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New rules for people living alone in local lockdown areas

Town of Caerphilly, Wales, United Kingdom.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has amended the local lockdown rules in recognition of the emotional toll coronavirus is having on people who live alone.

Adults living alone, including single parents, in areas under local restrictions will be able to form a temporary bubble with another household in their local area under the new rules coming into force tomorrow (3 October)

The change is designed to help protect people living alone from the risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation and will enable to them to meet other people indoors – something, which is ordinarily not allowed unless someone has a reasonable excuse anywhere across Wales.

The rule of six will apply to these new single people household bubbles.

The First Minister also indicated today that the Welsh Government will act to strengthen enforcement powers for local authorities to fine people who organise house parties and to simplify the process to introduce restrictions on drinking alcohol in public.

He said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on all of us – we’ve all been through so much this year already. We are once again seeing cases of coronavirus rising across Wales and the reintroduction of restrictions in many parts of the country to protect people’s health and control its spread.

“Many people will have the support of their family at this time but large numbers of people – young and old – live alone. None of us should have to face coronavirus on our own.

“Creating temporary bubbles for single people and single parents in local lockdown areas will make sure they have the emotional support they need during this time.”

The Welsh Government has carried out the latest 21-day review of the coronavirus regulations but will not be making any major changes to the national rules because of the overall rise in cases across Wales.

The local restrictions introduced across a number of South Wales local authority areas over the last 10 days will also be retained.

In Caerphilly borough, where cases have fallen, the restrictions will remain in place for at least a further seven days and they will also continue in Rhondda Cynon Taf, where the growth in cases has slowed.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will today urge people throughout Wales to follow five simple steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus:

  • Keep our distance from others
  • Wash our hands often
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • Wear a face covering in indoor public places
  • Think carefully about where we’re going and who we’re meeting because the more places we travel and the more people we meet, the more chances there are to catch coronavirus.

He added:

“I know these restrictions are difficult on all of us who want to see our family and friends but they are needed to keep Wales safe.

“We appreciate everyone’s efforts in following the rules and helping to prevent the spread of this virus.”