From Monday 14 September, limits on the number of people you can see socially have changed. You can only meet socially indoors with people who you live with (your household) and members of your extended household if you have formed one. Meetings or gatherings indoors even within your extended household must be limited to 6 people (not including any children aged under 11). This applies in places like pubs and restaurants as well as in people’s homes.
Please note, this information is relevant as of 15th September and applies generally in Wales. Things are changing frequently and so please check the government website for changes which may occur. There are also different rules which apply in areas where there is a local lockdown. Please check locally for rules which might apply to you.
What is an extended household?
Up to four households are able to join together to form an extended household. This means all the people living in these separate households become part of one extended household for the purposes of the coronavirus restrictions.
Who is not included in the 6?
Children aged under 11 are not included – so a gathering could for example include four adults, two teenage children and any number of younger children under 11.
Carers – whether they are care workers or unpaid carers – do not form part of your extended household and do not count towards the limit of 6 people over 11 in a group. However, they can continue to provide you with whatever support you need, and go anywhere with you if you need their support.
What if there are already over 6 people aged 11 or over in my household?
You are generally exempt. Clearly, all members of the household need to be able to be at home together, and there is no public health benefit in preventing the members of a household from being able to go out places together. Therefore, a household of (say) 8 people aged 11 or over could go to a restaurant, café, bar or pub together as a group.
However, if some members of that household wish to meet up with other people in their extended household, each gathering should contain no more than 6 people aged 11 or over.
For example, if a family of 6 people all aged 11 or over were in an extended household arrangement with their neighbour who lived alone, and wanted to go out for a meal with the neighbour, only a maximum of five people from that family would be allowed to go.
How many households can form an extended household?
Up to four households are able to join together to form an extended household and only one extended household can be formed. This includes two existing extended households (of two households) joining together to make an extended household of four households.
However, as of 14 September, any one meeting or gathering indoors even within your extended household must be limited to 6 people (not including any children aged under 11). This applies in places like pubs and restaurants as well as in people’s homes.
Can I break up my existing extended household so I can join a different one?
No. Once you have agreed and formed an extended household with another household, you can’t switch to join together with someone else instead. This is to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Can I go into an extended household with a household in England?
Yes, but the arrangements will need to comply with the rules in both countries. (please see our separate information on rules in England.
I share parental responsibility for a child with someone I don’t live with – can they be treated as part of both extended households?
Where parental responsibility is shared, existing arrangements can continue and the child can move between both parents, and therefore between both parents’ households.
The change to regulations regarding extended households should not have an impact on this, and the child should be considered to be part of the household or extended household of the parent they are with at any particular time – in other words if either or both parents form an extended household with a household which does not include the other parent, the child could continue to move freely between the parents, and be part of both extended households (i.e. the child does not have to socially distance within the extended household, whichever parent they are with).
Can children visit each other’s homes or meet together indoors?
Like adults, children can only meet socially indoors with people who they live with (their household) and members of their extended household if they are part of one. So it is still not generally permitted to go into someone else’s home unless you have formed an extended household with them. It is also not permitted to arrange for children to go somewhere indoors together, such as shops, cafes, cinemas or amusement arcades, unless they are part of the same household or extended household. Indoor children’s parties with people other than members of their household or extended household are therefore still not possible.
However, adults and children can now meet each other outdoors as part of gatherings of up to 30 people, and younger children do not need to rigidly follow the advice to stay 2 metres apart when doing so. So for example younger children can play together in a park or playground. Parents should encourage thorough hand washing before and after visits to the park and avoid eating/touching of face with unwashed hands.
Gatherings of up to 30 people are now permitted outdoors. But you should continue to maintain physical and social distancing from people outside your household, or extended household if you have formed one (subject to what is said about young children below).
Can friends or family from another extended household come into my home?
Not generally, no, unless they are passing through to reach an outdoor area, or they have another legitimate purpose for being there such as providing care. The general rule is that you can only meet socially with people who are in your exclusive extended household indoors.
Children and Social Distancing
In circumstances where young children mix with others, it may not be practical to attempt to maintain continual 2 metre distancing (between children, or even between children and adults). This is in part because it is harder for younger children to understand the concept of physical distancing, and in part because appropriate support from carers will often require closer contact.
However as young children can still transmit the virus, parents of young children should still exercise their good judgement and take care especially to encourage their children to follow hand hygiene measures and keep close contact to a minimum wherever possible.
What happens if I don’t follow these new laws?
The restrictions are being enforced by local authority environmental health officers and the police.
Enforcement Officers can issue fixed penalty notices or recommend prosecution in a magistrates’ court. In addition, they have wide-ranging powers to take practical steps to disperse gatherings, require people to go home and enter property.
The police in Wales will engage with people, explain what they need to do and encourage them to comply. But our police forces have been given powers and they will use them – the restrictions will be enforced if people don’t respond.
The coronavirus regulations include provisions for a fixed penalty notice to be issued for most types of breaches of the regulations, carrying a fine of £60; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to a maximum of £1,920. If prosecuted, however, a court can impose any fine (it is not limited).
Where can I get further information?
You can find up to date information at by clicking here.
We would recommend you always check this to make sure you are following the current rules/laws.
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