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Only 15% in Wales ‘fully understand’ Covid-19 rules as nation goes into ‘fire break’ lockdown

23 Oct 2020 3 minute read
Cardiff Queen Street. Photo by Shengpengpeng Cai on Unsplash

Only 15% of people in Wales ‘fully understand’ what the rules around the Covid-19 lockdown are, according to a new study.

The figure, however, is slightly higher than in England where only 13% understand the rules, and is the same number as in Scotland.

62% in Wales said they understood the ‘majority’ of the rules, compared with 66% in Scotland and only 51% in England.

The study’s lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt, associate professor at University College London’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, said the findings were ‘especially worrying’ at the time of the second wave.

“Levels of understanding around what is and isn’t allowed under current lockdown restrictions have dropped markedly since nationwide ‘strict lockdown’ has ended,’ she said.

“This issue may well also be exacerbated by the newly introduced system of tiers in England and the differing policies of the devolved nations.

“As well as this potentially leading to people breaking rules they don’t fully understand, confusing messages or unclear communication could result in people disengaging from trying to keep abreast of restrictions, which could well lead to lower compliance in the long term.

“These developments are especially worrying at a time when the number of cases continues to climb.

“So it is vital that the Government improves communication of lockdown restrictions and ensures they are as simple to understand and follow as possible.”


What are the new rules?

From 6pm on Friday all of Wales will have to adhere to the following lockdown rules:

  • 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 be removed from where you are and sent 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 may have to pay a fine.

A full breakdown of the rules around the Covid-19 ‘fire break’ lockdown can be found on the Welsh Government website.


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