Welsh workers could be fined £60 for going to the office but can still go to the pub

22 December 2021, 07:05

Workers in Wales could be fined £60 for going to their office under new coronavirus laws
Workers in Wales could be fined £60 for going to their office under new coronavirus laws. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Workers in Wales could be fined £60 for going to their office under new coronavirus laws if they are able to work from home.

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The government has changed legislation to make attending a workplace unnecessarily, a criminal offence, amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

The amended legislation states that "no person may leave the place where they are living, or remain away from that place, for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services" when it is "reasonably practicable" to do so from home.

It adds that anyone who contravenes this rule "commits an offence" punishable by a fine of £60.

However, people in Wales are still allowed to leave home to visit pubs and restaurants, and there is no limit on household mixing.

The latest restrictions in Wales also include the closure of nightclubs from December 27, and compulsory distancing through measures such as one-way systems in businesses to protect customers and staff.

From December 26, sporting events whether indoors or outdoors will be played behind closed doors.

Read more: Covid self-isolation period cut from 10 days to seven in bid to save Christmas

Read more: 'Go ahead with your plans': Boris Johnson confirms no new Covid restrictions for Christmas

A Welsh Government media briefing will be held just after midday to update the country on the Covid situation after Cabinet talks were held on Tuesday.

It comes as the number of identified Omicron cases in Wales grew by 204 on Tuesday to 640.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will make a virtual statement addressing the Senedd on the pandemic from 1.30pm and ministers will then have the opportunity to ask questions.

The Scottish First Minister said she was advising people to physically distance themselves from others not in their group when out and about and limit contact with others as much as they can.

Hospitality venues also face three weeks of new measures.

Outdoors events including football matches and other sports will be cut to a maximum of 500 people and indoor events reduced to 200 with seating and 100 with standing in plans due to kick in from Boxing Day.

That will impact Hogmanay celebrations, including the large-scale Edinburgh street party, and major sports events like the Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic on January 2.

Whilst in England Boris Johnson has confirmed Christmas plans will not be scrapped last minute this year.