What you need to know
You can access all the up to date information and advice about coronavirus here:
You can spread the virus even if you have no symptoms. People who are ill may have a cough or a high temperature.
If you need any treatment with coronavirus symptoms, you will not have to pay. You do not need to worry, your information will not be shared with the UK Government.
Please contact ‘999’ if you need urgent medical attention.
Public Health Wales has also created a coronavirus help booklet. It is available in many different languages:
‘Doctors of the World’ has provided information in many different languages:
C.A.L.L is a mental health helpline for Wales. It operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It offers a confidential listening and support service during the coronavirus crisis.
If you need to speak to someone, you can call the following free phone number:
0800 132 737 or;
Text ‘Help’ to 81066
For information of any other help available, please visit this website:
Doctors of the World’ has provided information in many different languages:
During the Covid-19 crisis, your local authority should provide accommodation for refused asylum seekers. They should also provide this for anyone who is homeless with 'No recourse to public funds'.
Use the ‘Your Local Area’ page to find out how to contact your local authority to register for accommodation.
Your information should not be shared with the UK Government during the Covid-19 outbreak.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, schools are closed and children are being asked to learn at home. If you do not have access to the technology you need to do this, your local authority should be able to help. Use the 'Your Local Area' page to find out how to contact your local authority to access technology.
Free School Meals
Access to free school meals is likely to be different during the Covid-19 outbreak. Local authorities provide funds to make sure asylum seekers can continue to feed their children. Use the 'Your Local area' page to find out how to contact your local authority to access free school meals.
Some resources are still available for those trying to learn English. These resources are available below:
Headway online www.elt.oup.com Free to access, Entry level 1- Level 2
ESOL Courses (beginners) https://www.esolcourses.com/content/topicsmenu/beginners.html , or https://en.diglin.eu/
During the Covid-19 outbreak, some of the asylum processes have changed or are on hold. Every person’s case will be different. It is important that you do not ignore official letters. Seek individual legal advice from a legal advisor in your area.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, the UK government has a scheme to avoid people losing their jobs.
Vitamin D deficiency
We are currently advising people to stay at home. For most people, this will mean being indoors for most of the day. It could mean that people are not getting enough vitamin D from exposure to sunshine.
Vitamin D helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It also plays an important role in the immune system, which helps our body fight infection.
The risk of vitamin D deficiency is higher among certain groups. This includes pregnant women, babies and young children. People who have darker skin may be deficient too. This is because their bodies are not able to make as much vitamin D.
It is recommended that people in groups above take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
For further information, please visit:
Apply for a test
Before requesting a test you must have symptoms. This could be a new continuous cough. The symptom could be a high temperature. Or the symptom could be the loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you develop one of these symptoms follow the self-isolation guidance.
You can call 119 (between 7am and 11 pm).
To get access to a translation service from 119, you need to select the following options once you have dialled: -
Press 3 to confirm you are calling from Wales.
Press 2 to confirm you would like to speak to an English operator.
You will the hear a recorded message. This explains that you should only book a test if you are experiencing symptoms. Once that has finished you then need to select option 2.
Once connected to an agent, they will contact Language line. You will then have a 3 way conversation with the caller and the agent
People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001119. The service is available to help you book and take a test.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home. The service can also be used if your condition gets worse or if your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.
In a medical emergency, dial 999.
You may be able to choose how to take a test. This could be a drive-through test centre or a mobile testing unit. Tests can also be taken at a local testing unit or at home if you are a critical worker. Tests taken in Wales are either a single dry swab taken from the back of the throat or a throat and nose swab.
When you book your test, you will receive further information on how the result will be given to you. You should receive your test result within 72 hours.
Please visit the below website if you have any questions or need advice when you get your test results. Public Health Wales information for individuals tested for COVID-19 infection.
We need to stop the spread of coronavirus by testing and contact tracing. Contact tracing is a method of controlling the spread of infectious diseases. You may have to answer questions about private matters but this is to protect people’s health.
The NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of our Test Trace Protect programme. The app will notify you if you have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
The app allows you to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, and record where you may have met other people.
The app will help the NHS understand if the virus is spreading in your area. Local authorities can respond to stop it spreading further and save lives.
The app does this while protecting your privacy. The government will not be able to see where you are or what you have been doing.
By downloading and using the app, you can help keep your family and friends safe. The more people who use the app the greater our chances of reducing the spread of the virus.
How the app works
The app uses your smartphone’s “Exposure Logging” feature to check if you have spent time near others who have coronavirus.
Your Bluetooth needs to be turned on. This will not drain your battery as the app uses “Bluetooth Low Energy”.
It will use your postcode district to tell you if your area is at risk. When you download the app you will be asked to share the first 4 letters and digits of your postcode with NHS Wales.
Your personal privacy and data
The app will not hold any personal information about you or track your location. The app uses random unique IDs to detect other app users so that alerts can be sent. Using these random IDs means that your interactions with other app users remain private. All records, such as date, time and how near you are to other users, are stored on your phone only.
What restrictions are in place?
The current restrictions mean that:
people must not enter other people’s homes, except for very limited purposes
people must limit the number of people that they meet socially and they can only do so outdoors
face coverings need to be worn within indoor public spaces that remain open.
people should try and work from home if they can
people should maintain social distancing, including outdoors
people should wash their hands regularly and follow other advice on hygiene
people must self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.
What happens if I don’t follow this guidance?
Most of what is set out in this guidance reflects requirements in the Regulations. This is the law and so may be enforced by the police or local authority enforcement officers. Even when things are permitted, we ask you to think about what is the most sensible thing for you to do.
Where you breach the law, you may be told to go home or removed from where you are and returned home. You could be asked to pay a fixed penalty notice of £60. This will rise to £120 for the second breach and continue to increase for further breaches. For more serious offences, penalties start at £500. Or you could have criminal proceedings brought against you, and if found guilty, you will have to pay a fine.
How long will these measures stay in place?
The national measures are kept under constant review.
Seeing other people at home
Can people from another household come into my home?
People from another household must not come in to your home except for in limited circumstances.
Meeting people from another household socially indoors is not allowed under the rules. This is unless the household is part of your support bubble as it increases the risk of spreading the virus.
Up to six people from up to six households are permitted to meet outdoors. This includes in private gardens and private outdoor spaces. Visitors can go through the house to reach the garden or outdoor space, but must not stay in the house. You should not use kitchen equipment, cutlery or anything else in another household. If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.
There is also an extra penalty for taking part in house parties. There is also a higher penalty for organising such parties.
