Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales will reopen tomorrow
Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales will be allowed to fully reopen their doors from tomorrow.
There will also be exemptions made to the two-metre social distancing rule still in place in Wales, although any businesses reopening where maintaining a two-metre distance is impractical must take necessary precautionary measures.
Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said that such measures would include bringing in protective shields, increased cleaning regimes and close monitoring of capacity in outdoor hospitality areas.
He said: "If you are able to run a business taking all reasonable measures to sustain a two-metre distance that is what the law in Wales will require you to do.
"But we recognise that there will be some context and some business for whom that simply isn't practically possible and in those circumstances what the law in Wales will require is that those businesses will have to take a series of other mitigating measures."
Pubs in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have already reopened.
Welsh hospitality businesses are already allowed to open outdoor areas, with a further decision to be made on allowing them to open their indoor areas depending on whether there is an upsurge in cases.
The Welsh government has been informed by advisers that cases in the country are declining at a rate of two per cent daily.
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives Senedd, Paul Davies, said in the wake of the changes: "We published a list of ten things we wanted the Welsh Government to deliver as part of its coronavirus restrictions review. We have seen ministers adopt six out of ten of our proposals so we are pleased to see the Welsh Government following our lead."
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price urged the Welsh government to bring in a “test, trace and protect programme” in line with the changes, in order to quell any new outbreaks and avoid “a return to lockdown conditions”.
Industry bodies have also welcomed the changes, with CBI Wales praising the decision to ease the two-metre social distancing rule for some sectors.
CBI Wales said: “The move will have a material impact across tourism and hospitality who are desperate to get back on their feet”.
Meanwhile, Wales TUC said that the change offered certainty for the hospitality sector and would prevent future redundancies.