Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes across Wales must close by 6pm from Friday, First Minister announces
Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes across Wales will not be able to serve alcohol and must close by 6pm from Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.
Indoor attractions including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, soft play centres, casinos, skating rinks and amusement arcades, museums, galleries and heritage sites, will also have to close completely.
The rule will be reviewed on 17 December, he said.
“When people meet together in a hospitality setting, you’re not just having a glancing encounter with somebody as you do if you’re going round a supermarket,” he said.
“You’re sitting together with people for a significant period of time, and the evidence I’m afraid is just there.”
There will be no changes to household bubbles, how many people can meet in public indoor or outdoor places or restrictions on other businesses, he said.
“The English lockdown will end of Wednesday this week. In that context we are looking at travel restrictions in and out of Wales and will make a further announcement later this week,” he added.
The measures are:
- From 6pm on Friday, national measures will be amended to introduce new restrictions for hospitality and indoor entertainment attractions.
- Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol.
- After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services.
- From the same date, indoor entertainment venues, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, soft play centres, casinos, skating rinks and amusement arcades, must close.
- Indoor visitor attractions, such as museums, galleries and heritage sites will also have to close.
- Outdoor visitor attractions will remain open.
The First Minister said there had been a “stark” rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Wales.
He said the all-Wales seven-day incidence rate was 187 cases per 100,000 people last week, but today that had risen to almost 210 cases per 100,000 people.
He said that by January 12 the total number of people with coronavirus in hospital in Wales could rise to 2,200 unless action was taken.
“Unless we respond now to the growing number of people infected with the virus, the advice we have from our scientific and medical advisers is that,” he said.
“By January 12, the total number of people with coronavirus in hospital in Wales could rise to 2,200.
“And our modelling suggests an extra 1,600 people could lose their lives over the winter period.
“On Friday, the all-Wales seven-day incidence rate was 187 cases per 100,000 people.
“Today that has risen to almost 210 cases per 100,000 people.
“We have also seen further rises among the under-25 age group in 17 of the 22 local authority areas in Wales.
“More worryingly, cases of coronavirus are beginning to rise in the over-60 age group in most parts of Wales.”
The First Minister said the Welsh Government will provide £340m to support businesses affected by the new Covid-19 restrictions.
The first element of the package is a £160m restrictions business fund, that the Welsh Government says will support up to 60,000 businesses on the non-domestic rating list across Wales.
The second element is a £180m fund targeted at hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses.
“Businesses, including those in retail, tourism, leisure and hospitality, and their supply chains, which are materially affected by the restrictions will receive payments of between £3,000 and £5,000,” he said.
“Discretionary grants of up to £2,000 will continue to be available for those not on the non-domestic rating list.
“This fund will be delivered by local authorities. I am very grateful for their ongoing support and help to deliver this part of the package.
“The second element is a £180m fund targeted at hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses. It will provide grants of up to £100,000 for SMEs and £150,000 for larger businesses.
“The grants will be linked to the number of people employed and their operating costs with up to 10,000 businesses being supported.”