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New restrictions on hospitality to take effect in Wales from Friday

New restrictions on hospitality to take effect in Wales from Friday

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Wales will have to close by 6pm each day from Friday 4 December and will not be allowed to serve alcohol, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

Takeaway and delivery services will be allowed to continue after 6pm. In addition, indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and bowling alleys and indoor attractions such as museums and galleries will have to close from Friday. Outdoor attractions can remain open and there will no other changes to the current Coronavirus restrictions in Wales, such as to rules on meeting other people.

The new national rules which will take effect from Friday were discussed when the Welsh Cabinet met over the weekend.

Speaking on Monday lunchtime, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said that action must be taken to avoid 1,000 - 1,700 preventable deaths over the winter period. Mr Drakeford said the current facts are 'stark' and that without action, data suggests there could be 2,200 people in hospital in Wales by 12 January.

Currently, there are approximately 210 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in Wales.

According to the First Minister, there have recently been rises in cases amongst under the 25 age group in many areas of Wales, and cases are also beginning to rise in the over 60 age group in most parts of the country.

Mr Drakeford said the new national measures are based on what the UK's SAGE committee has worked best elsewhere. The measures will be reviewed every 17 December and then every 3 weeks.

A further announcement will be made later this week on travel restrictions following the end of the lockdown period in England.

 

What support will be available to businesses?

Mr Drakeford said that the Welsh Government will make available the 'most generous package' of support anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Notable support includes;

  • £180m of new help specifically for tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses, in addition to existing UK government schemes
  • £160m for 60,000 businesses on the non-domestic rating list to be delivered by local authorities
  • Discretionary grants will also continue

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