Andrew RT Davies to visit pub in England to call for Welsh Government to open hospitality in Wales
The Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies will visit an open pub in England near the Welsh border today to call on Mark Drakeford to re-open hospitality in Wales.
Pubs in England opened outdoors on 12 April but won’t open in Wales for another week and a half – on 26 April.
The Welsh Government said it was taking “a careful step-by-step approach” to avoid a third wave.
However, the Welsh Conservatives have asked for the scientific rationale for not re-opening activities such as outdoor hospitality.
Ahead of a visit to the open pub near the England-Wales border, Andrew RT Davies has called for restrictions on outdoor hospitality to be lifted to help “save Welsh jobs and businesses”.
The Welsh Conservatives have said that they would open indoor hospitality no later than 17 May if they win the election at the beginning of next month.
“The British vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength and has provided us with a path out of lockdown,” Andrew RT Davies said.
“Caution is crucial but it’s also vital we acknowledge the devastating impact restrictions are having on Welsh livelihoods, and on the physical and mental wellbeing of so many in Wales.
“Sadly, Wales is trailing behind other areas of the UK because Labour insist on playing politics, rather than following the science.
“It makes little sense, and lost trade across the border ultimately means lost livelihoods in Wales. With low case rates and high vaccination numbers, Labour ministers must now act to save Welsh jobs and businesses as with each passing day more go to the wall.”
The Conservatives’ own roadmap for reopening the economy after 6 May includes:
- Ensure the options listed by the Welsh Government for review 1st April and 22nd April are implemented, if not already done so by the current administration.
- Backdate financial business support to 1st April for any retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses that had been closed during the election period.
- Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
- Outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas can reopen. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply – although we will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.
- Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
- Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
- In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
- Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. Other life events that will be permitted include bar mitzvahs and christenings.
- It is hoped all legal limits on social distancing can be removed.
- We hope to lift restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.
- This will also guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.
“Welsh Conservatives have published a cautious, yet detailed, roadmap outlining how we would have reopened hospitality as well as other sectors in the economy, including gyms,” Andrew RT Davies said.
“People across Wales are asking where is the science? Families, workers and businesses deserve answers and Labour need to stop playing politics, heed our plan, or explain why hospitality can resume a number of metres across the border in England, but not in Wales, at the expense of Welsh jobs.”