Welsh pubs and brewers demand clear roadmap out of restrictions

pub & bar

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Welsh pubs and brewers demand clear roadmap out of Coronavirus lockdown restrictions indoor hospitality Mark Drakeford 17 May

Related tags: Pub & bar, Welsh pubs, Wales, Coronavirus, lockdown

Companies representing hundreds of Welsh pubs and brewers have written to newly re-elected First Minister Mark Drakeford urging him to deliver grants for pubs and a roadmap for their reopening.

Led by Mark Davies, chairman of the Welsh Beer & Pub Association (WBPA) and the Hawthorn pub group, the letter states that although it is positive some elements of hospitality has reopened already in Wales thanks to the easing of restrictions on outdoor settings late last month, roughly half of pubs have remained closed due to a lack of usable outside space.

It adds that although the grant funding by the Welsh Government over the last 12 months has saved many businesses and jobs from being lost forever, the lack of restart grants in Wales compared to England and Scotland has severely damaged the reopening of pubs in Wales.

As a matter of urgency to prevent the permanent closure of pubs and job losses, the letter asks Drakeford, who was re-elected as First Minister of Wales following last week's Welsh Parliament election, to deliver restart grants immediately to Welsh hospitality businesses who have been closed or faced restrictions considerably longer than those in England and Scotland; and confirm the 17 May as the date for indoor hospitality reopening, alongside a commitment to retaining the rule of six for up to six households indoors.

It also demands a clear timeline and roadmap for the removal of all trading restrictions and restrictions on social contact.

Prior to the election, Drakeford said that in his assessment, the hospitality sector - bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes - would be able to open indoors from May 17​, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.

However, confirmation of the date will not be made until the next three week review is held on 13 May.

“Over the last year, Welsh pubs and brewers have faced the biggest threat to their existence in our history," says Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the WBPA.

"Billions in trade has been lost and worse, countless livelihoods and community hubs have fallen by the wayside.

“As we face what we hope is the final hurdle of this crisis, we urge the First Minister to take the action required in the early days of his new administration to set our pubs and brewers on the right track for recovery.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Pub & Bar

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