Welsh pubs to reopen indoors 'before end of May'

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unlocking: the Welsh Government will look to reopen pubs indoors in May (image: Getty/Alena Kravchenko)
Unlocking: the Welsh Government will look to reopen pubs indoors in May (image: Getty/Alena Kravchenko)

Related tags: lockdown, Wales, Welsh pub, Beer

Pubs in Wales will be able to reopen outdoors from Monday 26 April while it is hoped indoor hospitality will reopen before the end of May.

Speaking at a coronavirus press briefing today (Thursday 1 April), First Minister Mark Drakeford said he understood how important certainty was for businesses but the "further we get away from today" the more provisional dates became.

Looking to the next lockdown review cycle, Drakeford said outdoor hospitality would be able to reopen on Monday 26 April, providing the public health position remained positive.

The First Minister said it was the Government's "ambition" for indoor hospitality to "reopen ahead of the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May." 

The Government will consider reopening indoor hospitality at the lockdown review cycle from Monday 17 May.

However, he was hesitant to provide concrete reopening dates given the nature of the pandemic. "We are dealing with a very different virus this time, it is fast moving and unpredictable," he said.

Drakeford pointed to the country's vaccination progress and said it was set to meet its next vaccination milestone early. Some 57% of adults have now had a first dose and nearly one in five have had both doses.

Licensees had despaired at the lack of indicative reopening dates from the Welsh Government, pointing to their counterparts in England who have been given a provisional date of Monday 17 May for indoor hospitality.

Funding calls

The Welsh Beer & Pub Association (WBPA) welcomed the indication of reopening dates and said it gave the sector "something to plan towards."

WBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin added: “The further indication that indoor hospitality will be considered for reopening in the period following 17 May is also an important step forward.

“We look forward to further discussions with the Welsh Government concerning the types of restrictions that will be in place and a funding package going forwards.”

The trade body reiterated its calls for pubs and bars in Wales to be offered grants similar to the Restart grants on offer to English pubs.

Related topics: Legislation

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