Summary
Authorities in Wales are planning to reintroduce stringent restrictions on activity Oct. 23 in response to a rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases; the additional measures are scheduled to last until Nov. 9. The following restrictions will apply:

 

  • People from different households will be prohibited from meeting indoors or outdoors.
  • Nonessential businesses, including hotels, hair salons, and pubs will close; restaurants will be limited to carryout services only.
  • Residents are advised to work from home to the extent possible.


Each of the UK's constituent countries has the authority to impose travel and other restrictions, though they have typically remained closely aligned in their actions. Specific nationwide measures include a requirement that facemasks be worn in enclosed public spaces, including on public transport, and a prohibition on gatherings of more than six people. Other measures currently include:

England
Authorities are maintaining a three-tier alert system based on localized COVID-19 activity levels; the alert levels are "Medium," "High," and "Very High." The medium alert is the current minimum level; in all areas, gatherings of more than six people are prohibited, and pubs and restaurants must close by 2200. For high alert areas, a ban on indoor mixing of households is also in effect; this currently applies to London, most of Essex, parts of Cheshire, Elmbridge, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Durham, York, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, West Midlands, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire. Additional restrictions for areas rated as Very High include a complete ban on households mixing indoors or in private outdoor areas and the closure of pubs and bars that do not serve food; this currently applies to the Liverpool City Region.

Northern Ireland
The following restrictions are in effect:

 

  • Social bubbles are limited to 10 people from two different households.
  • All food and beverage establishments are closed, except for delivery and takeout services.
  • Indoor sports, as well as contact sports involving members of different households, are suspended.
  • Public gatherings are limited to 15 people.
  • Close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, are closed.
  • Schools are closed until at least Nov. 2.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals are limited to 25 people.
  • Restrictions on social activity are tighter in some areas, including Londonderry and Strabane.


Scotland
The following restrictions are in effect:

 

  • Individuals from more than two households are not permitted to gather indoors.
  • Pubs and restaurants must close for indoor service at 1800 and at 2300 for outdoor service.
  • Restrictions on social activity are tighter in some areas, including the health board areas of Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian, Ayrshire, and Arran.


Wales
The following restrictions are in effect:

 

  • Individuals from more than four households are not permitted to meet indoors.
  • Restrictions on social activity are tighter in some areas, including Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan Caerphilly, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, and Wrexham.

 

International entry restrictions remain in place. Although more than 70 countries and overseas territories - including Australia, Cuba, Germany, Malaysia, and New Zealand - are exempt from the requirement, international passengers of any nationality arriving from nonexempt locations must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the UK. Health officials could perform spot checks to ensure compliance. Persons without suitable accommodations are required to stay in facilities arranged by the government at their own expense. Freight drivers and healthcare workers are exempt from the requirement. All international travelers entering the UK must fill out a passenger locator form, providing contact details and their travel history over the previous 14 days. Officials review the measures every three weeks, or on a need-driven basis, in response to significant changes in disease activity abroad.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks. Government officials claim that improved COVID-19 data now allows a more targeted approach to imposing quarantine requirements on international arrivals, partly removing the necessity for national-level restrictions.

 

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Arrive at the airport early to prevent your seat from being reallocated to a standby passenger. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

 

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