Please see guidance on seeing other people in private homes for further details.
Can I form an extended household?
No, while the current restrictions are in place, you cannot form an extended household.
Can I form a support bubble?
The following households can form a support bubble:
households with an adult living alone
households with a single responsible adult
households with one or more children under the age of 1 year old
you are 16 or 17 living alone or with others of the same age, with no adult
For more information, please see our guidance on seeing people in private homes.
I am eligible to form a support bubble, are there any limits on who I can form one with?
There are no rules saying your support bubble has to be within any set distance of your home. There are no rules preventing support bubbles being formed with households outside Wales. We understand these may be the right answer for people living close to a border. If you form a support bubble with someone outside Wales you should be aware of the rules in place in that other country.
We recommend that support bubbles are formed locally wherever possible.
Can I change my support bubble?
We recommend people avoid changing support bubbles unless necessary. This is to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus between households.
We recognise that people’s relationships and circumstances may change over time. Those eligible can form a new support bubble if:
both households end their current support bubbles
both households do not mix with any other household for 10 days before forming the new support bubble.
If someone in your previous support bubble develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus up to 48 hours after members of the bubble last met, all members of the bubble must self-isolate. You must not form a new bubble until you have completed your self-isolation.
For more information, please see our guidance on seeing people in private homes.
Are the rules different if I live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or supported living?
No. If you are eligible to form a support bubble and live within a shared building the same rules apply. You can be in a support bubble with one other household from outside of your shared home. Please see the guidance on supported living for more information.
If you share facilities such as bathrooms or kitchens you should be aware of the risks and take precautions to minimise that risk. See Public Health Wales guidance for further information.
What if I do not have a home, or I am in unsuitable accommodation?
Your local authority should help find you suitable emergency accommodation. They should also support you if you do not have a home or are in unsuitable accommodation. They have funding to support this.
If you are in need of support then you should contact the housing options team in your local area. Their contact details will be located on your local authority’s website.
The Welsh Government also funds Shelter Cymru to provide independent housing advice and support. Further information, advice and support can be found on the Shelter Cymru website.
My child does not live with me but there are arrangements in place so we can continue to have contact with each other. Can these arrangements continue?
Yes. Children who do not live in the same household as their parents and have arrangements in place to visit, this can continue. This could include children in foster care, children’s homes and adoptive placements.
Meeting people outside the home
Who can I meet up with outdoors?
Up to six people from up to six households can meet outdoors at any one time. This includes public outdoor spaces.
We ask you to
please try and reduce the number of different people you see. It is better to see the same people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally
You must not meet up with people from outside your support bubble, if you have one, indoors.
Please see guidance on leaving your home and seeing other people for more information.
Are the rules on who I can meet different indoors and outdoors?
Generally, you should not meet with people from any other household if you are indoors. You can meet members of your support bubble in your home or their home.
If you are going to indoor premises, you should go alone or with members of your household only. You are asked, wherever possible, to go to shops such as supermarkets on your own. This enables more people from different households to shop at the same time.
Up to six people from six households are allowed to meet outdoors. This includes private gardens and private outdoor spaces.
Do I always have to meet the same people or can I vary who I meet?
You can vary the people you meet as long as the largest number of people meeting at one time, that do not live together, is six from six households.
If you want to see different people, you should leave time in between meeting different groups of people. This ensures that you have not developed symptoms of coronavirus from anyone in the first group of people you met.
What are the rules for meeting members of my support bubble outdoors?
If you are meeting only with members of your household, the number of six does not apply. The entire household could meet up together outdoors. This includes outdoor areas such as cafes or pubs, even if the number of people in the group is more than six.
If you are meeting only with members of your support bubble outdoors, the number of six does not apply. This is unless you are meeting in outdoor areas. Your support bubble will be counted as a separate household. This counts towards the total number of six people from up to six households that can gather.
If you are meeting other households as well as your support bubble outdoors, you still need to ensure that no more than six people from up to six households are meeting at once.
Can I meet people I don’t live with in my garden?
Yes. Up to six people from up to six households are allowed to meet in private gardens. Visitors can go through the house to reach the garden, but must not stay in the house. You should avoid sharing kitchen equipment, cutlery or anything else in another household. Where items are being passed between households, you should make sure items are washed and you maintain good hand hygiene. If you can, you should also avoid touching things indoors, such as light switches and door handles.
Are picnics with people outside my household or support bubble allowed?
Yes, if you remain outside and six people from up to six households meet at once. You should maintain physical distancing. You should also avoid sharing or using the same items as people outside your household or support bubble. This includes plates, cups and food packages.
Can an unlimited number of children aged under 11 meet outdoors?
Outside of the home, the number of children aged under 11 who can gather is not limited in law. This is limited to children from no more than six households.
Young children are not included in the number. This is because studies have found that young children are less likely to transmit the virus. The virus appears to take a milder course in children than in adults for most cases.
Young children can still transmit the virus. Parents of young children should still exercise their good judgement. Even with children it is safer to meet in smaller numbers. It is also better to meet the same people regularly rather than a range of different people.
Children aged 11 or over are covered by rules in the same way as adults.
Please see guidance on leaving your home and seeing other people for more information.
Are there any circumstances where gatherings of more than six people from up to six households are allowed?
There are some situations in which people may well need to come together in groups of larger than six from up to six households. Examples include accessing education or for work purposes. Gatherings of more than six people from up to six households are also allowed to attend organised outdoor activities.
Vaccination and testing
When will I receive the vaccine?
Health boards in Wales started administering vaccines on 8 December. NHS Wales will vaccinate people in order of clinical risk (on GOV.UK). When you are eligible for the vaccine (on Public Health Wales), you will be invited to a dedicated clinic.
For more information, please see the coronavirus vaccination programme page.
Can I meet up with a group of people if one or all of us have had the coronavirus vaccine or have recently had a negative test for coronavirus?
The rules are the same for people who have had the vaccine or have received a negative test as for everyone else. You must not meet indoors with anyone you do not live with except in limited circumstances. Six people from up to six households can meet outdoors.
Can I meet up with someone if I’ve just been tested and I didn’t have coronavirus?
The rules are the same for you as for everyone else. Even if you do not currently have coronavirus, you are at risk of catching it from other people and then passing it on to others.
Childcare, care and support
Are childcare and play services allowed to operate?
Yes childcare services are still open. Nannies can also continue to provide childcare.
