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Public Health Bill receives Royal Assent

Wide-ranging legislation which will help people live healthier lives and protect them from harm, has today [Monday 3 July] received Royal Assent.

At an official sealing ceremony in Cardiff, the Public Health (Wales) Bill became an Act of the Assembly. A Bill receives Royal Assent when Letters Patent under the Welsh Seal signed with Her Majesty’s own hand signifying Her Assent are notified to the Clerk of the Assembly.

The radical Welsh law will extend smoke free areas to settings including school grounds and hospital grounds, and introduce a licensing scheme for procedures such as tattooing.

It will also place a duty on local authorities to produce a toilets strategy; require public bodies to consider how their decisions will affect people’s health; prohibit the intimate piercing of children; make pharmacy services more responsive to their communities; and place a duty on the Welsh Government to produce a national strategy on preventing and reducing obesity.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones applied the Welsh Seal to the Letters Patent at the sealing ceremony, which was also attended by Public Health Minister Rebecca Evans.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said:  “This radical legislation will help us improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales.

“It keeps pace with emerging public health concerns and has a strong focus on children, ensuring our young people grow up in a Wales that helps them stay safe and healthy.”

Public Health Minister, Rebecca Evans, said:

“This wide-ranging legislation will have a significant, lasting positive impact on health in Wales. It will make a real difference to people of all generations, from children who will be protected from the harms of second hand smoke and the dangers of intimate piercing, to older people who will benefit from better planning of public toilet provision.

“I would like to thank all of the partners who worked with us to develop this Act, and look forward to continuing to work with them as it is implemented.”