Pubs in Wales are set to close from Friday (December 4) as the country enters a new coronavirus lockdown.
The country’s First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the new restrictions today (November 30).
As of 6pm GMT on Friday, there will be a total ban on alcohol sales, with pubs, restaurants and bars all forced to close.
Establishments set to remain open include hairdressers, gyms and non-essential retails shops, though cinemas and other indoor entertainment venues will also be shut.
At a press conference in Cardiff, Drakeford said: “From 6pm on Friday, our national measures will be amended to introduce new restrictions for hospitality and indoor entertainment attractions. Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol. After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services.”
The First Minister also revealed a £340 million package to support firms forced to close under the new restrictions, which he labelled “the most generous package of financial assistance anywhere in the UK.” The package includes £180m specifically for the hospitality sector.
“I am very grateful for everything the sector has done,” he added. “I know these new restrictions will be difficult, coming as they do at the one of the busiest times of the year for the sector.
“Unfortunately, we continue to face a virus which is moving incredibly quickly across Wales and a virus that will exploit every opportunity when we spend time with one another.”
Last week, new rules for the Christmas period were announced for the whole of the UK, allowing three households to mix between December 23-27 inclusive.