The current Regulations only allow for gatherings in the following circumstances:
providing, receiving or accessing care or help including childcare
participating in outdoor organised activities for children
There is guidance to help childcare settings ensure that their services are safe. This is not expected to change immediately, although we will be keeping it under review. Guidance for operating open access play settings remains in place and will not change.
I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can I still see them?
Where parental responsibility is shared, existing arrangements can continue. The child can move between both parents, and between both parents’ households.
Can family or friends provide informal childcare?
Yes. Unless they have formed a support bubble, this form of childcare should only be used when no other methods are available. Children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill. Adults dropping off children for childcare should not enter someone else’s home if they are not in a support bubble.
I have caring responsibilities for somebody I do not live with – can I visit them?
You are allowed to provide care for or to help someone who needs it. You can also visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.
Can I visit a loved one living in a care home?
Routine indoor care home visits are allowed for two designated visitors.
Indoor visits are also permitted for non-designated visitors in exceptional circumstances. This includes end of life.
Outdoor visits and visits within visitor pods or similar enclosed spaces can continue to take place.
All visitors should be tested before an indoor visit or visit within a visiting pod or similar enclosed space. Rapid testing has been made available to care homes to help this.
Visits will be suspended in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at the home.
For more information, please see the care home guidance.
What do you mean by compassionate grounds?
You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone in exceptional circumstances. This includes suffering from a physical or mental illness, suffered a bereavement, is isolated, or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.
Visits to places such as supported accommodation, children’s homes or hospitals are allowed in exceptional circumstances.
I am a parent of a young child, am I able to form a support bubble?
We have had to suspend the ability to form extended households. Only parents of children under the age of one, single parents or single households are able to form support bubbles with another household.
Even for those who are not part of a support bubble, our rules allow parents to access support from their families if they need it.
To help parents with young children, our rules allow for childcare arrangements with friends or family to continue. The rules also allow meetings with friends or family if extra support and help are needed. This is only if there are no other reasonable methods by which the support and help can be provided.
I am a disabled person, or a parent of a disabled person with care responsibility, can I access help and support?
Our rules allow for disabled people to access support or care if required. This can be support through carers or support from families or close friends.
What is a duty to self-isolate?
People who have tested positive or have come in to close contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus will need to self-isolate for 10 days when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. This notification will come through a phone call, text message or email. Failure to do so can lead to you being issued a fixed penalty notice or criminal prosecution.
You should also self-isolate if you are notified through the NHS Covid-19 app that you should do so. There is no legal duty to do so as the app does not collect any personal details.
We also advise that if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should follow the general self-isolation guidance. You should also arrange to have a test.
What exactly does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation is where you stay home. You limit all unnecessary contact with others outside of your household. This includes not going to work outside your home.
I have tested positive for coronavirus. How long do I need to self-isolate for?
If you test positive for coronavirus and you know when your symptoms started, you need to self-isolate until at least 10 days have passed from the day you reported you symptoms.
If you test positive for coronavirus and you cannot tell contact tracers when your symptoms started, or you have not had symptoms, then you must self-isolate until 10 days have passed since your test. Read the full Self-isolation guidance.
I haven’t tested positive for coronavirus, but I have been told by contact tracers to self-isolate. How long do I need to self-isolate for?
You will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
If you do not live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 10 days starts from when you last had close contact with them. Contact tracers should advise you of what is needed.
If you do live with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, the 10 days starts on the day they reported their symptoms. If they have not displayed any symptoms, the 10 days starts from the time of their test.
When a contact tracer calls you, they will also tell you to book a PCR test as soon as possible, and again on day 8.
Taking a test is not an alternative to self-isolating. If the tests are negative, you will still need to self-isolate for the full 10 day period. It can take up to 10 days or more for symptoms to develop, or for the virus to appear in your system.
If any of the test results come back positive, you will start a new 10 day period of self-isolation from the day you took your test.
I have been told to self-isolate – are there any situations in which I can still leave home?
There are a few exceptional circumstances where you are able to leave self-isolation:
- to seek medical help, where this is urgent or you are advised to do so by a medical professional
- where you are at serious risk of harm, such as avoid domestic abuse or sexual violence
- to meet a legal obligation or take part in court proceedings
- for compassionate reasons. This includes attending the funeral of a family member or close friend
- to shop for basic necessities, but only if nobody else can do this for you and you cannot get them delivered
- to move house, if you have to because it is no longer possible for you to stay where you are living
- to access veterinary services
These exceptions do not apply to people who need to self-isolate when arriving in Wales from a country under extra measures. In these instances you must follow the advice outlined in the self-isolation guidance for travel in to Wales.
What support is available to people who have to self-isolate?
People can apply to receive a £500 payment. This is if they have tested positive for coronavirus.
The payment is available to people on a low income who are unable to work from home and would lose income if self-isolating. To be eligible, people must be self-isolating and in receipt of Universal Credit or another benefit.
People can also apply to their local authority for a discretionary payment. This is if they are unable to work from home and are losing income and facing financial hardship. Parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate through their education setting are also able to apply.
The Self-Isolation Payment scheme has been live since 16 November. People are able to apply for the payments through their local authority website and they will be backdated to 23 October. Please see the self-isolation support scheme page to find out more.
People who are self-isolating may also be able to access help from voluntary organisations in their area. This is if they do not have any friends or family who can help them with getting food and other essentials.
My child has been told to self-isolate. Are they under a duty to self- isolate?
Children aged 16 and 17 are generally notified directly by NHS Wales Test Trace Protect. In those circumstances the child is treated as an adult and must isolate according to the same rules.
In the case of younger children it will be the parent or other responsible adult who will be notified about a child’s need to isolate.
Where a child needs to self-isolate as a known contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the household setting, only the child needs to self-isolate.
Does my employer have to let me self-isolate?
Yes. Employers should enable any employee who needs to self-isolate to do so. The Self-isolation guidance gives information on the evidence that can be provided to your employer confirming the requirement for you to self-isolate.
Can I still work from home when isolating?
If you are able to work from home, then we encourage people to continue to do so wherever possible. Your employer should support you to work from home as much as possible while isolating. If you cannot work from home, then you may be eligible for a self-isolation payment or for statutory sick pay due to COVID-19 (on GOV.UK).
I have had the coronavirus vaccine – do I still need to self-isolate?
Yes – the rules are the same for people who have had the vaccine as for everyone else.
Do I still need to self-isolate if I’ve been tested and I didn’t have coronavirus?
Yes – if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect then you must do so for the full 10 days. If you catch coronavirus from someone, it can take time for you to develop the virus – that is why self-isolation is important.
