Welsh Government to bring in tighter lockdown rules from Saturday

First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government will introduce new rules to tighten the coronavirus lockdown from Saturday onwards.

The new rules will prevent people not only from leaving where they live but from remaining away from where they live, too.

It will mean that people who do 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.

It will mean that people who travel from home to stay at second homes or who travel elsewhere for exercise cannot do so.

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.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will today also announce a new framework and seven key questions to help lead Wales out of the pandemic.

This, he said, will help determine when the right time comes for the stay-at-home restrictions to be eased.

“The restrictions are staying in place, which mean you must stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS,” Mark Drakeford said.

“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;
  • 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.
  • 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)

 

Criteria

The more stringent rules on laving home come after the Welsh Government this week introduced stricter rules on second home owners in Wales who want to claim business grants set up to help companies hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

Opposition parties had called on the Welsh Government to change their guidelines so that owners of second homes do not have access to business support grants of up to £25,000.

There was concern that second home owners who had deliberately converted to business rates to avoid paying higher council taxes were applying for the financial support announced by the government following the development of Covid-19.

The new Welsh Government rules mean that second home owners will need to meet a number of new criteria before being eligible for a grant.

As of 20 April 2020, in relation to self-catering accommodation, properties will not be eligible for grant unless the following criteria are met:

  • The self-catering accommodation can produce two years of trading accounts directly preceding the current financial year of the business
  • The self-catering accommodation must actually have been let for a period of 140 days or more in the financial year 2019-20
  • The self-catering accommodation business must be the primary source of income for the owner (minimum threshold is 50%).

“Local authorities have full discretion to request and examine trading business accounts, booking lists and self-assessment tax returns submitted to HMRC for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 if additional evidence is required to demonstrate that this criteria is met,” the Welsh Government said.

“In cases where local authorities have decided to request additional evidence and the evidence shows that the scheme criteria are not met, local authorities are required to withhold payment of grant.”

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Elizabeth HampsonRhosdduJohn YoungMr Gary J MathewsonAngela Lewis Recent comment authors
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Bill
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Bill

About time !!

Simon Gruffydd
Guest

I’m not fussed either way about the second home issue – but this further tightening of the clampdown on Welsh citizens is nothing sort of psychopathic insanity. The documented peak of the coronavirus crises was 8 April. Hospitals remain largely empty. Scheduled surgeries are still cancelled. Persisting with this lockdown will result in the long term death of far more people than it will save. The evidence to that effect is being compiled and stored. Mark Drakeford and every other AM who remains silent may very well face charges in the future of nothing less than crimes against humanity. “Following… Read more »

Michael Smith
Guest
Michael Smith

Meanwhile people from other countries are arriving to theU.K.by boat and plane with no testing,and free to roam at will.British people will not put up with this nonsense indefinitely..

Dave
Guest
Dave

15,000 ppl a day land at Heathrow and no checks whatsoever

Selina
Guest
Selina

They are screened BEFORE they are allowed on the plane.

Angela Lewis
Guest
Angela Lewis

Don’t think the 60 immigrants that landed in Dover this week would have been screened they should have been taken straight back this country is closed

Mr Gary J Mathewson
Guest
Mr Gary J Mathewson

Well said…

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

The rich, see the Times article on all the private jets landing in UK from Covid hotspots. This disease has shown the gross inequalities in our society. I do not understand these so called tightening, it adds nothing to the maintaining of our security. The hospitals are pretty empty here barr eastern Wales. Lockdown is ensuring this, but i cannot see why we can not jump in the car to go 10 miles up the road to take s walk on the Mynydd Du?

Selina
Guest
Selina

And if your car breaks down or you have an accident that will put you and emergency services in a high risk situation. Stay at home.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Really? Get a grip.

Helen Lewis
Guest
Helen Lewis

Neither do I. There’s an obsession about cars breaking down. This isn’t the 1950s. Incidentally the College of Police guidance says that you can do just that. So go ahead.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

My brother is due to come back from NZ where he has been since beginning of December. The only screening he will get is his temperature being taken before boarding the plane. When he arrives at Heathrow he has been told to use public transport to get home and then he is free to do what he wants. He asked about quarantining himself and was told he doesn’t have to!!!!!

