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New tighter lockdown restrictions will come into force in Wales at 6pm this evening, 23 October.

The ‘fire-break’ lockdown includes the half-term holiday and ends on 9 November.

Designed to stop the country’s NHS from being overwhelmed, it will see people largely confined to their homes.

The Law Society of England and Wales is keen to make people aware of the powers that enforcement officers have during the ‘fire-break.’

Enforcement officers are police constables, police community support officers and anyone designated as such by Welsh Ministers or a local authority.

They will have the power* to enter homes and other premises if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the lockdown restrictions are being contravened or are about to be contravened, or consider it necessary to enter to find out whether restrictions are being contravened.

The enforcement officers may use reasonable force while exercising their power and can also take other people, equipment and materials into homes if they think it is necessary.

Enforcement officers appointed by local authorities only have the power to enter non-domestic properties.

David Greene, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, said:

“These are extraordinary powers and it is important that the public are fully informed about them so that they don’t fall foul of them inadvertently. It is vital that laws of this nature are both visible and understandable.

“We will be concerned to ensure they are being used in a proportionate fashion.”

*See the regulations in full here