Do I still need to self-isolate if I’ve had coronavirus before?
Yes. The rules are the same for people who have had coronavirus before. You might have some immunity to coronavirus, but it's not clear how long that immunity will last. You may still be carrying the virus and at risk of passing it on to others.
Although rare, there are cases of reinfection from COVID-19. Reinfection means a person was infected once, recovered, and then became infected again.
What are the rules about working from home?
We encourage people to work from home where possible. People who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces, can do so.
Our guidance to employers is that employees should not be required or placed under pressure to return to a workplace setting. This should be discussed with staff or representatives of staff.
What can I do if I am worried about the safety measures in my workplace?
reasonable measures are expected to be put in place by employers to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.
If you have concerns that your health and safety is being compromised at work, you should discuss this with your employer in the first instance. If you are unable to find a resolution, you should contact your trade union or seek advice from Acas.
If you were previously shielding or are worried about being a higher risk of more serious symptoms, you can complete the COVID-19 workforce risk assessment. You should discuss the results with your employer who may take appropriate action. You should also speak to your trade union representative if you are a member of a union.
Can I carry out work in someone’s home?
Work carried out in people’s homes can continue as long as it is managed in a safe way. You must ensure that both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. Physical distancing will need to be observed whenever you can. We recommend that people consider whether the work can be safely deferred.
People working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure they reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information.
It is also recommended that no work should be carried out in any household where someone is isolating. This is unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety. If attendance is unavoidable, extra precautions should be taken. This is to keep workers and householders completely separate from each other. In these cases, Public Health Wales can provide advice to tradespeople and households. No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms.
Does my business have to close under the new restrictions?
We have published a full list of businesses that are required to close.
I run a business that is required to close. Is there any support available?
A further £150 million has been made available to support Welsh businesses in dealing with the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The extra support will help businesses in the hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail sectors. that pay non-domestic rates and will operate as a top up to the Restrictions Business Fund. This will see an eligible business with a rateable value of under £12,000 receive an extra £4,000 grant payment.
Firms with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £500,000 will receive £5,000. The funding is available to firms regardless of the number of employees. It ensures micro businesses benefit from the support.
Local authorities administer these payments.
This is as well as the two rounds of the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).
More information about the funding and how it can be accessed is available on the Business Wales website.
I work in a business that will be forced to close down/affected by these regulations. Is financial support being made available to support my job?
Yes. Eligible businesses can receive support available from the UK Government through the Job Retention Scheme (on GOV.UK). This will continue until the end of September 2021.
Is there any support available for people experiencing a reduction in income?
There are a range of financial support options available if you are getting less work or no work because of COVID-19. You may be able to access support through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and apply for Universal Credit.
What support is available for self-employed people and freelancers?
Self-employed people may be eligible to claim financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (on GOV.UK).
Further information on support for businesses can be found on the Business Wales website.
My employer has had Welsh Government funding but is now making redundancies, what should I do?
Any employer receiving Welsh Government funding will need to meet the conditions that are attached to that funding. The conditions attached to funding will vary. This does not prevent an employer from making redundancies. If you are at risk of redundancy you should speak to your trade union. You can seek further advice from Acas on your rights during redundancy.
Can I deliver housing-related support in emergency accommodation, supported accommodation or in someone’s home?
Homelessness, housing and support services can be delivered face-to-face. Support providers should ensure that all reasonable measures are taken. This is to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading. Service providers should also consider whether the support can be delivered by telephone or video calls.
Can I do voluntary work?
Yes, although you should do so from home if you can. If you are looking for more local volunteering opportunities you can contact your local County Voluntary Council (CVC).
You can also go out to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them. But it is important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk.
Can schools open?
Yes, all learners are able to return to on-site learning.
For the latest information on how schools are operating, please see our schools guidance.
Are face coverings required in education and childcare settings?
If social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be worn anywhere on the school estate. This includes in the classroom by staff at primary and secondary schools and secondary school learners. The exception is at mealtimes when eating and drinking. Also, when they are outside and able to maintain social distance.
Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on school transport.
Visitors to the school or setting should use a face covering. This includes parents when dropping off and picking up learners.
For more information, please see the schools guidance.
For colleges, face coverings should be worn by staff and learners in all areas where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. This includes when moving around the premises. This should form part of a provider’s risk assessment.
Face coverings should also be worn on dedicated transport.
For more information, please refer to the college guidance
How can schools manage pupils that are required to self-isolate?
There are measures detailed within the keeping learners safe in education guidance that schools should take. This will minimise the numbers of potential contacts and to stop transmission. This includes social distancing, reducing unnecessary mixing, and maintaining good hygiene.
Schools working with NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect contact tracers will work through the contact tracing process. This is to identify those pupils that have been in close contact with a positive case and should self-isolate. More guidance is available for schools on contact tracing.
Where a pupil needs to self-isolate they should be provided with appropriate work to ensure they continue their learning. Schools should keep in contact with pupils including with individual check ins.
I am a key worker – what happens if my child’s school has to close temporarily?
Schools which close their premises for more than two days for reasons related to coronavirus need to make on-site education provision for critical workers’ children available from the third day of closure and onwards.
Where a school has an INSET day then the school is ‘closed’ to learners. These days do not count as a school being open for learners – either remotely or face-to-face.
My child has additional learning needs. Is there support for them if their school has to close temporarily?
Schools who close their premises for more than two days for reasons related to coronavirus need to make on site education provision for vulnerable children available from the third day of closure and onwards.
Where a school has an INSET day then the school is ‘closed’ to learners. These days do not count as a school being open for learners – either remotely or face-to-face.
Can I travel back to university in Wales?
Yes. There are currently no travel restrictions in place into or out of Wales. You are allowed to travel from within the Common Travel Area to Wales and vice versa to access education. This includes moving to a term time address and commuting for students and staff.
Current restrictions allow international students to travel to the UK. This is for educational purposes. You would need to follow the appropriate quarantine rules when you arrive. Please contact your university before you arrive.
What are the rules on teaching at universities?
Universities can continue to provide in person teaching and blended learning.
Universities in Wales are open for on campus activity. Many students and staff need access to a laboratory, specialist academic library, appropriate study spaces or studios. Universities are managing these activities using appropriate measures.
Universities have been operating in-person education throughout the pandemic. Some courses have practical elements, professional body requirements or need access to specialist equipment or facilities. This will enable students to complete the relevant qualification requirements for this year.
Please see the higher education guidance for more information.
Are university students who are living in their term time accommodation able to go home?
