It’s the new year and a new full national lockdown for both England and Wales, yet what are the rules and what happens if you unwittingly break them?
Over the last several months Boris Johnson and Mark Drakeford have issued very different rules in response to the coronavirus crisis, often leading to huge confusion, particularly for those living on or close to the Border.
Now both countries are in full lockdown once again, there is more parity with the rules, as there is far less we are allowed to do across the whole of the UK.
Social distancing, wearing a face mask in all public indoor places and staying at home are the main messages for both England and Wales and people must not mix with other households, apart from those who have formed a support bubble.
The only reasons you are allowed to leave your house are for work purposes (but only if you cannot work from home), for exercise once a day, for medical appointments and for shopping and essential services, such as for food, banking or for childcare reasons.
All hospitality, leisure, personal care businesses, such as hairdressers, and non-essential retail have been forced to close. Yet, unlike in the last lockdown, places of worship are open for private prayer and while communal services are allowed on both sides of the Border, these are at the discretion of the local clergy, as some churches have chosen to suspend all services. Check with your church for information.
One area that the two countries have chosen to diverge is on penalty notices. In England, you can be given a fixed penalty of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. While in Wales you could be asked to pay a fixed fine of £60, which will rise to £120 for the second breach and continue to increase for further breaches. For more serious offences, penalties start at £500.
For more details on the Covid rules, which are likely to be in place until at least mid-February, visit the respective government websites: