UKHospitality Cymru (UKHC) has pointed to low numbers of coronavirus cases in the country and a successful vaccination programme in Wales as evidence to bring forward the reopening of indoor trade.
More than half of people aged 40-49 have been jabbed and more than a quarter of those aged 30-39 have received a coronavirus vaccine dose, according to Public Health Wales.
While First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government’s “ambition” is for pubs to fully reopen before the end of May, he said the “fast moving and unpredictable” nature of the pandemic necessitated caution.
He has been hesitant to give any concrete dates but said the Welsh Government would consider reopening indoor hospitality at the lockdown review cycle from Monday 17 May.
UKHC executive director, David Chapman called on the First Minister to announce indoor reopening would be possible before England and Scotland or “at the very least” at the same time.
“UKHC is asking him to reopen the industry,” Chapman added. “Customers are keen; businesses are desperate; workers want stability and a release from uncertainty and anxiety about their jobs.
Lift the mood
“An early opening would help key businesses survive, boost local communities and the Welsh economy as a whole and lift the mood of Wales tremendously.”
Outdoor trade will be allowed to return in Wales from 26 April in Wales.
Ministers in England and Scotland have earmarked the date of 17 May for a full reopening of indoor trade.
Pubs in Scotland can reopen from 26 April for outdoor and indoor trade but will not be able to serve alcohol indoors until 17 May.
A legal challenge has been launched against the Welsh Government over its lack of clarity on the reopening of indoor hospitality.
Judicial review proceedings have been initiated by the operator of Cardiff’s Sticky Fingers Street Food restaurant Matt Connolly.