Coronavirus Lockdown rules
We explain all the new rules that have come into place today

For the first time in over three months the people of Wales will be able to make contact with someone who does not live with them today.

The First Minister announced that from today onwards people can form an extended household with one other household.

And Mark Drakeford also dropped the controversial five-mile lockdown rule, in a move that has been welcomed by many.

It means that people can now meet family members who live further than five miles away for the first time in over three months.

But there are still many rules in place as to what you can and can’t do.

We explain what the new changes mean.

Joining up with another house

Extended household Wales
Two households can form one extended household from today onwards

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced one week ago that from today onwards, people can metaphorically merge two houses into one big household.

This means that any member of either dwelling can treat everyone in the extended household as though they live in their own home.

Each household can only form one single extension, however.

And it also means that if anyone in the extended household comes down with coronavirus symptoms, you have to isolate – in the same way that you would if they lived in your home.

This means you have to stay isolated for 14 days from the day the person first started showing symptoms.

You can now meet family and friends across the UK

The second change that came into place today means that you can meet up with members of family, as well as friends, who live anywhere across the UK.

But there are still some limitations as to who exactly you can meet, and under what circumstances.

If the person does not live within your extended household, you cannot meet up indoors at all. 

You are, however, allowed to spend time together in their garden, or any other outdoor area, including parks and beaches.

You are also allowed to enter someone’s house to gain access to their garden, but are not allowed to use any of their facilities inside – including their bathroom.

The two-metre rule is still in place

Social Distancing Wales
People in Wales still have to stay two metres apart

The First Minister has decided to not drop the two-metre social distancing rule yet.

This is in contrast to England, who have now adopted what they call a one-metre plus rule.

Mr Drakeford has not ruled out changing it, however, but has said that relaxation to the social distancing rule will only be made following advice from the Welsh Government’s chief scientific advisors.

“We put the health of the public first,” Mr Drakeford said.

“Of course, we will follow the advice that the prime minister will be relying upon for any announcement that he makes.

“If the advice we get through our scientific networks and through our chief medical officer is that it is possible to amend the advice we give and things can open safely – of course, that is what we would want to do, but we will assess that for ourselves.

“We will make decisions in a way that are right for Wales”.

This means that while you can travel any distance you want to meet someone, you still cannot make physical contact with them unless they are in your extended household.

Public transport is still off limits

You are only allowed to use public transport if you are going to work, or are performing an essential task, such as going food shopping or  visiting the doctors.

Despite the dropping of the five-mile rule, you cannot use busses or trains to visit family members.

And this even applies to visiting your extended household.

Anyone who does use public transport for any non-essential reason runs the risk of getting fined.