There are no travel restrictions in place into and out of Wales. We are asking all students living in Wales, and all our Welsh students living outside Wales, to help us keep Wales safe by minimising travel between university and home.
You should not travel home if you have been asked to self-isolate or have Covid-19 symptoms.
What are the rules for colleges?
All learners can return to college and to work-based learning settings.
For the latest information on how colleges are operating, please see our college guidance.
Are activities and clubs for children allowed to run?
Organised outdoor activities for the development and well-being of children and young people are allowed. This includes sports clubs, parent and toddler groups, youth groups and religious groups. This applies to children aged under 18 (or persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020).
Indoor activities and residential activities are not currently allowed. This includes indoor activities that provide hobby or recreational activities.
Clubs used as childcare, such as holiday or wrap-around childcare, can continue.
Organisers have a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure that these activities take place in a way that reduces exposure to coronavirus. Risk assessments should consider the space available to allow social distancing as far as is possible .
Please see the childcare and play guidance for further information.
Are libraries allowed to open?
Libraries and archive services can open.
Health and social care
Can I still access health services?
NHS Wales is still here to help you if you need care. It is important you continue to attend appointments and get help for urgent medical issues. You can leave your home to access local health services. This includes your GP surgery, dentist, optometrist or other health service. If your appointment changes, your health board or health professional will contact you. Advice on services that are still operating is available on your health board or trust website.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus do not visit your GP, hospital, pharmacy, optometrist or dentist. You should immediately self-isolate and arrange a coronavirus test. For more information please use the NHS Wales symptom checker.
Can I visit someone in hospital?
You are advised to check the health board or trust website for local information before visiting.
The hospital visiting guidance during coronavirus sets out the rules for Health Boards, Trusts and providers of hospice care to follow for visiting in Wales during the pandemic. Providers of health care have flexibility to depart from the Guidance in response to their local conditions.
Can I visit someone in supported living?
You are only allowed to visit someone in their supported living home if you are part of their support bubble.
Also, to any support bubble arrangement, meetings outdoors with up to six people from up to six households are allowed. Social distancing should be maintained.
See the Supported Living guidance for further details.
Can I still see my support worker?
Yes, you can still see your support worker. Support services should assess whether support can be delivered through phone or video. If support is delivered face-to-face, the support provider should ensure that it is done in a safe manner.
What advice should I follow if I am on the Shielding Patient List?
Those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and on the shielding patient list should follow the guidance issued to this group.
Sport, exercise and outdoor activity
What kind of exercise is allowed?
There are no legal restrictions on this. In practice this is constrained by other restrictions. This includes the closure of indoor sport and leisure facilities.
For water sports, we tell people to consider the RNLI’s essential lifeguard and safety advice on water activities at the beach, on the coast or at sea.
Which sport, leisure and recreation facilities can open?
Outdoor sport and leisure facilities can open. Facilities that are mainly outdoors but have some shelter can also open.
All indoor sport and leisure facilities must close. A full list of types of businesses required to close is available in our guidance on business closures.
Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission. The risk cannot be eliminated . People should ensure that they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene when visiting these facilities. The operators of these facilities must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain physical distancing.
Who can I exercise with?
You can exercise in public outdoor places with:
members of your household or support bubble, or
a group of people, as long as the total number of people exercising is no more than six from up to six households
a group of up to 30 people as part of an organised outdoor activity
Also, children and young people aged under 18 can take part in organised outdoor activities for children where they are held outdoors.
What do you mean by an organised outdoor activity?
Organised outdoor activities are a broad range of activities that can be attended by people of any age. This includes team sports, exercise classes, meetings of religious groups and support groups. Up to 30 people of any age will be able to gather from a mix of households as long as they remain outdoors. Organised outdoor activities do not include parties or wider social gatherings of families and friends. Organised outdoor activities must not take place in the gardens or grounds of private homes.
How are playgrounds being kept safe?
Each owner or operator needs to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus. We have provided guidance. This asks owners and operators to carry out a risk assessment and put in place practical measures in place. - reopening children's playgrounds and outdoor play areas. Each owner or operator needs to apply this guidance to the facility. This will include taking account of the size, equipment and how the playground is organised, operated, and managed.
It is not possible to completely remove all risk. The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant. Going to the park supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to take responsibility for social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene.
Can children play outside in the street in their neighbourhoods?
The benefits of outdoor play to children are significant. Being able to play outside supports children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Outdoor environments are lower risk in relation to coronavirus transmission.
The rules for meeting outdoors are the same for children aged 11 and over as they are for adults. Six people from up to six households can meet. Children can also play outside with members of their own household or support bubble.
Will professional sports and elite sport continue?
Yes, professional sports and elite sport will be able to continue. Spectators will continue to be prohibited from attending sporting events.
Shopping and personal services
What shops are allowed to open?
People should ensure that they maintain social distancing and hand hygiene when visiting shops. Shops must take all reasonable measures to manage risk, including ensure measures to maintain physical distancing are put in place.
How far can I travel to shop?
There are no travel restrictions currently in place within or into or out of Wales. People are advised to avoid crowded spaces, particularly indoors.
What restrictions are in place on alcohol sales?
There are no longer any extra restrictions in place on alcohol sales. Normal licencing laws now apply. Licensed premises may only sell alcohol for consumption outdoors or off the premises.
Am I allowed to use “click and collect” services?
Yes. Shops can continue to offer click and collect or similar services.
Are car boot sales permitted?
Car boot sales are considered to be organised outdoor activities. These are allowed for up to 30 people as long as the rules on organised outdoor activities are followed.
Who can I go shopping with?
You can only meet in indoor regulated premises such as shops and supermarkets. This must be with people in your household unless you are accompanying a vulnerable person.
You are encouraged, wherever possible, to go to shops such as supermarkets on your own. This enables more people from different households to shop at the same time.
Can close contact services open?
Hairdressers, massage, acupuncture, tattoo and beauty services can open. Some high risk procedures, as identified in the close contact services guidance, are not allowed.
Businesses should do so by appointments as this would ensure that a number of reasonable measures are met. This includes ensuring contact information is obtained and that access to premises is controlled.
When providing close contact services, it is generally not possible to maintain physical distancing. Most service providers will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). A face covering will be required but other PPE such as face visors may also be advisable. Please see our additional guidance (face coverings: guidance for the public).
You will be expected to provide contact details when attending these services. You are advised to attend your appointment alone if possible.
Can those providing close contact services come to my home to work?
