Welsh pubs subject to 'rule of 4'

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wales Welsh pub Cardiff Swansea lockdown Coronavirus Legislation

Welsh pubs have received confirmation of operating rules before they resuming trading next week.

Pubs have been closed since Friday 23 October as the nation was plunged into a ‘firebreak’ lockdown to curb rates of coronavirus transmission.

But they will be able to reopen on Monday 9 November, with nationwide rules replacing the previous system of varying local measures.

A ‘rule of four’ will be in place, meaning up to four people from up to four different households will be allowed to meet inside at pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Larger households will be permitted to visit hospitality businesses together.

Children under the age of 11 do not count towards the limit, the Welsh Government said.

Two households can form a bubble when restrictions are eased but for hospitality settings the number of people must still be limited to four.

Regulated setting

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "We have listened to those young people and single people who told us how important it is for them to meet some friends and other family members.

"Our intention is that the regulations will allow groups of up to four people to meet in a regulated setting such as a restaurant, cafe or pub.

"But this is subject to strict protections discussed with the hospitality sector, including advance booking, time-limited slots and verified identification."

Pubs must not sell alcohol after 10pm.

The Welsh Government has warned English people not to try and “escape” the lockdown there by visiting Wales.

Drakeford said there was a worry those in nearby places such as Chester would be tempted to visit Welsh pubs.

He also urged people to visit businesses in the smallest groups possible and reduce social contact.

Financially devastated 

UKHospitality said the Welsh Government must ensure restrictions are fully reviewed every fortnight.

UKHospitality Cymru executive director David Chapman said: “It is good to see that hospitality businesses in Wales will be reopening, albeit under much more severe restrictions than are being applied in other parts of the economy.

“For the time being, businesses will have to engage with the new rules and make the best possible success of them before, hopefully, moving towards a better arrangement.

“The impact these new restrictions have on the viability of our businesses is going to be key. The Welsh Government must ensure it fully reviews the restrictions in two weeks as indicated. We need to give our financially devastated hospitality businesses the best possible chance of survival while ensuring that public health is not compromised.”

A number of operators told The MA​ they were considering remaining closed for a longer period, given the hit on trade​. 

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