Coronavirus

WPBA ‘urges’ Gov to stick to reopening plans

The Welsh government has previously stated it intends to review and remove most of the remaining restrictions from 7 August

The Welsh Beer & Pub Association (WBPA) has urged the government to stick to plans to remove restrictions to enable the sector to “return to viability”. 

According to the group, over 150 pubs in Wales could reopen on 7 August, if the Welsh government presses ahead with the planned removal of most Covid-19 restrictions on that date. 

The Welsh government has previously stated it intends to review and remove most of the remaining restrictions from 7 August. 

In total, there are just over 3,000 pubs in Wales, meaning 5% of the pub sector in Wales has still been unable to reopen and trade for nearly 17 months.

The association has said it has held “constructive and encouraging” meetings recently with the Welsh government to highlight the restrictions that are limiting the viability of pubs, but also baseline mitigations that can be kept in place “keeping customers and staff safe”. 

The calls from the association come as first minister Mark Drakeford announced that all adults who have been fullyvaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus from 7 August. 

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association, said: “Only once restrictions are removed can the recovery of the Welsh beer and pub sector begin. Across the UK, it is imperative all our pubs and brewers are operating without restrictions, from Lands End to John O’Groats. 

“Many pubs have sadly already been lost due to lockdowns and imposing restrictions in Wales. However, if the restrictions are removed in Wales on 7 August, we believe over 150 pubs could reopen that haven’t been able to so far because the current restrictions such as table service and social distancing mean they cannot operate or trade viably. “

She added: “We have been pushing the Welsh government strongly on this. Welsh brewers and pub operators need to be given the same freedom to run their businesses as the rest of the UK – especially those in England. 

“Doing so will show the Welsh government backs our Welsh pubs and brewers and will open up investment and support for the sector in Wales that can help drive the recovery and secure for communities across the country their social hub for generations to come.”

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