Covid: Welsh pubs and restaurants to open indoors in May

People in Wales will be able to have a drink inside a pub or restaurant for the first time in more than than five months from 17 May.

All tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions in Wales are also set to reopen that day, in time for the Spring bank holiday.

Indoor children’s activities and groups of up to 15 adults, like gym classes, have been brought forward to 3 May.

First Minister Mark Drakeford described it as a “major reopening of Wales”.

He said the relaxation of a number of lockdown rules had been moved forward because of falling Covid rates.

It is the first time a proposed date has been given for the reopening of pubs and restaurants indoors in Wales.

It comes after the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru called for the industry to be allowed to resume indoor trade on that date – the same as that proposed in England.

graphic showing how the guidelines will change
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Opposition parties accused Mr Drakeford, the leader of Welsh Labour, of electioneering by changing Covid rules during the Welsh Parliament election campaign.

Mr Drakeford disagreed, saying the move was only because Wales’ Covid case rate had fallen to the UK’s lowest.

“The virus doesn’t know there is an election on, and I don’t think it would have been right not to have given those indications,” he told BBC Radio Wales.

The latest restriction easing comes after previous announcements that any six people can meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday, and dates for gyms and swimming pools being moved forward by two weeks to 3 May.

Mr Drakeford has also confirmed outdoor hospitality, including cafes, pubs and restaurants, will be allowed to reopen on Monday – alongside outdoor attractions, organised outdoor activities and wedding receptions or funeral services for up to 30 people outdoors.

Two people will also be allowed to visit their loved ones in care homes from Monday.

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.

By the time indoor hospitality reopens on 17 May, Mr Drakeford anticipates being able to increase the number of people who can attend organised activities, such as wedding receptions, to 30 indoors and 50 outdoors, from the same date.

www.bbc.co.uk

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