Coronavirus information for Wales
On Saturday 7 August 2021 at 6am, Wales moved to alert level zero
What does alert level zero mean?
There are no legal limits on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events. All businesses and premises may be open.
For more information on what alert level zero means, please visit the Welsh Government website
What are the new rules?
From 7 August 2021
- no limit of number of people who can meet indoors
- fully vaccinated and under 18s don't have to isolate if they're a close contact of someone who has tested positive
- more flexibility for businesses when minimising risk
- masks not legally required in hospitality (but encouraged)
- nightclubs can reopen.
Self isolation payment
The Welsh Government announced that from 7 August 2021, the self-isolation support scheme will increase from £500 to £750.
For more information on the payment, please visit the Welsh Government's website
Coronavirus is a virus that affects your lungs and airways. Find out about the symptoms of coronavirus and the steps to take to stop it spreading.
What is coronavirus?
Novel Coronavirus, formally called COVID-19, is part of a family of viruses that include the common cold and respiratory illnesses such as SARS.
It affects your lungs and airways. For many people, it causes mild symptoms while for others it can be much more serious and require hospital treatment.
Cases of coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan City in China in December 2019 and has quickly spread.
How does coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is very infectious, which means it spreads very easily.
It spreads in much the same way as the common cold or flu - through infected respiratory droplets like coughs and sneezes – and passes from person to person. This can happen when:
- an infectious person gets the virus on their hands (for example by coughing in their hands) and then touches a commonly used surface, such as a door handle, which someone else then touches.
- someone gets close to (less than 1-2 metres) someone who is infectious.
This is why we are being advised to avoid close contact with others, wash our hands thoroughly and frequently, and wipe down surfaces with disinfectant.
The average ‘incubation period’ – the time between coming into contact with the virus and experiencing symptoms – is 5 days, but it could be anything between 1 and 14 days. This is why the Government is asking everyone who has come into contact with the virus to self-isolate.
People are most likely to spread the virus to other people when they are experiencing symptoms, which is why it is important to follow Welsh Government guidance on staying at home if you have symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been advised by the test and trace service to self-isolate.
However, don’t forget people can also be infectious before they know they are ill.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The most common symptoms include:
- a persistent dry cough - where you have been coughing a lot for more than an hour or have had 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a high temperature - where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a loss or changed sense of taste or smell.
Other symptoms people are reporting include:
- shortness of breath
- a sore throat
- a blocked / runny nose
- stomach discomfort and diarrhoea
- confusion or delirium.
Can I get tested for coronavirus?
Before requesting a test you must have at least one of the following symptoms:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- loss of or change to sense of smell or taste
Please visit the Welsh Government website for more information on who can get a test and how to apply.
Are some people more at risk from coronavirus?
While we're all at risk of catching coronavirus, for most people (around 4 in 5) the symptoms will only be mild to moderate.
However, we do know that some people are much more likely than others to become seriously unwell. This includes:
- people aged over the 70, even if you're otherwise fit and well
- people of any age living with long-term health conditions which mean you'd normally be offered the flu jab.
Government guidance also applies to these groups. However, you may also want to consider keeping your social interactions lower and visit busy places at quieter times. For example, some supermarkets have a designated hour of shopping for vulnerable customers.
At the start of the pandemic, some people were advised to shield because they were considered particularly high risk. The Welsh Government has issued new guidance on protecting people defined on medical grounds as clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19) – previously known as ‘shielding’, you can view the guidance on the Welsh Government website.
How can I reduce my risk of catching or spreading coronavirus?
The best way to reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus is by following the Government guidance which includes:
- Washing your hands regularly – particularly when you get home after being out, before handling or eating food and after sneezing or blowing your nose
- Keeping your distance from others
- Avoiding busy places where possible
- Wearing a face covering when you're supposed to
- Self-isolating in line with current guidance if you or someone you've been in contact with develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus.
Welsh Government coronavirus (COVID-19) information
The Welsh Government has detailed information on their website, including guidance on a range of issues that have been affected by the current pandemic.