LOCKDOWN restrictions across the border have been drastically lifted today (July 19), and the Covid rules in England and Wales have never been more different.

While the Welsh Government remain committed to their cautious approach to returning the nation to normal, England has continued with its 'Freedom Day' plans, despite covid cases continuing to rise once again.

As of midnight on July 19, the UK Government’s latest measures came into effect, with changes to social distancing, face coverings, and the types of business which can currently open to the public.

For many, especially those close to the border between England and Wales, it has caused a little bit of confusion.

While the rules were largely similar up until recently, things could hardly be more different at this time.

To make the adjustment as easy as possible, here at the Argus, we’ve taken a look at the new rules in England, to see if you are currently allowed to do them in Wales.

Social distancing

In England, people do not have to stay two metres apart any longer.

This is not the case in Wales, where social distancing remains in place.

Another major change across the border lifted the number of people who are allowed to meet up, either indoors or outdoors.

Here, up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation, and there is no limit on the number of people that can meet outdoors.

However, this is set to change from August 7 – where, if conditions allow, Wales will follow England in allowing as many people to meet up indoors as desired.

Working from Home

As of today, employees in England are no longer being instructed to work from home if they can.

Latest government documents suggest that they are expecting to see a gradual return to office working over the coming weeks.

This could not be more different to Wales.

Here, the current guidance is to work from home if possible, and it has been confirmed that this will continue beyond August 7.

Face coverings

Perhaps the most controversial change announced by Boris Johnson’s government relates to face coverings.

In England, these are no longer mandatory in indoor settings.

The guidance says that they are still encouraged within crowded settings such as public transport – but employees in such places no longer have the strength of the law if they encounter any trouble enforcing this.

There are no current plans in place to remove the need for face masks in most indoor settings in Wales.

The only exception is the hospitality sector.

Here, masks will no longer be required from August 7.

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Nightclubs and nightlife

At this time, those in England can visit nightclubs, while here in Wales, they remain closed.

But, that appears to be changing in just a matter of weeks.

From August 7, all businesses, including nightclubs, can open in Wales too.


Travel is a little more complicated, as it also relies on the rules in other nations – when it comes to overseas travel.

In a domestic setting, while face coverings are not required on public transport in England, they are mandatory in Wales.

This leads to awkward situations when passengers will have to put on, or take off a mask when crossing the border – depending on which direction they are travelling in.

For overseas travel, it is well worth planning ahead – as some countries are on the red list, and travel is not recommended unless it is essential.

Travel to red list countries can also have insurance implications, along with the need to quarantine on return.