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Chancellor's announcement ‘will do little to help Welsh businesses' without reopening date

09 July 2020 by

A group of 300 independent restaurants in Wales have said the Chancellor's measures to support the hospitality industry announced yesterday "will do little to help Welsh businesses" without a reopening date.

Although hospitality businesses in Wales will be able to open their outdoor spaces and accommodation from Monday 13 July, Wales is still the only area of the UK without a reopening date for indoor hospitality.

A statement from the group, whose main committee includes chef Bryn Williams, Cerys Furlong, who owns Cardiff's Milkwood restaurant, and Edmund Inkin of the EatDrinkSleep Group, said: "The Chancellor's announcement yesterday was welcome in that he clearly recognised the scale of the cliff edge facing the hospitality industry and has put in place additional measures to support businesses, some of which will apply in Wales. Many of these proposals will be good for the economy, good for tourism and for jobs in Wales.

"However, without clarity on a date for reopening these announcements will do little to help Welsh businesses without clarity from Welsh government.

"We have consistently called for a safe and sensible reopening for the hospitality sector. Despite the FM [first minister] announcing a date for reopening outside of 13 July, we have still not seen published guidance for the sector on what that reopening looks like.

"This is leading to speculation, unease, and unnecessary expense for businesses who are unclear how to plan for reopening in four days' time in compliance with the guidance. Ever more than before we urgently require the guidance to be published, so it can be shared with businesses. We also need a timescale for reopening inside, so we can base our decisions and plans for reopening on a sensible phasing.

"Hospitality is not an industry that has previously asked for or received public money from either Welsh or UK governments. Without financial support and clarity from government in Wales, we won't have a hospitality industry for much longer."

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