Hospitality in Wales and Scotland to close as Government introduces tighter Tier 4 in England

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Restaurants pubs in Wales and Scotland to close as Government introduces tighter Tier 4 in England

Related tags: lockdown, Coronavirus tier system, Wales, Scotland

Hospitality venues in Wales have had to close again over the weekend under the country's 'Level 4' Coronavirus restrictions, with businesses in Scotland set to follow suit on Boxing Day.

Pubs and restaurants in Wales were ordered to close on Saturday (19 December) after lockdown measures initially scheduled to be implemented on Christmas Day​ were brought forward.

Hospitality venues in Scotland have been ordered to close from one minute past midnight on Boxing Day morning for three weeks as the country enters the highest level of its own five-tier system.

Operators in Wales were given just a few hours notice that they would have to close, with many left with thousands of pounds worth of stock intended to be sold this week in the lead up to Christmas.

Reacting to the announcement on Twitter, chef James Sommerin, who owns The Shed in Barry, said: "Omg! I could [fucking] scream.

"A fridge full of food for the last few days of opening... A little bit of notice could have saved thousands of pounds of food that’s sat in every restaurant fridge in Wales."

It comes as England and the devolved nations each chose to amend the planned nationwide five-day lifting of Coronavirus restrictions over the festive period to cover just Christmas Day.

However, in England the introduction of a new Tier 4 in London and the areas of south-east and east of the country has meant millions of people will not be able to mix with anyone outside their household on Christmas Day.

Restrictions under Tier 4 are broadly similar to those imposed during the November lockdown, with hospitality confined to offering takeaway and delivery only - as they also would be under the tighter Tier 3 restrictions.

Commenting on the new restrictions over the weekend, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) renewed its calls for the sector to receive targeted financial support, warning that it will continue to suffer horrendously under these new measures, as it has throughout the pandemic.

“The night-time economy and hospitality sector has lost all confidence in the Government strategy against Covid," said Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA.

"The unrelenting closing and reopening of businesses is costing owners hundreds of thousands of pounds, and coupled with the erratic decision-making around restrictions, is rapidly destroying the ability of the sector to bounce back.

“Thousands of businesses and employees have supported the Government's public health campaign against Covid, creating safe, regulated environments for people to socialise. This financial burden and commitment has been recognised only in lip-service, with insubstantial support measures to repay confidence in the sector.

“There is disbelief and anger amongst the sector that the Government did not foresee the impact of transmissions by keeping retail, education and other sectors open during such a delicate period within the crisis.

“If the Prime Minister wants the hardest-hit sectors to continue to support the Government in its Public Health strategy against Covid, then he must compensate the businesses fully for their losses, and deliver a robust exit strategy to regain industry confidence.”

Last week it was reported that Northern Ireland will enter into a six-week lockdown from Boxing Day​, with hospitality restricted to takeaway and delivery.

Related topics: Legislation

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