Pamela Moseley
Guest
Pamela Moseley

Go home to poland automatic 14 days quarantine. Should be the same in U K anybody entering the country should have to quarantine for 14 days

John England
Guest
John England

So you are happy for restrictions on second home owners but not on yourselves?

Revb
Guest
Revb

I wonder how many AMs have second homes and bend the rules to justify?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

The lockdown will have the benefit of preventing more second home owners from bringing the virus into this country, and those making a dash for Wales are rightly being sent home, but the rules should also be adhered to by Welsh people. The problems will start for rural communities when the lockdown is eased, and the rush to get out of English cities starts again before a vaccine is available.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Absolutely agree. These restrictions are not called for medically, the latest estimates are as low as. 001% of people with covid will die. Many are dying as a direct result of the restrictions, and to ignore these deaths shows an irresponsible failure of management.

Helen Lewis
Guest
Helen Lewis

I live in the country so have access to nature all the time, but I have just met a woman who had driven to my area, absolutely desperate for a break from caring for autistic children. She felt she had to leave a note on her car explaining that she lives in Gwynedd and asking for forgiveness! I am appalled by the action of the Welsh government. This has nothing to do with keeping citizens safe: that can be achieved by insisting on the 2m physical distancing at all times. A public health issue has become a public order issue,… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

NHS will be overwhelmed with people suffering from all kinds of mental health issues because every basic fundamental rights to see your loved ones and the freedom to go out have been stripped away. My business and my life are on hold as all of us are forced into this tyranny.

Callum Jones
Member
Callum Jones

You couldnt be more right!! I havent seen my gf or family for 5 weeks and im going insane

Peter Lewis
Guest
Peter Lewis

As I understand it, if you use your car to go shopping then you have to return home before you take your exercise period. I don’t see the logic of this. Its also been announced that certain people can exercise more than once a day, this applies to those with autism. We have a difficult 16 yr old with ADHD and autism, he hasn’t been out since the day school broke up, we’re not allowed to drive for exercise, we’re advised to use thr parks, sadly in Neath, the council have chosen to keep parks closed. There is no consistency… Read more »

Rhisiart
Guest
Rhisiart

da gweld Llywodraeth Cymru’n gweithredu, ac yn enwedig yn cau’r bwlch a adawai i berchnogion tai haf gael cymorth arbennig

Tanya Friswell
Guest
Tanya Friswell

This is also excluding owners of self catering accommodation who are trading legitimately, and transparently – complying with all rules and regulations, and regularly updating their Local Authorities with any required evidence. Many individuals who own a holiday let have other jobs to make ends meet – a single holiday let does not provide a great income, and has a lot of overheads. Very few in this position will be making less than 50% of their income via their holiday let business. Their businesses have been forcibly shut down, but their outgoings continue regardless.

Tanya Friswell
Guest
Tanya Friswell

Typo – many people will not be making MORE than 50%

Derek
Guest
Derek

Should be fined £5 per mile distance from registered address outside Wales and £2-50 withing County. There are people who have relatives staying who traveled up from London and there’s many more hiding in big houses

Helen Lewis
Guest
Helen Lewis

So why don’t you report them rather than just twitching your curtains?

Mawkernewek
Guest

In Wales, is the 2m physical distancing expected for all employers? There seems to be a whole load of exceptions for the England regulations here: Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): sector guidance There are a load of get-out clauses saying “Where it is not possible to follow the social distancing guidelines in full in relation to a particular activity,…” and the document is titled as “guidance” and “advice” rather than stating the requirements as something legally binding. I hadn’t realised that the “once per day” exercise was only actually part of the legislation in England, not in… Read more »

Mawkernewek
Guest

sorry typo, actually the “once per day” requirement was in the legislation in Wales but not in England.
There is more guidance here, https://gov.wales/leaving-home-exercise-guidance and some more in the workplace https://gov.wales/taking-all-reasonable-measures-maintain-physical-distancing-workplace which suggests the 2m distancing isn’t actually always necessary, if it isn’t “reasonable” for the employer to make it happen.
It does seem at a non-expert reading that the exceptions allowed in the Welsh guidance are narrower than the the England ones.

