Welsh restaurants and hotels choosing to close for Christmas under new restrictions

02 December 2020 by
Welsh restaurants and hotels choosing to close for Christmas under new restrictions

Hotels and restaurants across Wales are choosing to close for the festive season rather than try and keep trading under tough new restrictions.

From 4 December pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will be subject to a 6pm curfew and banned from serving alcohol.

The Welsh cabinet is due to meet today to discuss a relaxation of rules to allow travel in and out of the country, but many business owners have been left angry at the late notice of the changes and say they face a struggle to survive into the new year.

Chef Tom Simmons is closing his eponymous Cardiff restaurant in December and hopes to reopen in January.

Simmons wrote on Twitter that 60% of the restaurant's takings were usually taken after 6pm.

The chef said in a statement: "This was not an easy decision to make, and we are extremely disappointed not to be open for the festive season. However, after considering all the implications of the new festive restrictions, closing for the remainder of the year is the only course of action for the business to survive."

William Griffiths, co-owner of the Angel hotel in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, said it would be impossible to welcome guests under current rules. The hotel's sister site the Walnut Tree Inn will open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday.

Griffiths said: "For the past week we have been decking the halls, putting up Christmas trees, hanging wreaths, feeding our Christmas cakes and mixing huge tubs of mincemeat. Our menus were all planned and cocktail lists written for our most favourite time of the year.

"However, following the announcement from the Welsh Assembly yesterday it is not possible for us to operate. It is simply not viable for us to open the business partially and with a limited offer due to the complexity and scale of our operation."

The five-red-AA-starred Palé Hall Hotel in Bala, Gwynedd is initially closing from 4-17 December while awaiting clarity on restrictions in late December.

In a post shared on social media owners Alan and Angela Harper thanked staff for their support on the ‘heartbreaking' decision.

"None of us know what the future brings, but our pledge to them is that Palé will open again and we will weather this together," they said.

The Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in Anglesey also said it would be unable to open before the end of January.

Managers Neil and Emma Rowlands said in a statement that the advice around social distancing and limited capacity would make it impossible to offer guests ‘an experience that matches our expectation'.

The Welsh government will review the restrictions by 17 December, and then every three weeks.

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