Welsh hospitality demands clarity over reopening

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Welsh hospitality demands clarity over reopening

Related tags: Wales, Hospitality, Coronavirus, lockdown

The Welsh hospitality sector has demanded clarity from the Government on when it will able to unlock, warning that the ongoing delay risks further job losses and business failures.

Trade body UKHospitality Cymru has also said it is crucial new financial support is forthcoming for businesses forced to stay shut for longer. 

First Minister Mark Drakeford has been hesitant to provide a reopening date for hospitality in Wales, but has suggested outdoor hospitality settings may be able to reopen on 23 April.

It is understood a more detailed plan for easing restrictions will be unveiled by the Welsh Government later this week, with indoor hospitality expected to be ordered to remain closed until May.

"News that outdoor hospitality will not be considered for reopening until at least April 23 is disappointing, disruptive and damaging to businesses that are desperate to know when they can tell guests when they can return," says David Chapman, UKHospitality Cymru executive director.

“Our businesses see retail and other areas opening up while they are frustrated and fearful for their existence. Existing support runs out in five days and they are hanging on by their fingernails financially.

“We are only asking for a fair and level playing field that offers clarity and financial stability. Local hospitality businesses are ready to go with full guidelines containing a set of mitigations that will make them safe and welcoming. We can’t plan to bring people back to work without a clear indication of date and many will be unable to keep people on the payroll without more support.”

“After twelve months of listening to our calls for much needed support, it would be a waste of that sound investment in Welsh jobs to fall short at the final hurdles.”

Last week Matt Connolly, founder of Sticky Fingers Street Food in Cardiff, launched a crowdfund campaign to help cover the costs of mounting a legal challenge​ against the devolved government's failure to provide the country's hospitality sector with a reopening date.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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