Coronavirus: Can you plan to meet someone outdoors in Wales?

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Police can enforce the rules, with fines for breaches

The Welsh Government has clarified that two people cannot make plans to meet-up outdoors in Wales after the first minister suggested they could.

Mark Drakeford said under Welsh rules “if one person from a household is going out and meeting another member of their family then under our rules that would be permitted”.

But BBC Wales was later told individuals cannot pre-arrange to meet.

A Welsh Conservative politician said it was a “right mess”.

The Welsh Government was asked for comment.

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Media caption“It is Welsh law that applies in Wales”

Earlier on Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said people in England can meet another person from outside their household.

At a later press conference, Mr Drakeford said he doubted whether Mr Raab’s comments amounted to a “real change”.

He said that two people were already allowed to “interact with each other” at a social distance in Wales.

Mr Drakeford said that if “you, as I did over this weekend, go on my bicycle to my allotment through one of the major fields in Cardiff, then you see people doing that all the time”.

“The rules in Wales are that two people can meet providing they observe social distancing, so if one person from a household is going out and meeting another member of their family… then under our rules that would be permitted,” he said.

But he added that “you can’t go above two. Once you go above two in our definition it becomes a gathering and gatherings are not allowed”.

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Exercise is one of the reasons people can have to be out of their homes

Under the law that governs lockdown, people must have a “reasonable excuse” to be away from home.

That can include exercise, going to work or buying essentials – but not meeting friends.

Since Mr Drakeford made the comments, the Welsh Government said there was no problem if individuals meet someone spontaneously outside of their own household “and have a chat with them as long as you socially distance”.

“Where it would be a problem is if you pre-arranged to meet them,” BBC Wales was told.

“The bottom line is that groups of people shouldn’t arrange to meet.”

It is understood that the rules as they stand would make no distinction for family members.

Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central, tweeted that it appeared Mr Drakeford had been “wrong” at the press conference.

“And the bigger question of what is now a right mess – how on earth can this be policed,” he asked. “Simple answer – it can’t.”

BBC News

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