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Coronavirus: Keeping your distance in shops now a legal requirement

Credit: Matthew Horwood

Simple but important new emergency coronavirus laws came into force on last week across Wales regarding shops. 

In addition to the requirements that apply across both England and Wales, Welsh businesses that are permitted to remain open to the public are also now required to ‘take all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between any persons on the business premises.’ The businesses must also ensure that persons are only admitted to their premises in sufficiently small numbers to ensure that the required distance is maintained, and to also take all reasonable measures to ensure that those waiting outside also keep two metres apart.

The new laws have been made by the Welsh Ministers in response to the incidence and spread of coronavirus in Wales. The need for the new requirements must be reviewed every 21 days and will only apply for the emergency period.

Owners, proprietor and managers of business that do not take the measures required may be subject to prosecution and unlimited fines. Breaches may also be dealt with by means of fixed penalty notice and those individuals even subject to arrest if necessary. It is expected that businesses will take voluntary action to ensure that they meet the new requirements.

These are tough but important measures being required of our businesses in response to the serious threat posed by coronavirus. The community response has been positive and overwhelming.

The new laws are part of a new yet temporary way of life necessary to protect those in our society who are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus. Ceredigion County Council will do all that we reasonably can to help businesses in complying with these requirements.

Posters are available for businesses to download, print and display to remind their customers of the laws. They are available on the Coronavirus webpage www.ceredigion.gov.uk/coronavirus