27 January 2022
ATISN 15873 – COVID Restrictions
Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 26 December 2021. You requested the following:
1. A copy of the scientific evidence presented by officials to Welsh Ministers to inform, and justify, the political decision to impose restrictions in Wales, effective from 26 December 2021, and
2. A copy of the Regulatory Impact Assessment [RIA] laid before Welsh Parliament outlining the impacts of the new regulations in Wales.
View the summary of the available scientific evidence relating to the restrictions on hospitality and entertainment effective from 26 December 2021
2 We did not complete a RIA. The decision of whether or not to produce an RIA to accompany regulations needs to be made with reference to the Welsh Ministers RIA Code for Subordinate legislation (‘the Code’ - Welsh Ministers’ regulatory impact assessment code for subordinate legislation). The policy set out in the Code is to always carry out an RIA for ‘relevant Welsh subordinate legislation’ (as defined in the Code and S.76 of GoWA 2006 subject to a small number of exceptions (para 3.2).
The reason for not doing an RIA is due to the following exception:
Where the subordinate legislation is urgently required to:
• negate or mitigate a serious threat to human, animal or plant health or serious damage to property, OR
• properly respond to circumstances resulting from such a threat.
We do, however, complete Summary Impact Assessments (SIAs) in relation to Coronavirus protections. The SIA, which includes equality, wellbeing and economic impact assessments, for the measures put in place from 26 December 2021 will be published as soon as possible and will be available at Impact assessments: coronavirus.
Whilst I can confirm that the Welsh Government holds information of this description, it is considered exempt under section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act. This states (inter alia):
1) Information is exempt information if:
(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not),
(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at the time when the request for information was made, and
(c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a)
I can confirm that the conditions under (a) and (b) are satisfied. Welsh Government does hold the information being requested. The SIA will be published as soon as possible.
Under (c), the Welsh Government believes that it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until that time. Publishing the requested information now may not reflect the information that will be published on the website as the document is undergoing quality assurance checks ready for publication. For that reason, we believe it is reasonable for the publication schedule to remain so as to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the information.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit
or Email: Freedom.email@example.com
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.