New guidelines for social distancing have been released by the Welsh Government.
The revised advice is part of the easing of restrictions in Wales while still mitigating the risk of coronavirus.
The accompanying document guidance says: “The regulations include a new more detailed approach to requiring all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus. This remains based on maintaining two-metre social distancing but imposes additional requirements in relation to hygiene, limiting face to face interaction and providing information to workers and to the public.”
In a letter circulated to Welsh retailers, Ken Skates, minister for economy, transport and North Wales, said: The continued protection of the public from coronavirus remains the top priority for the Welsh Government. To do this we have made gradual and step wise changes to requirements and to provide clarity to the public and businesses about how best to manage the risks as the pandemic continues.
“As part of this I would like to draw your attention to our revised rules on physical distancing and (more generally) minimising the risk of exposure in the workplace and in premises that are open to the public – the annexed information gives key elements, but please see The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020 for full details here.
“As we relax some of the restrictions for the public more generally, it is more important than ever that we implement practical steps to mitigate the risks. So the regulations include a new more detailed approach to requiring all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus. This remains based on maintaining 2m social distancing but imposes additional requirements in relation to hygiene, limiting face to face interaction and providing information to workers and to the public. We also recognise there are some occasions when it is not possible to maintain 2m distancing and the additional measures businesses need to put in place are particularly important in that context.
We have also issued guidance on the practical implementation of the legal requirements, which you must take into account. This guidance can be found here.
“We recognise that as they reopen retailers are putting in place a wide range of measures, including introducing one way systems, limiting numbers entering shops and putting up screens, to help ensure your shops are safe workplaces and for the public. We are grateful for this and recognise that these measures, along with good personal hygiene including hand washing help us to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our communities. However, we are conscious that there will be some circumstances where physical distancing measures such as these are not possible or sufficient, and further steps including the use of personal protective equipment are necessary. Although, we do not intend to mandate the use of face coverings in retail settings, we advise that you may consider it appropriate or necessary to ask your customers to wear a face covering. This should be considered, alongside the other measures described in the annex, as part of the risk assessment you will need to make to ensure you have in place all reasonable measures to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus on your premises.”