New rules to protect workers during the coronavirus outbreak have come into force since midnight last night in Wales.
The regulations mean the 2-metre (6.5ft) social distancing rule will apply to any workplace, including homes, where work and repairs are being undertaken and outdoor spaces.
The new rules apply to those workplaces not already covered by the original stay-at-home rules introduced almost two weeks ago.
All businesses will have to take all reasonable measures to ensure the 2m rule is maintained between people on their premises whenever work is being carried out.
One reason why the Welsh Government has decided to go beyond guidance and include a duty in law is so that enforcement is possible, where it is necessary.
Both the police and local authorities have powers to enforce the restrictions on businesses, services and workplaces imposed by the regulations. The regulations provide for enforcement to be carried out by—
- police officers
- police community support officers
- persons designated by local authorities (for example environmental health officers)
- persons designated by the Welsh Ministers
If a responsible person is found not be taking all reasonable measures to ensure that distance of 2 metres is maintained between person on the premises concerned, that person may be subject to a fixed penalty of £60 (this reduces to £30 if paid within 14 days but is doubled to £120 for a second a subsequent breach) or may be charged with a criminal offence and ultimately convicted and be required to pay a fine.
Reviewing the Regulations
The Welsh Government will rapidly review all aspects of the regulations by 16 April. This provides an opportunity to assess the effectiveness and consequences of the provisions. It will also provide an opportunity to engage with stakeholders from all sectors to inform the process.