The First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, has announced increased precautions to be implemented across the hospitality sector, in a bid to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.
In Wales both pubs and restaurants will be banned from serving alcohol from this coming Friday, and will be closed to customers from 6pm each evening. If businesses have takeaway facilities, then they are able to continue to serve the public in this capacity until 10pm. The takeaway rules include alcohol, which pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve on a collection basis up until the curfew.
Concerns have been raised over the impact these new rules will have on an already struggling industry, with Conservative leader Paul Davies calling out the blanket national rule as ‘unfair’ on areas with lower Covid rates.
Drakeford is hopeful that the new measures will suppress the rapid spread of the virus in Wales, estimating that without any action taken Wales could see an additional 1000-1700 deaths across the winter. Mr Drakeford said: "I am very grateful for everything the sector has done.
"I know these new restrictions will be difficult, coming as they do at the one of the busiest times of the year for the sector.
"Unfortunately, we continue to face a virus which is moving incredibly quickly across Wales and a virus that will exploit every opportunity when we spend time with one another."
A slight silver lining comes byway of the mixed household rules, which allows four people from four different households to meet indoors at a pub or restaurant in Wales.
Other venues such as cinemas, museums and galleries will all also have to shut. To support businesses impacted by the new move, The Government has announced a support package worth £340 million, which Drakeford says is the most generous assistance offered anywhere across the UK.
This decision for Wales will be reviewed on the 17 December and come into effect at 6pm on Friday.
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