Welsh pubs close again under another lockdown

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Shuttered venues: Welsh pubs will have to close from 6pm on Christmas Day
Shuttered venues: Welsh pubs will have to close from 6pm on Christmas Day

Related tags: Wales, lockdown, Legislation

New lockdown measures have been enforced in Wales, including the closure of pubs, later this month (December), First Minister Mark Drakeford announced.

The Welsh Government originally said pubs and restaurants in Wales, will close from 6pm on Christmas Day and all non-essential shops, alongside leisure and fitness centres will close at the end of trading on Christmas Eve.

However, this was then changed last weekend, meaning hospitality had to close at the end of trading on Saturday 19 December.

Drakeford said: “Stay-at-home restrictions will also come into effect from midnight. For people currently staying in holiday accommodation in Wales, they should make arrangements to leave and return home at the earliest opportunity.

"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. Throughout the alert level four period, a single person household will be able to join with one other household.

"While we all want to avoid further disruption to businesses and plans for Christmas, our overriding duty is to protect lives here in Wales. Yesterday, we announced a further £110m to support businesses affected by the alert level four restrictions. This is in addition to the £340m Restrictions Business Fund and targeted hospitality fund. We will do all we can to make sure this support is available as quickly as possible to those businesses which need it.

"And if there is further funding available to Wales – as a result of decisions made by the UK Government to support businesses in London and the south east during the lockdown period – we will pass it on.

Long and difficult year

Drakeford added: “This has been such a long and difficult year. We need to take this action to save lives and control the spread of this awful virus.”

The four UK Governments met last week (Wednesday 16 December) to confirm the arrangements for the five-day Christmas period.

The decision to exclude pubs from this rule makes a "mockery of the additional measures on pubs​", one trade body stated.

Restrictive rules on hospitality

The 'Christmas bubble' measures meant three households can meet at home for five days during the festive period, mix indoors and stay overnight while “restrictive rules on hospitality” remain in place.

However, this was then changed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson so household mixing would only be permitted for Christmas Day and for those in tier four, it would not be permitted at all.

Related topics: Legislation

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