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Welsh government ‘must deliver more clarity for businesses'

02 July 2020 by

UKHospitality has called on the Welsh government to urgently provide firm dates to enable hospitality businesses to plan for a safe and orderly full reopening.

The call follows today's announcement that some pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants in Wales will be able to reopen their outdoor areas only from 13 July.

Venues will be able to open outdoor spaces they own and have licences for as long as coronavirus cases continue to fall, but indoor services will remain closed for now. Wales is now the only part of the UK without a restart date for indoor hospitality.

The reopening of self-contained accommodation has been brought forward from 13 to 11 July to allow letting from Saturday to Saturday. Outdoor attractions may also be able to open from 6 July.

UKHospitality executive director for Wales David Chapman said: "While premises remain closed or partially open without the surety of a full opening date, the spectre of large numbers of redundancies hangs over the industry and the vulnerable communities it serves across Wales.

"Businesses are unable to formally plan for bringing back staff and anticipating revenues, and they are facing squarely the end of vital financial support. They are reporting the possibility of around 35%-40% redundancies in our sector.

"We need clarification of the opening date to give businesses confidence. We also need a refreshed and substantial support package to help our businesses to operate to the highest level possible so that they can retain as many of their workforce as possible."

Speaking to The Caterer earlier this week, Welsh operators urged the government to be clearer on timelines and guidance. Tommy Heaney of Heaneys in Pontcanna said a date would give his business "something to work towards"; while Si Toft, who runs the Dining Room in Abersoch, said he needed to know what the guidelines for reopening will be "so I know what I'm aiming for".

Photo: Shutterstock

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