News bulletin: Welsh Government updated guidance

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  11 August 2020


Gyms and swimming pools reopen

Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres are able to re-open this week (from Monday 10 August)  after the changes made following the (7 August 2020 review) of Coronavirus Regulations. The Guidance for Sport, Recreation and Leisure provides information to support a phased return.

Guidance for reopening Children’s Indoor Play Areas have also been published as those facilities are now able to open their doors again as part of the latest changes. However, areas such as ball pits, which cannot be easily cleaned, should remain closed.

Coronavirus legislation and guidance on the law

Many tourism and hospitality businesses in Wales are now able to open and it’s important to remember that under Welsh law premises being open is conditional. Businesses are required to do three things, all for the purpose of minimising the risk of exposure to coronavirus on their premises:

  1. The first is to take ‘all reasonable measures’ to maintain 2 metres distance between people who are on the premises or are waiting to go in to the premises.
  2. The second is to take ‘any other reasonable measures’ to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus – this primarily means improving hygiene and taking measures to minimise face to face interaction (something which is particularly important where 2 metre distancing isn’t reasonably practicable).
  3. The third is to provide information to those entering or working at the premises about how to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus – something that is closely linked to the other two requirements as measures taken will often depend on the behaviour of those on the premises.   

More information can be found in the Welsh Government pages on the Coronavirus Regulations and guidance.

Visitor Economy Guidance is available to help tourism and hospitality businesses safely re-open during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the requirements can be categorised in a fairly straightforward way that can be applied regardless of the nature of the premises:

  • providing information to help people behave as they should;
  • ensuring physical distancing;
  • improving hygiene;
  • adopting other measures to minimise risk of exposure, primarily to avoid close face to face interaction: e.g. changing how people move around premises, improving ventilation, installing screens, using PPE.   

Additional enforcement powers were introduced last week so that local authorities are now able to take action if the requirements are not being adhered to by businesses – this includes closing premises where necessary. Further information is available in Welsh Government’s guidance for enforcement officers.

The Regulations are updated regularly and should be continually reviewed to ensure that you are operating within the law. 

A list of Frequently Asked Questions in relation to Coronavirus (COVID19) is also updated on Gov.Wales - please return to check the information regularly.

It’s crucial that all businesses adhere to the Coronavirus Regulations for Wales and follow Welsh Government guidance as the rules and mitigations are different in Wales.

Physical Distancing – a reminder

As referred to above, all businesses must take all reasonable measures to ensure that all people on their premises maintain 2 metre physical distancing (except between members of the same household / extended household  or between a person cared for and their carer). In addition, businesses must take any other reasonable measures, including considering stopping doing things, for the purpose of minimising the risk of exposure to the virus.

We recognise, however, that maintaining 2 metre physical distancing could place some businesses under significant commercial strain. Although protecting public health and maintaining public confidence should be the priority, businesses are able to operate shorter physical distancing if the cost implications of maintaining 2 metre physical distancing are such that they would make the business unviable. However, in these cases it is vital that other reasonable measures are put in place to prevent the risk of exposure to coronavirus. This may involve erecting screens, rearranging furniture and controlling the way people move around premises. Wearing face coverings would also be appropriate in confined areas.  

Your risk assessment should include consideration for what mitigating actions can be taken if 2 metre physical distancing is not maintained on a premises. If taking other reasonable measures will not sufficiently mitigate the risk of exposure to the virus, this suggests that 2 metre physical distancing is still required.

Stay up to date with tourism industry news

We are committed to providing the support and assurance the business community needs during these unprecedented difficult times and have issued several Coronavirus (COVID-19) related bulletins which can be found on the Tourism Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletins page. 

Business Wales is providing businesses with tailored support and advice about dealing with coronavirus, from financial and supply chain planning to advice on staffing issues. We would advise Tourism businesses and stakeholders in Wales wanting specific guidance to visit the Business Wales website or call Business Wales helpline on 03000 6 03000, and to regularly visit the Public Health Wales website for up-to-date public health information for you, your staff and your visitors.