Those providing mobile close contact services can offer appointments in a person’s home as part of their work.
Mobile close contact service providers and close contact service providers in home based settings must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and consider the guidance on working in other people’s homes. This is important as these services involve people being close together for a long period of time.
Can I go for any of these treatments with my friends?
You should attend these appointments alone. This is unless you are taking children or accompanying a vulnerable adult. Our guidance to businesses providing close contact services says that that when they take client bookings they should ask the client to attend for their appointment on their own.
Can spas open?
Spas are allowed to reopen for beauty and therapy treatments only. Spa gyms, spa pools, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and swimming pools must remain closed.
Are accommodation businesses in Wales allowed to open?
Self-contained accommodation can open. This includes any accommodation which does not need guests to share washing facilities, toilets or kitchens. Hotels and other serviced accommodation which have en-suite rooms and can provide room service meals also come in to this category. All accommodation providers will be required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the spread of the virus.
Can I travel to and from my second home or holiday home?
Travel out of Wales to countries within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area (CTA) is permitted. There may be restrictions in place within some countries within the CTA. You will need to check the restrictions in the area you would like to travel to ensure that travel for this purpose is allowed.
If you live elsewhere in the UK or wider CTA, you will need to check the restrictions in place where you live before you travel to Wales for this purpose.
Who can I stay with in holiday accommodation? Including hotels, caravans or self-catering accommodation?
You will only be able to share holiday accommodation with the people you live with in your household. This extends to people in your support bubble. This helps to reduce the risk of coronavirus being transmitted.
Can I go to camping or caravan sites?
Camping and caravan sites are allowed to open as long as shared facilities and communal areas remain closed. This includes facilities such as toilets, showers and laundry areas. This means that camping in a tent will not be possible, but staying in units or vehicles with self-contained facilities is allowed.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs
Are cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars able to open?
Outdoor hospitality are allowed to open. There are no longer any limits to when alcoholic drinks can be sold as normal licencing laws now apply.
How can cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars operate safely outdoors?
Venues need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:
customers will be encouraged to pre-book with details of all members of the group.
contact details will be required for contact tracing purposes
entry to the premises will be controlled
licenced premises, such as pubs, will be providing table service only
all food and drink should be consumed at tables
physical distancing measures will be applied, such as tables being spaced out
face coverings must be worn other than when seated to eat or drink
When using outdoor spaces, hospitality venues need to ensure that the use of physical coverings are implemented in a way that is compliant with current public health advice. Generally this means that structures with a roof or ceiling must be open-sided.
Who can I visit outdoor cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars with?
You can visit outdoor hospitality venues with your household or up to six people from no more than six households.
Arts and entertainment
What entertainment venues are closed?
All indoor arts and entertainment venues and the majority of indoor visitor attractions are currently closed. This includes:
cinemas (except for drive-in cinemas)
soft play centres
trampoline parks and centres
indoor skate parks and centres
theatres and concert halls
sexual entertainment venues
Please see the business closures guidance for more information.
What visitor attractions and entertainment venues can open?
All outdoor visitor attractions can open. This includes:
outdoor funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks
outdoor swimming pools
outdoor areas of museums
outdoor areas of farm attractions
outdoor areas of zoos
outdoor areas of heritage sites
outdoor areas of historic monuments (such as castles)
outdoor areas of a historic parks or gardens (such as those run by the National Trust).
Any indoor elements of these attractions must remain closed .
Are drive-in events allowed?
Drive-in events are considered to be organised outdoor activities and are permitted. This is as long as all reasonable measures are taken to minimise the exposure to coronavirus.
How will entertainment venues and visitor attractions operate safely outdoors?
Those responsible need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:
entry will be controlled
physical distancing measures will be applied
face coverings must be worn
Who can I visit outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor visitor attractions with?
Households or up to six people from no more than six households are able to visit outdoor entertainment venues together.
Travelling and transport
Are there travel restrictions in place in Wales?
There are no restrictions in place for travel into or out of Wales. This is as long as you are travelling to or from a country within the UK or wider Common Travel Area . You will need to check the restrictions in place in the area you are travelling from or to. This is because some countries within the Common Travel Area have travel restrictions in place. This may prevent you from travelling unless you have a reasonable excuse.
If travelling by public transport we would encourage you to plan your journey and use apps. This is to try and avoid travelling in busy periods to help us maintain social distancing.
Can I travel abroad?
You can only travel from Wales to an international destination outside of the Common Travel Area if you have a reasonable excuse. This does not include holidays.
If you need to travel internationally for one of the permitted reasons, you must complete an international travel declaration form and take it with you to your port of departure. You may also wish to take with you to the port evidence supporting the reason for your trip. Failure to complete a form or providing false information could result in a £60 fine. A larger Fixed Penalty Notice of £5000 may be issued if you are found to have travelled internationally without a reasonable excuse.
If you intend to travel to a destination outside the Common Travel Area and use an airport, rail hub, or ferry port in England you need to complete the English travel declaration form (on GOV.UK) and follow their guidance.
Failure to complete the English travel declaration form could result in a £200 fine and traveling without a reasonable excuse could result in a fine of £5,000.
Similar arrangements apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I live in Wales, can I go on holiday in Wales or elsewhere?
You are allowed to go on holiday within Wales to self-contained accommodation with your household or support bubble.
People living in Wales can travel to other areas within the UK and the wider Common Travel Area. You will need to check the restrictions in place for the area you are travelling to. This is because some areas and countries within the Common Travel Area have travel restrictions in place. This may mean that travel into that area or use of self-contained accommodation is not permitted.
Overseas travel is not permitted, except in limited circumstances. It is not currently a reasonable excuse to travel to other areas of the UK or abroad for holiday purposes.
If you have pre-booked and paid for a holiday in other parts of the UK or abroad, we would advise you to contact the travel agent or travel company to discuss. You should also contact your travel insurer to discuss the situation.
I do not live in Wales, can I travel to Wales, or from within the UK, for a holiday or to visit family and friends?
Travel into Wales from other parts of the UK and wider Common Travel Area is allowed.
You will need to ensure that you follow the rules where you live. This includes restrictions on gatherings which prevent people from staying overnight in other households.
What are the rules for people arriving in to Wales from international destinations?
Travelling into Wales from outside of the Common Travel Area is not permitted unless you have a reasonable excuse.
Pre-Departure Testing (on GOV.UK) requirement: all travellers to Wales must have a negative COVID test within 72 hours before departure for all travellers age 11 and over. If your test result is positive, you must not travel.
