Conwy's COVID-19 lockdown: Frequently asked questions


October 01, 2020

Following a sharp increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Conwy County Borough area, new restrictions have been introduced to reduce the spread of the virus and protect public health for people living in the area.

The restrictions come into force tonight 6pm, Thursday 1st October 2020 and will be kept under review.

The main restrictions are:

- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the Conwy County Borough area without a reasonable excuse

- People will no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household (sometimes called a “bubble”)

- This means meeting indoors with anyone who is not part of your household (people you live with) is not allowed at the moment, unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person

- All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm

- People must work from home wherever possible

Why have these restrictions been put in place?

These restrictions are being introduced following a sharp and rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Conwy County Borough area. This has been caused by groups of people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays abroad with coronavirus.

How long will these restrictions stay in place?

The restrictions will be in place until the risk of the spread of coronavirus has reduced, when they can be relaxed. The Welsh Government has a duty to review these restrictions after two weeks and every week after that if the restrictions remain in place longer than that.

What area is covered by these restrictions?

The restrictions cover the Conwy County Borough area. Residents cannot leave the area without good reason. Similarly those who live outside the area cannot enter it without good reason.

Does this mean I can’t leave the area at all?

You can leave the area if you have a “reasonable excuse” to do so – this includes going to work where you cannot work from home, or using public services that are not available locally. It also includes leaving your local area to visit family or close friends on compassionate grounds if necessary.

But the basic message is that we want people to stay in the area as much as possible. You do not have a reasonable excuse to leave the area to do something if you could be reasonably expected to be able to do it within the area. This also works the other way around. Those living outside the area should not enter it if at all possible. 

What can’t I do?

The legal requirement is that you can’t leave the Conwy County Borough area without a reasonable excuse. However we urge people to think not only about what you can’t do because the law says so, but also about what you shouldn’t do because it could increase the spread of coronavirus and your risk of contracting coronavirus. So even though you can travel within the area, you should think about whether there are alternatives, like working from home or using the internet to shop.

Similarly, even though you can still meet others outdoors in some circumstances, this isn’t an open invitation for people to do so. We are encouraging people to avoid unnecessary travel wherever possible and to avoid crowded places, particularly indoors.

What can I do?

There is a list of reasonable excuses to leave the Conwy County Borough area, such as going to work where you cannot work from home, accessing public services that are not in the area, and having medical treatment. Other reasons for leaving the area that aren’t listed may, however, also be allowed if they are reasonable. Please see more detailed guidance on the regulations.

I am not a resident of Conwy County Borough but I am currently in the area – do I now need to leave urgently?

If you do not have a good reason (a “reasonable excuse”) to stay in the area, you should leave as soon as practicable.

If you do have a reasonable excuse to stay, then while you are in the Conwy County Borough area, you should follow the local restrictions in place and limit your interactions with others as much as possible.

Once you have left the area, please be cautious about interacting with other people and be aware of any potential symptoms of coronavirus.

Can I be fined if I travel outside the area without reasonable excuse?

Yes, police can issue fixed penalty notices or you could be prosecuted and fined by the courts.

Can I visit members of my family or close friends who live outside the Conwy County Borough area?

Generally speaking, no. However if you need to, you can leave the area to provide care for, or to help someone who needs it, such as an older person, a child or a vulnerable adult. But you should consider whether there are alternative sources of support available and we strongly recommend that you do not visit more than one person outside the area. You can also leave the area to visit someone on compassionate grounds if necessary.

In considering whether there is a need to travel outside the area, please keep in mind that the purpose of the new restrictions is to prevent the transmission of the virus, including to those we care about – both within the area and outside it. People will need to make judgements for themselves about what is reasonable, in line with that overarching principle.

Can I continue with my extended household (or “bubble”) with other households?

No – not even if that household is also within the Conwy County Borough area. Gatherings with members of any other household can take place outdoors only.

I share parental responsibility for my child, can they visit the other person with parental responsibility, wherever they live?

Yes. You can continue existing arrangements for access and contact if you share parental responsibility for your child with another person, including leaving the local area if needed. Please ensure you follow the guidance on frequent handwashing and do not place others at risk if you or a member of your household is self-isolating.

If however you have coronavirus symptoms, live in the same house as or are an identified contact of someone with symptoms, you should stay at home and children shouldn’t visit.

I am a grandparent and provide informal childcare for my grandchildren. Can I carry on doing this?

Yes, but this form of childcare should only be used when no other methods are available. Adults should not go inside any households other than their own. Where children are being cared for in households other than their own it will be important to ensure they are regularly washing their hands and that wider guidance on managing the virus is followed. Children should not be cared for outside their home if they are ill, or by anyone who is ill.

What do you mean by visits on “compassionate grounds”?

You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone where they are struggling as a result of the lockdown. For example they may have a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their wellbeing or welfare.

Other examples of things that may be permitted include visits to people living or staying in care homes, (either care homes for adults or children’s homes), and visits to supported living services. However please be aware that routine visits to care homes in the Conwy County Borough area (both indoor and outdoor) have been suspended at the present time. Visits to care homes may still take place in exceptional circumstances such as end of life, however this should be discussed with the individual care home before travelling.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of the continuing restrictions is to prevent the transmission of the virus, including to those we care about.

Can I still see people outdoors?

Yes, up to a maximum of 30 people can meet outdoors but for the time being they will need to be people who also live in the Conwy County Borough area. You should continue to socially distance from people outside your household.

Can I meet people in my garden?

Yes. Visitors can also go through the house to reach the garden if needed. Only people who live within the Conwy County Borough area should visit your garden for the time being. Also, please think carefully about whether visits should take place. If anyone has symptoms of coronavirus, visits should not take place.

For the full list of questions relating to childcare, travel to university and other questions on excercise and outdoor activites please visit https://gov.wales/conwy-county-borough-lockdown-frequently-asked-questions?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsflash-NewsrestrictionsinConwyCounty&utm_content=version_A#section-51616