Covid: People living alone in Wales’ lockdown areas can meet others

UK

Local lockdown restrictions will be changed to support people living alone, the Welsh Government has said.

People living in areas with tighter restrictions are currently banned from meeting other households indoors.

That has led to concerns for the welfare of people living alone.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has been considering whether to allow single people to form a social bubble. He will give further details at a press conference later on Friday.

No other major changes are expected in the latest review of Wales’ coronavirus rules.

Local lockdown areas now cover 2.3 million people living in 16 different areas in north and south Wales – a majority of the country’s population.

In those areas rules allowing people to form extended households of four different homes are suspended.

Last weekend Mr Drakeford told Wales on Sunday he had asked officials “to look at the Scottish household model”.

In Scotland a single person living alone, or with just children aged 18 or under, can meet indoors with people from one other household.

Mr Drakeford said he was concerned about elderly people living alone who “at the moment are not able to mix with anybody else indoors”.

“Part of this three-week review will be to see whether we can move to the Scottish model,” he said.

“If these lockdowns are only going to last a matter of weeks maybe it isn’t quite as bad, but if it’s going to go on week after week we need to think about those single-person households.”

What are local lockdowns?

In a local lockdown area people cannot travel in or out without a “reasonable excuse”. Those include:

  • to work, if you cannot work from home
  • to provide care
  • travelling to education
  • elite athletic training and competitions
  • to provide or receive emergency assistance
  • to meet a legal obligation, and to access or receive public services
  • to avoid injury or illness or escape a risk of harm

You can travel through the areas, so roads such as the A55 and M4 can continue to be used.

Individuals can only meet outside their own household outside.

The rules apply in every Welsh county, except for Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Powys. Llanelli is the only part of Carmarthenshire affected by the rules.

Lockdown restrictions were introduced to deal with a rise in coronavirus cases, with Caerphilly the first area to see their introduction in early September.

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