Wales’ much-criticised new Covid-19 rules aren’t as strict as those in many parts of England, a Welsh Government minister has said.
Deputy Economy minister Lee Waters said that the alternative to the no-alcohol and 6pm closing rule for Welsh pubs was that they would have to close completely, as they had in Tier 3 parts of England.
He also pointed to a list of restrictions that are due to be brought through in England when the lockdown ends there tonight.
“This is what the English Conservative Government is doing in most parts of England,” he said.
“The alternative [to Wales’ rules] was to close all hospitality, as is happening in English Tier 3 areas. We opted to keep hospitality open so people could continue to meet indoors, recognising important seeing people is for wellbeing.”
England’s hospitality rules mean that in Tier 3 areas bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs.
England’s Tier 3 restrictions cover much of the north of the country Bristol and parts of the south-east.
Under Tier 2 in England, pubs and bars may not provide alcohol for consumption on the premises, unless with a substantial meal, so they are operating as a restaurant. They may remain open for take-away services.
Wales’ new rules will come in on Friday.
The Conservatives have called for a tiered system to be brought in in Wales, arguing that low Covid-19 areas are paying the price for areas with high number of cases elsewhere.
Aberconwy Senedd Member Janet Finch-Saunders said that the rules set to be in place from Friday were “totally inappropriate and disproportionate” for the area.
“The Welsh Government must urgently come forward with the scientific data that supports such an arbitrary, nationwide ruling,” she said.
“I know that many people will be devastated by today’s news, rightly acknowledging that pubs and restaurants throughout Aberconwy have gone to extreme lengths to enact industry-leading safety measures as a means to protect customers.”