IN RESPONSE to rising numbers of coronavirus cases across Wales, the Welsh Government has introduced new public health rules from today.

Masks and face coverings

It is now the law in Wales to wear a protective mask or face covering in all shops and other indoor public areas.

Here's what the new rule means:

– Where else do I have to wear a mask?

According to the Welsh Government, the list includes:

shopping centres

places of worship e.g. churches

hairdressers and salons



gyms* and leisure centres.

The rule also applies to communal indoor areas in private buildings, such as reception areas of offices.

(* Gyms will be able to decide when their clients must wear a mask)

–​ What if I visit the pub or a cafe?

Customers in cafes, pubs and restaurants do not have to wear a mask if they are eating or drinking – but a mask is required if a customer is using one of these venues for another service, such as ordering a takeaway.

– What about in private areas?

Bosses must enforce mask-wearing in their workplaces if social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

This means people could be asked to wear a mask at work, even if their workplace is not open to the public.


– What about schools?

Mask-wearing is not mandatory in schools, and the decision to require students to wear them is up to local authorities (councils) and would in any case only apply in secondary schools.

– Who has to wear a mask?

Anyone aged 11 or over. But the Welsh Government allows some exemptions. People do not have to wear a mask if they:

are not able to put on a mask because of a disability or illness (physical or mental).

rely on (or are with someone who relies on) lip reading in order to communicate.

are escaping from a threat or danger and don't have a face covering.

– Do I have to wear my mask at all times?

You can remove your mask temporarily to:

take medicine

eat or drink

avoid harm or injury to yourself or others.

Extended households

The general rule still applies that people should only meet indoors with people who are in their 'extended household' – that is, up to four households joined together to form a fixed wider group.

People in an extended household can meet and interact with each other as if they lived in the same home. There is no need to practise social distancing.

But an extended household is inflexible. Once four households have joined together in this way, their members should not form other extended households with other people.

Currently, the extended household rule does not apply in Caerphilly county borough, where the local lockdown means people must not meet indoors with anyone they don't live with.

– What changes today?

Indoor meetings of extended households are limited to six people (not including children aged under 11).