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What Are The Latest Covid-19 Rules in Wales?

Confused over what’s happening with the Covid-19 regulations in Wales? We’re going to break it down for you in this easy guide to what you can and can’t do over the next few weeks.

I ddarllen yr erthygl hon yn Gymraeg, clicia yma

There have been a lot of changes to the Covid-19 rules in the last few weeks and days and it can all get pretty confusing. The Government has had to make some serious and quick decisions lately and we’ll try and explain what these changes are and the reasons for them below. They’ve also introduced a new Alert Level system, which we’re going to explain later on, but first… Christmas.

(The following guide includes the current information available to us at time of publication. Things might change quickly as the situation changes quickly.)

Why have the rules changed again?

Since the last lockdown and firebreak, the numbers of people testing positive for Coronavirus is increasing quickly, with a new strain (version) of the virus that they think passes from one person to another more easily. This means that the hospitals are getting full and if things continue then the NHS will struggle to cope with too many patients and not enough beds. The Welsh Government and medical experts say the situation is very serious and something has to be done.

Person holding a row of christmas gingerbread men with a masks for latest Covid-19 rules article

What are the rules over Christmas?

We’ll begin by looking at what you’re allowed to do (and what you should do) over Christmas.

Welsh Government has had to make some quick decisions lately because the number of Covid-19 cases are growing quickly, so we’ve had to go into lockdown sooner than was originally planned, with only a few hours notice given on Saturday 19 December when it was announced that the whole of Wales would go into full lockdown at midnight. The planned five days break in Covid-19 rules over Christmas with three households able to meet up had to be scrapped and now only two households can meet on Christmas Day only, so that’s your household and one other. This is not guidance (advising you to do) – this is law.

Although you are allowed to meet with one other household on Christmas day the advice is to really think about and balance what you want to do, and what you need to do.

What happens after Christmas?

At midnight on Saturday night, 19 December, the alert level in Wales changed from an Alert Level 3 to an Alert Level 4. If you want to understand the difference between the levels then take a look at the chart below.

Moving to Alert Level 4 means that we are back in a full lockdown like we were in March. All non-essential shops and businesses (the ones that don’t sell groceries and medicines) have had to close their doors until the Alert Level changes again. We have to stay at home again and not travel. This lockdown will last 3 weeks to begin with, and before the end of the three weeks the Government will announce what the next steps will be. The Alert Level will only change when the Coronavirus cases come down enough.

– Rule of 4 or 6 – meet 3 or 5 other people (keeping a social distance).
– Extended household – two households joining together to form a single household.
– Support bubble – someone who lives alone (or with children) meeting with people from another household.

Do I have to learn from home again?

Some good news (or maybe bad news for some 😂) is that there are no plans for schools to close at this time. They are doing all they can to make sure that it doesn’t have an impact on your education. Some areas might have a staggered start date, so not everyone will be starting on 4th or 5th of January, but your local authority will decide this. Your school will let you know what’s happening.

The Welsh Government has also said that rapid results tests will be available to schools. This means that classes and years may not have to self isolate for 10 days if someone tests positive. This means it’s less likely that you’ll have to go back to a situation where you have to learn from home.

There may be further changes introduced. Keep an eye on Welsh Governments Facebook page and keep checking the news for the latest information.

Need to talk?

This might all be overwhelming for you, and it’s not weird for you to feel that way. It’s actually very normal. A lot of people all across the country, of all ages, are feeling anxious, confused, depressed and fed up of things as they are now.

It’s really important that you talk about your feelings with someone and not bottle them up. Talk to your family, or friends about it. And if you don’t feel that you can talk to anyone, then Meic is always here for you.

Our trained advisers are here between 8am and midnight every day (even on Christmas Day!) to listen, offer advice and help you find a way through. The helpline is confidential and free to contact. You can call, text or chat online.

You might find some of the advice in our other Covid-19 articles helpful. Check them out here.