First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford has announced plans to reopen the country’s hospitality sector indoors from May 17.
The news will be welcomed by hotels, pubs and restaurants in Wales who have been unable to serve alcohol indoors to the public since December when the government made it illegal due to rising Covid cases.
“It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17,” said First Minister Mark Drakeford.
“Together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”
Indoor activities of 15 adults, like gym classes, can start on the same day.
However, the date will not be confirmed until the next three week government review on May 13, potentially giving venues just four days to officially prepare.
And that decision will be down to the next Welsh government, as the review comes a week after the May 6 Welsh parliament election.
Drakeford will deliver an official Welsh government briefing about the changes on Friday lunchtime. Mr Drakeford said the proposed relaxation of rules were not to do with the election but because Wales’ Covid rate had fallen to the UK’s lowest.
UKHospitality’s executive director for Wales, Dave Chapman, commented: “UKHospitality Cymru warmly welcomes the announcement of indoor hospitality opening in Wales from May 17, at least a week earlier than previously thought.
“We have led the calls for earlier reopening and have been advising, consulting and negotiating on the need to help protect jobs and businesses – and the public – by opening up our scrupulously regulated licensed premises, to look after undoubted customer demand as soon as possible.
“This aligns us with England and Scotland, offers clarity and commercial hope and reflects positively the medical evidence.”
Outdoor hospitality will be permitted to reopen in Wales from Monday, alongside outdoor attractions, and wedding receptions for up to 30 people.
Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can also reopen from 3 May, while people can once again form extended households, allowing two households to bubble up and have contact indoors.