Posted: Fri 9th Oct 2020

No ‘whole scale closure’ of hospitality industry in Wales yet but ‘picture could be different’ next week says Health Minister

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 9th, 2020


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Health minister Vaughan Gething has said “we’re not at the point where we think we need to have whole scale closures in the hospitality industry” in Wales, but the situation could change quickly.

All pubs and restaurants across central Scotland are set to close from 6pm today under new measures aimed at halting a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The new rules will apply to licensed premises across the central belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The UK Government is reportedly planning to order the temporary closure of pubs, bars and restaurants in coronavirus hotspots like Liverpool and Manchester next week.

Asked if Wales is likely to follow suit, Vaughan Gething told BBC Radio Wales: “We look at the intelligence we get from our Test Trace and Protect service which tells us about where, how and why clusters are forming.”

He said it’s about seeing if the current actions such as the 10pm pub curfew and local lockdowns will help see a fall in the number of cases across Wales and “allow us to have those restrictions eased, or whether we do need to consider what we do in the future.”

“If we want to live with fewer restrictions, it’s about the way we choose to behave, indoor contact, following the rules when we go to a pub or a restaurant, all of these things are really important because this sort of contact is driving infection rates.”

“This is a point of very real seriousness for the economic sector of hospitality, I don’t want to see hospitality close, but we have to keep people safe.” The health minister said.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething was speaking to BBC Radio Wales this morning

“We also have to consider that if we’re going to close a whole sector of the economy without the support needed, those people are going to lose their jobs and people will lose their businesses.” Mr Gething said.

“I’ve regularly made this point, there are direct health outcomes from significant economic unemployment, that’s a very real factor for us to know.” He added.

Asked if the Welsh government would like to close down the hospitality sector but the economic impact is holding them back, Mr Gething said

“I wouldn’t put it in those terms but it’s an issue that we have to consider on a regular basis on what we would choose to do.”

“If we did get to the point where we thought the further restrictions were necessary, we’d have to do that in a clear-sighted way.

Without additional financial support across the UK then we will be putting people out of work without any real prospect of them being able to pay their outgoings, that’s a really serious and important factor.”

The Health minister said: “We’re not at the point where we think we need to have whole scale closures in the hospitality industry but I’ll say this is a rapidly evolving highly infectious disease and the picture could be a different on Sunday or Monday than we have today.”

In Wales, pubs, cafes and restaurants are table-service only, and stop selling alcohol at 10pm.

Full details on restriction in Wales can be viewed here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance#section-46356

 

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