Welsh bars reopen after ‘firebreak’ lockdown
Bars and pubs in Wales can reopen today following a two-week lockdown but must stop serving alcohol at 10pm under new coronavirus measures.
From today (9 November), hospitality businesses in Wales that were ordered to close under the two-week ‘firebreak’ lockdown on 23 October will be able to reopen.
Businesses reopening in Wales must ensure two-metre physical distancing is observed, restrict visitor numbers and implement a one-way system where possible.
Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said: “Everyone in Wales has an important part to play in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus – we cannot do this without your help.
“The new national measures are designed to protect people’s health and limit the harm from the virus.
“Government rules and regulations are here to help. But the real strength we have is in the choices we make and the actions we take together.”
Under new national measures enforced across Wales, people will be able to form ‘bubbles’ between two households and can meet in groups of up to four in indoor places, such as bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants.
No alcohol can be served in hospitality venues between 10pm and 6am, and licensed venues must close at 10.20pm.
UK Hospitality’s executive director for Wales, David Chapman, said: “It is good to see that hospitality businesses in Wales will be reopening, albeit under much more severe restrictions than are being applied in other parts of the economy.
“For the time being, businesses will have to engage with the new rules and make the best possible success of them before, hopefully, moving towards a better arrangement.
“The impact these new restrictions have on the viability of our businesses is going to be key. The Welsh government must ensure it fully reviews the restrictions in two weeks as indicated. We need to give our financially devastated hospitality businesses the best possible chance of survival while ensuring that public health is not compromised.”
Last week, bars in England were forced to shut until 2 December under new lockdown measures. Venues in France and Germany have also been ordered to shut as Covid-19 cases rise.