Clearly this year’s Spring Clean Cymru will have a number of significant differences to our usual clean-up campaigns. We have made the decision not to run large community events and have been encouraging you to get involved either as an individual, a household or as part of an established group (with your own kit and insurance). 

It should be noted that this guidance document is based on the Health Protection (Coronavirus)(Wales) Regulation 2020 as amended on the 20 April 2021. The Regulation and supporting guidance is under constant review and subject to change depending on the current health situation across Wales. These changes may impact the guidance issued below, so please see here for latest version from Welsh Government.

Alert Levels

Wales now uses an Alert Level system, and this determines restrictions that may be in place at any given time to help control the spread of coronavirus. Each Alert Level will set out what type and scale of activity is possible, along with limits on the size of gathering, as well as placing a legal duty on event organisers to;

  • Ensure that any activity is in line with the current Regulation and Guidance for the Alert Level in place on the date of the event.
  • Ensure that ‘organised activities’ are in line with the definition must be organised by a business, public body or a charitable, benevolent, educational or philanthropic institution, a club or political organisation, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity’.
  • Take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to Coronavirus and ensure an appropriate risk assessment is in place. This includes;
    - Controlling numbers of participants so legal limits are not exceeded.
    - Maintain 2m social distancing throughout the activity.
    - Maintain high hygiene standards.

What are the key considerations?


Formal groups that have an insurance policy under the Keep Wales Tidy Group Insurance Scheme will be covered during their activity subject to the legal requirements above and the completion and sharing of an appropriate risk assessment.

Formal groups running an event via one of the official Keep Wales Tidy litter picking hubs will be covered by our insurance policy, subject to the legal requirements above, following all health and safety guidance issued by the hub on our behalf, and the completion and sharing of an appropriate risk assessment.

Number of participants

At Alert Level 4 group activity is not permissible at any point, but there are phased approaches within Level 4 that may permit individuals and householders.

At Alert Level 3 it may be possible for up to 30 people to gather outdoors as part of an ‘organised activity’ as defined above in Section 1, along with a number of specific conditions. Please note that this is a legal limit, and the Welsh Government guidance still aims to minimise gatherings of this size where possible.

The legal limit must not be exceeded, so a suitable method of controlling numbers must be in place, whether this is for example a pre-event booking system or turning people away once the limit has been reached.

To assist with the NHS Test and Trace Programme a register should be taken of all participants collecting name, address and contact telephone number. An example register can be found here and must be destroyed 21 days after the event.

Location / site

When considering the total number of participants able to take part in the event the size of the clean-up area must be able to take the number of participants and ensure that 2m social distancing is maintained throughout. This assessment will also need to take into account the number of members of the public that may also be using the intended site, again ensuring that it is possible to maintain 2m social distance.

Good hygiene

Good hygiene must be practiced throughout with regular hand washing in place, particularly at the start of the event, before eating or drinking and at the end. Participants should avoid hand to face contact. If washroom facilities are not available on site, or have restricted use, hand sanitiser should be made available and participants encouraged to bring their own.


A litter picker must be used at all times, and it is recommended that gloves are also worn. Equipment must not be shared between participants, and at the end of the event the litter picker should be wiped down with disinfectant (domestic grade is sufficient) and/or not re-used for a further 72 hours.

Participants should be encouraged to bring their own gloves to minimise risk. If disposable gloves are used, they should be removed by turning inside out and disposed of safely. If work gloves were used these should be washed (preferably at 600C), along with clothes that were worn during the activity.

Face masks are not mandatory for outdoor activity in Wales, but consideration should be given to participants who are at higher risk or prefer to wear them. Participants should bring their own mask and work in a zone / area where they are comfortable.

Waste collection

Before undertaking any litter picking activity you must check with your local authority about any specific requirements they may have. Some local authorities are yet to resume waste collections from volunteer litter picks, and some may have restrictions in place on the type of material that may be collected – for example some do not allow the collection of discarded PPE. If there are any local restrictions in place these must be followed and communicated to all of your participants.

Please check our local authority information here.

Control measures

It is important that sufficient and appropriate control measures are put in place to protect the health and safety of all participants and others who may be present at the clean-up site and ensure that all control measures are followed throughout the activity. It is strongly recommended that an event-controller is appointed to oversee the clean-up, and take responsibility for the following aspects;

  • Determining and ensuring that the total number of participants that can safely work on the site does not exceed the legal limit, and able to maintain 2m social distancing throughout.
  • Develop an appropriate site-specific risk assessment and deliver a health and safety briefing before partcipants begin litter picking.
  • Maintain all control measures throughout the event through observation and supervision and should not take part in the litter picking activity.
  • Compile a full register of all participants.
  • Ensure all equipment is returned safely and cleaned appropriately.
  • Be prepared to turn participants away if too many turn up or postpone or move the location if the site is busy with members of the public and it is not safe to continue with the event.

Below is a table setting out the main hazards and control measures for coronavirus (COVID-19) and some suggested actions that can be taken to mitigate the risk. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and the actions that can be implemented will be different for each site or location.

Potential Hazard

Control Measure

Possible Action


Transmission – person to person transfer

Any persons feeling unwell in any way must not attend, and this is not limited to symptoms of COVID-19

Health check as part of registration

This information must be clearly communicated to all participants ahead of the event

Information on the procedure can be found at here

Limit the group size to minimise contact groups and maintain social distancing

Pre-assessment of the site to determine total number possible on site

Pre-event registration form to limit numbers

Targeted recruitment of participants (known members) rather than public call

Only carry enough equipment for total number of participants and turn others away

Consider supporting individuals and households instead of organising a group event

Legal limit depends on current Alert Level.

Level 4 – no group activity

Level 3 – 30 people outdoors

2m to be maintained throughout, and some sites may not be large enough for this to be possible with maximum legal limit

Maintain 2m social distancing throughout, including members of the public as well as event participants

Appoint an event-controller to oversee all control measures and ensure compliance

Provide a crib sheet for each participant at registration with key actions included

Identify households that can operate in discreet groupings, and/or create zones for safe working

Signage reminding everyone of 2m distancing

Adjust number of participants if the site is busy with other members of the public

Have a second site ‘Plan B’ if the chosen site is too busy with members of the public


Follow good hygiene practice

Pre-event check on what washroom facilities are available

Encourgae participants to bring their own sanitiser

Ensure hygiene practice is included in the health and safety briefing and encourage all participants to avoid hand to face contact

Hands should be cleaned regularly, particularly at the start and end of the event, before eating or drinking and after using the toilet

Where possible multi-contact surfaces should be minimised (e.g. gates or railings)

Encourage participants to bring their own gloves and dispose/wash accordingly after the event

Participants should be encouraged to bring their own refreshemnts where possible, and avoid sharing of items such as water bottles


Contraction – contact with infected surfaces

Do not share equipment

No equipment is to be shared amongst participants

There should be enough equipment for the maximum/expected number of participants

Participants should be encouraged to bring their own gloves rather than issuing them

Hi-vis jackets should only be issued where the risk assessment specifically states they are required

Any hi-vis jackets and/or gloves that were issued should be collected in a way to minimise contact and washed immediately after the event at 60oC

Participants should be advised to wash their clothes at 60oC (where possible) when they return home

When equipment is returned it should be cleaned down using a domestic-grade disinfectant, and/or equipment should not be used for a further 72 hours


Minimise contact with surfaces

Only use litter-picker for collecting waste into bag

As far as possible avoid contact with any other surface, such as seats, railings, etc.




Canllawiau coronafeirws