If you arrive in Wales without proof of a negative test result, you could be fined £500. For more information, please see the guidance on testing for people travelling to Wales.
From 15 February, all people who have been in a RED list country in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into Wales. Travellers returning to the UK from RED list countries must arrive through one of the designated ports of entry to the UK in England or Scotland. They must then isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel.
All travellers to Wales from AMBER list countries must have pre-booked tests before departure for themselves and all members of their group including children aged 5 or over at day 2 and day 8. This is in addition to the Pre-Departure Testing (on GOV.UK) requirement.
Will I need to self-isolate if I travel in to Wales from an international destination?
If you have been in a RED list country in the previous 10 days will not be allowed into Wales. See information above.
If you are travelling from an AMBER list country you must isolate for 10 days.
There are no provisions where a negative test taken before travel or in England through the Test to Release Scheme or on arrival in Wales would avoid or reduce the isolation requirements in Wales. There is no Test to Release Scheme in Wales.
For more information, please see the guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to Wales.
Can I collect or drop off someone at the airport if they are travelling to Wales for an allowed purpose?
Yes, if the only alternative would be for them to use public transport or a taxi. Please follow our guidance on travelling safely.
Is public transport still operating?
Services are continuing, particularly during peak times. Bus and rail timetables have been reduced and are subject to late cancellations. Face coverings must be worn on public transport. Please check the latest service information before you travel.
Can taxis still operate?
Yes. Taxis can still operate where measures are in place to mitigate the risks when sharing a vehicle. Face coverings must be worn in taxis.
Can I car share or give someone a lift?
We do not recommend that you share a car with people who are not part of your household or support bubble. Where it cannot be avoided, you should take steps to minimise the risk of coronavirus. This includes increasing physical distancing as much as possible and wearing a face covering.
If you cannot work from home and need to travel to work, you should consider how to do so in the safest way possible. Please see the guidance on travelling safely for more information.
Can I have driving and riding lessons?
Driving lessons, motorcycle lessons and CBT are allowed.
Are driving or motorcycle practical and theory tests permitted?
Driving and motorcycle practical tests (on GOV.UK) and theory tests (on GOV.UK) are currently allowed.
Where will face coverings be required?
Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public places. This includes on public transport and taxis, and in places where take-away food and drink is sold. This applies to everyone aged 11 and over, unless an exception applies. Children under 11 do not have to wear face coverings.
Please visit our guidance on face coverings to see the rules on when face coverings are required.
Can I be exempt from wearing a face covering?
Some people do not have to wear a face covering, and there are a number of situations in which people can also temporarily remove coverings. Please visit our guidance to see if you may be exempt.
Are face coverings required in education and childcare settings?
If social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings should be worn This includes anywhere on the school estate. The exception is at mealtimes and when they are outside.
Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on school transport.
Visitors to the school or setting should use a face covering. This includes parents when dropping off and picking up learners.
For more information, please see the schools guidance.
Will I have to wear a face covering in my workplace?
If you work in an area open to the public, yes. If not, your employer should advise you.
Employers are expected to mandate the use of face coverings in other indoor workplaces. This is where social distancing cannot be maintained. You may find you are required to wear a face covering at work even in places which are not open to the public.
Please see the guidance on face coverings for further information.
Will the Senedd election go ahead on 6 May?
The Welsh Government remains committed to holding the election on 6th May 2021. Preparations are in place for the election to take place on this date.
Please see the elections guidance for further updates.
Are political parties, candidates and other campaigners permitted to engage in door-to-door canvassing and deliver election leaflets?
Yes. Our campaigning guidance sets out the current position for persons undertaking election campaigning activities in Wales.
Can I move home?
Yes, moving home is allowed.
Associated activities can also take place in line with guidance on working in other people’s homes.
For more information, please see the guidance on moving home.
Can home viewings take place?
Yes, but we advise that virtual viewings are used wherever possible. Household mixing must be avoided during viewing. For more information please see our guidance on moving home during coronavirus.
Can a valuation or mortgage survey be done at my property?
People responsible for valuing and surveying, are not prohibited from entering people’s homes. See guidance on working in other people’s homes for more information.
For more information, please see the guidance on moving home.
Can I be evicted from my home?
No. Evictions are not currently allowed to take place with very few exceptions. Any evictions that are currently scheduled will be postponed.
Please see the guidance on paying your rent during the coronavirus pandemic for further information.
Are refuges still open?
Emergency accommodation for victims fleeing domestic abuse and sexual violence remain open and continue accepting referrals. Live Fear Free helpline is a 24 hour, free service for anyone experiencing violence or abuse, or for anyone concerned about a victim’s safety. Live Fear free can be contacted by
Phone: 0808 8010 800 or Text: 078600 77333
Guidance for providers of refuge accommodation on making these safe can be accessed here.
Places of worship and major life events
What are the rules for religious services?
Places of worship are allowed to be open to the public for worship and life event ceremonies. Wherever possible we still advise that people avoid congregating with people they do not live with. Weddings and funerals may also be broadcast from places of worship.
Ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events such as bar mitzvahs and baptisms are allowed in places of worship. People are able to attend at the invitation of the organiser. Please see the guidance on funerals, guidance on weddings and places of worship for more information.
Are all potential wedding or civil partnership ceremony venues now allowed to open?
Venues that are ‘approved premises’ for hosting a wedding and civil partnership ceremonies may open but only for that purpose. Alternative ceremonies such as a humanist wedding can be held in regulated premises. This is subject to the need to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of spreading the virus on the premises.
Wedding venues are allowed to let clients view their premises by appointment only.
Outdoor wedding or civil partnership ‘receptions’ are allowed for up to 30 people. Outdoor wedding receptions must not take place in the gardens or grounds of private homes
Are there limits to the number of people who can attend ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events?
The number who are able to attend a wedding, civil partnership, funeral or life events indoors is limited by the capacity of the venue where it is being held.
To ensure that the largest number that can attend is observed attendance must be by invitation only. Please see the relevant guidance on weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.
What are the rules on holding wedding and civil receptions?
Wedding and civil partnership receptions are allowed for up to 30 people outdoors.
Outdoor wedding and civil partnership receptions must take place in regulated premises and must follow the rules in place for hospitality settings. Outdoor wedding receptions must not take place in the gardens or grounds of private homes.
A close family member has died and I need to organise the funeral – what do I do?
Funerals can be a distressing experience. The impact of coronavirus is making it even more difficult to make practical arrangements. Guidance on funerals has been issued.
Can I go to a funeral?
