Coronavirus law can be confusing and different regulations in each country of the UK can lead to mistaken advice.

Here is a breakdown of some of the difference between The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) England and Wales bills. All citations below refer to the Welsh act.

Restrictions on movement

Both make clear that people should not leave their homes without reasonable excuse.

“During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse,” both acts say.

But the Welsh act specifically states a person can leave their home to take exercise only once a day.

“8. (2) (b) to take exercise, no more than once a day, either alone or with other members of the household”

The English act makes no mention of once-a-day exercise.


Western Telegraph:

Both acts allow people to travel for the purposes of going to a funeral, with some restrictions (8. (2) (g)).

  • if the funeral is for someone from the same household;
  • a close family member;
  • or a friend, but only if family or someone from the same household cannot go.

The Welsh act also allows for a carer to go with someone mentioned above

“8. (2) (g) (iv) as the carer of a person who is attending as a person mentioned in sub-paragraph (i), (ii) or (iii);”

Restrictions on worship

Both sets of regulations allow for broadcast acts of worship, but the Welsh regulations adds that funerals may also be broadcast.

The Welsh act also makes it clear that acts of worship must be without a congregation present (7. (2))

Public paths

Western Telegraph:

The Welsh act goes into detail about closing public paths and how this should be implemented. Regulation 9 says that relevant authorities (a local authority, a National Park authority in Wales, Natural Resources Wales, or the National Trust) must “close the public path or access land” if there is a high risk of spreading coronavirus.

Section five of regulation 9 says the authorities must also publish a list of closed areas on its website and put up notices.

Review and lifting of restrictions

The first date the emergency restrictions will be reviewed in Wales in on April 15 and further reviews must be carried out every 21 days.

“3. (2) The Welsh Ministers must review the need for restrictions and requirements imposed by these Regulations every 21 days, with the first review being carried out by 15 April 2020.”

In England the first review is set for April 16 and reviews should be carried out “at least” every 21 days.

What’s allowed in both bills that you might have missed?

You can travel:

  • to donate blood
  • to continue child care arrangements with another parent or guardian who lives separately
  • for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services
  • to move house (where necessary)
  • to access critical public services including