Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars can reopen indoors in Wales from 3 August

10 July 2020, 13:00

Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to open outdoors for the first time since lockdown
Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to open outdoors for the first time since lockdown. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars in Wales can reopen their indoor offerings from 3 August if coronavirus cases continue to fall, the First Minister announced today.

Wales's Technical Advisory Group said that it has estimated that coronavirus infections are falling by about two per cent every day in the country.

Mark Drakeford said: "I want to send a clear signal that, provided the reopening of outdoor hospitality goes well, and the state of the virus allows indoor opening for pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will resume from 3 August."

The First Minister also announced that although two-metres will remain the default social distance, businesses will have to put in place additional measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading where 2m can’t be maintained.

From Saturday, self-contained accommodation in the tourism industry will re-open, with the vast majority of indoor attractions able to open from Monday.

Outdoors team sports, sports classes and other activities, such as dance and fitness classes, will also be able to take place from Monday.

Hairdressers and barbers, including mobile hairdressers, will open, as will bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants for the first time since lockdown.

The First Minister added: "Looking at all the indicators together, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales has confirmed we have some capacity to ease the restrictions further over the next three weeks.

"We will continue to do this in a gradual, step-by-step way, enabling us to learn from each phase, sharing this with other sectors and businesses to help them re-open successfully.

"We will use some of the headroom we have to go on bringing NHS services back on stream.

"Cancer screening services will be restarting this month, for example, as the health service resumes more non-coronavirus care and treatment.

"However, I have to sound a note of caution. We can only continue to lift restrictions if coronavirus cases remain under control.

"On 9 June, the city of Melbourne in Australia recorded a day when there were only two new confirmed case of coronavirus. Today, five million people are in full lockdown again – that’s how quickly things can go wrong.

"This virus has not gone away. We could find all our hard work undone unless we all go on playing our part, every day, and in every way we can, to keep Wales safe."

From July 20, outdoor gyms, playgrounds and community centres will be able to reopen, helping with the provision of summer holiday childcare and play schemes.

From July 27, beauty salons, tattoo shops, nail parlours, cinemas, museums and galleries will be able to open their doors.

Mr Drakeford added: "In recognition of the challenges faced by the hospitality industry, hairdressers and others – we will be making changes to our physical distancing regulations.

"The law in Wales will continue to make the 2m distance the default position, because that’s the safest way to protect people’s health.

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"But there are some situations and places where 2m cannot reasonably be maintained.

"Our regulations require businesses to put in place a set of additional measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading in these exceptional situations where 2m can’t be maintained."