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19 October 2020
Since September the Welsh Government has imposed restrictions in a number of local areas to control the spread of coronavirus, as well as introducing some additional all-Wales measures.
On Monday 19 October, the Welsh Government announced that a ‘circuit break’ will be introduced at 6pm on Friday 23 October 2020. The local restrictions outlined in this article will be replaced by the circuit break restrictions.
The interactive map below shows the areas where local coronavirus restrictions are in place. You can hover over an area to see when the measures were introduced and you can zoom in to see exactly where the boundaries are.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.2) (Wales) Regulations 2020, as amended (“the regulations”) underpin the local coronavirus restrictions. The below measures in are in place in each area under local restrictions:
- People cannot leave or enter their local area without a reasonable excuse (such as for work or education);
- People can only meet others outdoors apart from adults living alone, including single parents, who can form a temporary extended household with another household in their local area; and
- People must work from home where it is possible for them to do so.
The regulations require the Welsh Ministers to review the need for these local measures. When an area is first put under local restrictions, a review will be carried out two weeks after they’re introduced and every week after that.
The Welsh Government has published frequently asked questions for each of the local areas under these restrictions.
Wales wide restrictions
The Welsh Government introduced further Wales-wide restrictions from 24 September:
- Hospitality businesses (pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos) have to close at 10pm and can only provide table service; and
- Off licenses, including supermarkets, have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
All people across Wales can meet people up to 30 people outdoors but it should be socially distanced.
It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering on public transport and in certain indoor public places. There are some exemptions to this including for those under the age of 11 or where a person has a physical or mental illness.
Areas not under local restrictions
The following applies across Wales, apart from for those living in areas under local restrictions.
The regulations say that “no person may, without a reasonable excuse, gather indoors with any other person apart from members of their household, their carer or someone they are providing care to”. A reasonable excuse includes for work or to access childcare or education.
The regulations provide for the creation of an extended household where up to four households can join together. The Welsh Government says that extended households can include households outside of Wales. However, gatherings indoors within an extended household is limited to six people (but this doesn’t include children under 11).
The regulations require the Welsh Ministers are required to review the all-Wales measures every three weeks.
Coronavirus control plan
In August the Welsh Government published its coronavirus control plan which has the objective of providing a “swift and local response” to new cases “to put us in the best position to avoid returning to a national lockdown”.
The document highlights the following indicators which inform the Welsh Government of the state of coronavirus across Wales:
- New confirmed cases;
- Seven-day rolling average of confirmed cases per 100,000 of the population and rate of change;
- Seven-day rolling average for the percentage of positive tests and the testing rate per 100,000 of the population;
- Numbers and locations of incidents and trends in areas, locations or settings; and
- Hospital admissions, intensive care unit admission, deaths and the R number.
In September the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Cell (TAC) said that the triggers to determine whether to impose local restrictions are broadly:
- Between 15 and 20 cases per 100,000 of the population would put the local area on a watch list;
- 25 cases per 100,000 of the population would cause consideration on whether restrictions are needed; and
- 50 cases per 100,000 of the population would be a strong case for immediate restrictions.
The plan sets out a “hierarchy of escalation” which is briefly outlined below:
- The Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) teams at a local and regional level may identify complex cases or clusters of new cases which will be referred to local teams for investigation. They will also be reported to the Welsh Ministers along with the mitigating actions being taken;
- If there is a concern about onward transmission from a complex case or a cluster, an Incident Management Team (IMT) may be established. Actions will be taken to prevent future transmission but if there are still concerns that these actions are not effective then an outbreak may be declared and an Outbreak Control Team will be set up;
- If the incident and outbreak actions are not thought to be sufficient, local or regional measures can be introduced by the Welsh Ministers; and
- Where local or regional measures aren’t effective at controlling the virus, all-Wales measures can be brought in.
Further up to date information can be found on the Welsh Government’s webpages for coronavirus.
Public Health Wales (PHW) publishes the number of new cases daily and updates its dashboard which shows the breakdown of cases in each local authority area and cases per 100,000 of the population. A summary of the PHW data can be found in our blog post: ‘Coronavirus: Statistics’.