Confused over what’s happening with the Covid-19 regulations in Wales? Let’s break it down for you in this easy guide.
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.
Why have the rules changed again?
Since the last lockdown and firebreak, the numbers of people testing positive for Coronavirus are increasing quickly, with a new strain 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.
What are the new rules?
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?
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.