The Welsh Beer & Pub Association has today revealed that over 150 pubs in Wales could reopen on 7th August, if the Welsh Government presses ahead with the planned removal of most COVID restrictions on that date.
The Welsh Government has previously stated it intends to review and remove most of the remaining restrictions from 7th 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 Welsh Beer & Pub Association 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.
Key for the nation’s pubs is the removal of table-only service and social distancing.The calls from the Welsh Beer & Pub Association come as First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that all adults who have been fully-vaccinated will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus from 7th August. The Welsh Beer & Pub Association and British Beer & Pub Association are now urging the other UK nations to follow the lead of Wales and ensure consistency across the UK.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the Welsh Beer & Pub Association, said:
“It is vital for pubs and brewers in Wales that restrictions on our trade are removed come 7th August.
“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 7th 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.
“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.
“The decision and leadership of the Welsh Government to enable all adults who have been fully-vaccinated to no longer have to self-isolate if pinged is a huge boost to our sector. We know urge the other nations to follow this lead and ensure consistency for our pub operators across the UK.”