to the public (though regulation 11 makes clear that this does not prevent certain activities from taking place on the premises). Part 2 of Schedule 1 lists businesses and premises whose premises must be closed but to which access may be allowed on a limited basis. Regulation 15 provides for an exception to the requirement to close which applies to the premises of businesses or services listed in Part 3 of Schedule 1. Regulation 16 makes clear that where more than one type of business or service is provided at the same premises, those prohibited by regulation 11 (and listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1) may not continue.

Part 4

Makes provisions for the purpose of minimising risk of exposure to coronavirus. Regulation 17 applies to “regulated premises” (any place which is open to the public or where work is carried out) and requires: (1) all reasonable measures to be taken to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between persons on the premises; (2) any other reasonable measures to be taken, for example to limit close face to face interaction and maintain hygiene; and (3) information to be provided to those entering or working at premises about how to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus. It also specifies that not carrying out an activity, closing part of a premises, allowing staff to isolate and collecting contact information from those on the premises may be reasonable measures. Regulations 18 and 19 provide that face coverings must be worn on public transport, including taxis, and in certain indoor places, subject to listed exemptions and exceptions. Regulation 20 provides for guidance to be issued about the practical application of the requirements imposed by this Part, and those to whom the requirements apply must have regard to that guidance.

Part 5

Relates to the enforcement of the restrictions and requirements. Regulation 21 makes provision about those who can take enforcement action, regulation 22 makes further provision (in Schedules 2 and 3) about enforcing the need to take preventative measures under regulation 17, regulation 23 relates to compliance notices, and regulation 24 to powers of removal and dispersal. Regulation 25 relates specifically to enforcing the requirement to wear a face covering and regulation 26 to children. Regulation 27 contains a power to enter premises and regulation 28 allows reasonable force to be used in certain circumstances.

Part 6

Makes provision about offences and penalties. Regulation 29 provides that a person who, without a reasonable excuse, contravenes (listed) requirements in these Regulations commits an offence. That offence is punishable by an unlimited fine. Regulation 30 relates to offences by bodies corporate. Regulation 31 allows for offences to be punished by way of fixed penalty notices and regulation 32 relates to prosecutions of offences under the regulations.

Part 7

Contains defined terms (regulation 33) and revokes the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (No.2) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/725 (W. 162)) as they were amended (regulation 34). Regulation 33 also makes provision which modifies the numerous restrictions on individuals in the Regulations which limit interaction with anyone who is not a member of their household. This allows a person who lives alone or only with children to agree to form an extended household with another household, which means that members of both households can interact with each other as if they were members of one household.

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