Pub crawls should be 'things of the past still', says minister

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Big nights out: Wales' health minister Vaughan Gething has warned against people going out drinking in large groups
Big nights out: Wales' health minister Vaughan Gething has warned against people going out drinking in large groups

Related tags: Coronavirus, Legislation, Drinks, Health and safety

Punters should not be drinking in large groups such as stag and hen parties, the Welsh health minister has said.

While up to four households can join together to form an extended household in Wales, Government guidance asks people to limit contact with individuals outside those groups. This means social distancing of two metres between households, whether indoors or outdoors.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Breakfast with Claire Summers ​following a spike in cases in Cardiff, Vaughan Gething said large groups of different households should not be hitting the town for big nights yet.

Despite the number of cases being relatively low, the minister said they were evidence of the risks that come with people socialising indoors and being in close contact.

"It's another warning sign for us that the relatively low rates of coronavirus should not lead to people taking risks and ignoring the guidance and the rules that we've provided," Gething said. 

"I don't want people returning to going on a pub crawl again, ignoring the advice about the number of people you should be going out to have a drink with.

"Traditional stag and hen parties, for example, should be things of the past still, because that's lots of people mixing, going out together."

Although big boozy nights may be part and parcel of how people have come to celebrate key life events, Gething urged people to consider the ‘new normal’. 

Risky business

The minister explained: “I remember my own stag event and people from different households, more than a dozen different households, going together to meet, to sleep in two different caravans and go out to a range of different venues. That’s exactly what shouldn’t happen now because of the risks that we now face.

“So it’s an appeal to our common sense in the way that we want to maintain the freedoms that we have unlocked, because actually if coronavirus goes up and we see a further upswing, we may end up having to roll back on some of those freedoms.”

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also spoken out against both large groups from different households visiting hospitality together and visiting multiple venues in one trip.

“If larger gatherings are seen forming in bars or restaurants, then they should be challenged,”, Sturgeon said after the nation made it mandatory for venues to collect customer contact details earlier this month.

Contact-tracing workload

Sturgeon added: “The more settings you go to the more likely you might be to get Covid and the more likely you are to spread it.

“Visiting lots of pubs in a single day or evening massively increases the potential workload for test and protect.

“Nobody’s life should be feeling absolutely normal right now."

Stag and hen parties have traditionally been big cash generators for many pub and bar businesses.

One survey found that pub crawls were the number one choice for grooms and their friends while hen parties said the activity was their second ideal night, as reported by The Morning Advertiser​.

Related topics: Health & safety

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