Yes, but you must be invited. Numbers are constrained by the need to put physical distancing measures in place.
Can I hold a wake or another form of gathering following a funeral?
Outdoor wakes are allowed for up to 30 people.
Outdoor wakes must take place in regulated premises and must follow the rules in place for hospitality settings. Outdoor wakes must not take place in the gardens or grounds of private homes.
Can I go to a cemetery to visit a family member’s grave?
Yes. But you should ensure that you follow physical distancing practices when doing so.
Enforcement and fines
Who enforces the restrictions?
The restrictions are being enforced by local authority enforcement officers and the police.
What can police and local authority enforcement officers do?
They can issue fixed penalty notices or recommend prosecution in a magistrates’ court. Also, they have wide-ranging powers to take practical steps to disperse gatherings.
What if reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus aren’t taken on premises or in the workplace?
Local authority enforcement officers are able to issue a “premises improvement notice”. This requires the person responsible for the premises to take specified measures. If those measures are not taken an officer may issue a “premises closure notice” requiring the premises to close. Officers are also able to issue fixed penalty notices, starting from £1,000 for a first offence and rising with any further offences.
A officer may also issue a premises closure notice without having issued a premises improvement notice before. So if people don’t comply premises can be closed down.
What will the police do?
The police in Wales will engage with people, explain what they need to do and encourage them to comply. Our police forces have been given powers and they will use them. The restrictions will be enforced if people don’t respond.
What are the financial penalties?
The coronavirus regulations include provisions for a fixed penalty notice to be issued for most types of breaches of the regulations. This carries a fine of £60; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to £1,920. If prosecuted, a court can impose any fine.
Organising an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people is a separate criminal offence. These are events that are not licensed or authorised under the Licensing Act 2003. A breach of this prohibition will be an offence punishable by conviction and an unlimited fine.
The penalties for organisers of these illegal events reflects the serious public health consequences.
Which vaccine will I get?
In the UK, there are two types of COVID-19 vaccine currently offered (made by Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca). You need two separate doses to provide longer-term protection.
Each vaccine was tested in over 20,000 people in different countries and shown to be safe and effective. You will be given one of these vaccines depending on which one is available. These vaccines have been authorised by the 'Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency' (MHRA). A full assessment of their safety and effectiveness has been made.
Who should have a COVID-19 vaccine?
The NHS is offering these vaccines to those at highest risk of catching the infection and of suffering serious complications.
This includes older adults, health and social care workers and those with certain clinical conditions. When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.
Coronavirus can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and have a long-term health condition, COVID-19 can be very serious and in some cases fatal.
You should have the COVID-19 vaccine among the first groups offered if you are:
A person living or working in a care home for older adults.
A frontline healthcare worker.
A frontline social care worker.
A domiciliary carer providing personal care.
Aged 65 years and over.
In the clinically extremely vulnerable group.
Everyone who is in the clinically extremely vulnerable group will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Your GP can tell you if you are eligible.
The vaccine will also be offered to those aged 16 years and over with conditions such as:
• blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
• a heart problem
• a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
• kidney disease
• liver disease
• lowered immunity due to disease or treatment
• having had an organ transplant
• having had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
• a neurological or muscle wasting condition including epilepsy and dementia
• severe or profound learning disability
• Down’s syndrome
• a problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or having had your spleen removed
• being seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
• severe mental illness
At the same time, the vaccine will also be offered to:
Adults who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
Younger adults in nursing and residential settings.
And staff at these settings.
After these groups, those aged 50-64 will be offered vaccination.
When more vaccine becomes available it will be offered to more groups of the population.
I am pregnant, can I have the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnancy. Until more information is available, those who are pregnant should not have this vaccine except where your GP advises this.
You can be vaccinated after your pregnancy is over. If you have had the first dose and then become pregnant, you should delay the second dose until after the pregnancy is over, unless you are at high risk.
There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after having a COVID-19 vaccination.
I am breastfeeding, what should I do?
There are no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in those breastfeeding or on the breastfed infant.
COVID-19 vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant. The benefits of breastfeeding are well known. Because of this, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine can be given whilst breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, you may decide to wait until you have finished breastfeeding and then have the vaccination.
Who cannot have the vaccine?
A very small number of people cannot have COVID-19 vaccines. This includes people who have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine or to a previous dose of the same vaccine.
Talk to your GP if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction, as an alternative vaccine may be available for you.
Will the vaccine protect me?
The COVID-19 vaccination will reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. Studies have shown high levels of short-term protection from two to three weeks after a single dose of vaccine. A second dose is needed for longer-term protection.
The vaccines do not contain living organisms, and so are safe for people with disorders of the immune system. These people may not respond so well to the vaccine.
Like all medicines, no vaccine is 100% effective. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination. This should be less severe.
Will the vaccine have side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.
Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose.
A mild fever may occur for two to three days after vaccination. A high temperature is unusual and may show you have COVID-19 or another infection. You can take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) and rest to help you feel better. Do not exceed the normal dose. An uncommon side effect is swelling of the local glands.
Symptoms following vaccination normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, look at 111.wales.nhs.uk online or call '111' or your GP surgery. If '111' is not available in your area, call 0845 46 47. Calls to NHS 111 Wales are free from landlines and mobiles. Calls to 0845 46 47 cost 2p per minute plus your telephone provider’s usual access charge.
Rarely, some people have an allergic reaction soon after a vaccination. This may be a rash or itching. Some people can have a severe reaction soon after vaccination. This can cause breathing difficulties and may cause them to collapse. This is called anaphylaxis and can happen with other medicines and food. These reactions are rare and nurses are trained to manage them. People who have an anaphylactic reaction can be treated and usually recover within a few hours.
Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?
You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine.
What do I do next?
After you have had the first dose, you need to plan to attend your second appointment.
It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to give you longer-term protection. Keep your vaccination card safe and make sure you attend your next appointment to get your second dose.
What should I do if I am unwell on the appointment day?
If you are unwell with a fever, call to cancel and wait until you have recovered to have the vaccine. You should not attend a vaccine appointment if you are self-isolating or waiting for a COVID-19 test or result.
Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?
The vaccine will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill. We do not know yet whether it will stop you from catching and passing on the virus. So, it is important you continue to follow the COVID-19 guidance to protect those around you.
To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:
• practice social distancing
• wear a face mask
• wash your hands carefully and frequently
• follow the current guidance:
You can report side effects online at coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or by downloading the Yellow Card app.
To find out how the NHS uses your information, visit NHS 111.