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Top chef ‘giving away’ 140 roast dinners after Christmas lockdown announcement

19 Dec 2020 5 minutes Read
Tommy Heaney on the Great British Menu

A top chef is giving a 140 roast dinners after Mark Drakeford announced that Wales is going into lockdown.

Tommy Heaney, who runs a popular Heaneys restaurant in Cardiff, made the offer after the First Minister said the country will go into lockdown at midnight tonight and the Christmas relaxation has dropped to just one day.

The rules which allow two households to come together to form a Christmas bubble over a five-day period will apply on Christmas Day only.

Non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms, leisure centres and hospitality will close at end of trading today. Stay-at-home restrictions will come into force from midnight

In response to the news Mr Heaney tweeted: “F**k sake. Just finished steaming my roasties! 140 roast dinners free to good home! #lockdown.”

Mr Heaney made the news a few weeks ago when it was announced by the First Minister announced restrictions on selling alcohol in bars and restaurants.

However, he later said that it was a joke and that he backed Mark Drakeford, who had an “extremely tough job on his hands”.

He said: “Right it’s decided, I’ve given this a lot of thought over the past few weeks and I’ve come to the decision that Mr Drakeford is officially the first person to be banned from Heaneys.

“He’s been given 14 days to review his actions and appeal.”

After his words were reported by the press he said: “Guys thank you all for your words of support but just to confirm, this is not actually serious.

“Although we may not agree with the measures put in place we still support that Mr Drakeford has an extremely tough job on his hands, and I certainly wouldn’t like to be in his shoes.”

 

‘Restrictions’ 

The news of the latest restrictions comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put much of the south-east of England into a much stricter lockdown and banned travel over Christmas in those ‘Tier 4’ areas.

The change of plans come after it was revealed that a new Covid-19 strain is particularly virulent in the south-east of Wales and the south-east of England.

“We now know that this new strain is significantly more infectious and spreads more quickly than the original one,” Mark Drakeford said.

“This is remarkably consistent with the rapid acceleration of transmission in Wales and the high rates of cases we have seen in recent weeks.”

He said that the “situation is incredibly serious. I cannot overstate this.”

“We have therefore reached the difficult decision to bring forward the alert level four restrictions for Wales, in line with the action being taken in London and the South East of England,” he said.

“These new restrictions will come into effect from midnight tonight instead of during the Christmas period.

“This will mean non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will close at the end of trading today.

“Stay-at-home restrictions will also come into effect from midnight.

“Unfortunately, we must also look again at the arrangements for Christmas – we cannot expose people to the risk of this new, more virulent strain of coronavirus.

“We will therefore change the current rules, which allow two households to come together to form a Christmas bubble over a five-day period, so that they will apply on Christmas Day only.”

Responding to the announcement from the First Minister that restrictions will come into effect in Wales from midnight tonight, Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price said it was the right call.

“In light of the strongest possible scientific advice, it is right to take decisive action to bring the level of cases under control, save lives and ease the mounting pressure on the NHS.

“It was for those reasons that we called on the Welsh Government to act earlier this week – rather than delay a decision which always seemed inevitable.

“The introduction of new, tighter restrictions will undoubtedly be a disappointment to those who had planned to see friends and family over the Christmas period.

“However, we all have a responsibility to keep one another safe. While we are once again asked to make a sacrifice at what is usually a sociable time of year, our collective effort is necessary, particularly as a new variant of Covid-19 has been identified.

“No one wanted a Christmas like this. This latest lockdown will amplify the need to rapidly roll out the vaccine, increase the financial support for those self-isolating and introduce a package of support to allow businesses to fully hibernate.”

Paul Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said he supported the new restrictions announced tonight.

“Having been briefed by the First Minister today, I can fully appreciate the need for more severe restrictions in Wales, especially where infection rates are high, and the new strain of the virus is circulating,” he said.

“I know that many people will be disappointed as they were looking forward to seeing their loved ones this Christmas, but in the face of the emerging evidence it is clear that Christmas bubble arrangements must change.

“By working together and keeping to the rules we can ensure as many people as possible will be around to celebrate Christmas together in the years to come.”

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