Gemma Griffiths
Guest
Gemma Griffiths

There needs to be a better way of sifting out the second home owners from genuine furnished holiday let businesses. I completely agree with the first 2 criteria and any let should be able to provide this but many of us have several jobs of equal standing including holiday lets – we have to diversify to pay the bills – ours forms a very valuable 30% of our income (from 1st of May this year it was to be 100%) and we are not eligible even though it will force the let to close permanently. We ran a guest survey… Read more »

Tanya Friswell
Guest
Tanya Friswell

Gemma, well said. I am in the same position as you, income from my holiday let is less than 50% of my overall income, and I find myself unable to claim a penny. I have written to Ben Lake, and suggest you do the same, many people have contacted me about this, and I’m advising everyone to put pen to paper. In unity is strength. I have copied my letter to BBC, Cambrian News, Mark Drakeford, Elin Jones, Eifion Evans- Chief Exec CCC, Lord Ellis-Thomas, Simon Hart and Ken Skates. I am not accepting this injustice without a fight.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Those who award the grant must be pretty thick if they cannot see that yours is a genuine let and not a colonial’s retreat, especially if you are local to the area. They need to use some discretion.

Dave Bevan
Guest
Dave Bevan

There are 15000 ppl entering the uk each day through Heathrow they are requested to Isolate requested means asked too not told to, Why are there so many ppl arriving into Heathrow without any checks on them whatsoever 55 aircraft landed at Heathrow last Monday before 1-30 pm If you sit on a park bench for 2 mins too long your given a fixed penalty This is Lucency Pathetic Behavior from. UK GOVERMENT who needs to get the border shut and stop these ppl coming in infecting us

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Agree it’s crazy, this gvt has got it wrong every bloomin week! They are no better than Trump, they will be telling us to drink Detolaide next

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Brit gvt

Brett
Guest
Brett

Just another over reaction, by a irrelevant government this needs to go to a judicial review as I’m sure this is illegal,. Should start a petition to cut their salaries by 20% if they don’t attend the assembly. That would focus their attention on reopening the country. At the moment they have no incentive to get Wales working again.

Alun
Guest
Alun

The people of Wales are being treated as fools and will not put up with further tightening of the lockdown rules whilst the Welsh assembly government are continuously letting down its people with broken promises and unachieved goals. They need to concentrate on issues like setting up a test centre in West Wales again (closed the first within days of setting up) stopping the second homes being occupied and people from cities turning up in Wales possibly bringing the virus with them not punishing local residents. Also ludicrous is the fact that 15000 people arrive at uk airports on a… Read more »

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

If ever thete was an irrelevance, as this crisis has shown it is the Westminster gvt. We are all carrying on getting things done and running our communities without them.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

You were on the right lines until your final sentence. Devolution needs strengthening in order to make the Senedd an effective parliament. Welsh Labour’s past and present failures do not make the Senedd a white elephant.

John Young
Guest
John Young

Correct Rhosddu.

Welsh Labour have made so many mistakes. But people only focus on the mistakes and not on the good things they’ve done. Believe it or not this does happen.

In a TV news report last week they talked about the companies that had contacted both governments offering their services to provide PPE. The companies spoken to had received no response from Westminster whereas the ones who had contacted the WAG were full of praise for the very quick response.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Yes, John, their handling of the Covid-19 crisis cannot be judged a failure, since Westminster has corked Cardiff Bay’s juices on more than one occasion. Gething has been all pastry and no filling, but Drakeford responded well to the holiday homes outrage and the attempted small-business-rescue-grant scam. Too early to rush to judgment.

Ann
Guest
Ann

Does “not remaining outside” include your garden and allotment. Also does it mean we can`t go out to exercise from home

Helen Lewis
Guest
Helen Lewis

Oh ignore it! It’s bad law- completely unenforceable as well as being vague. Unless you’ve got curtain twitcher neighbours who are going to snitch on you. Exercise where you like and sit on park benches. Let’s have some mass civil disobedience.

Jane
Guest
Jane

Why are restrictions different in England?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Because Cymru is not responsible for what the Westminster government decide to do for England.

Elizabeth Hampson
Guest
Elizabeth Hampson

I live in the village of Moelfre. The residents in the village are being brilliant with regard to self isolating and social distancing. The great majority of 2nd home owners are also staying away for which we thank them. However there are still some rented holiday cottages in the village which are being used by non locals. As 72% of our houses are holiday homes it doesn’t take much imagination to understand how one case of Covid 19 coming into the village would absolutely decimate the regular population here especially as most of us are elderly. How can these holiday… Read more »