The coronavirus outbreak will have a "significant impact on the way the Welsh economy works over the coming days, weeks and months, Wales' economy minister has said.

Ken Skates said the economy is facing "unprecedented pressures" as large numbers of the population are expected to be off work at any one time due to the outbreak.

Wales has so far seen 136 cases of Covid-19, with two deaths- a 68-year-old man with underlying health problems who was being treated in Wrexham and a 96-year-old who was being treated at Morriston Hospital.

There are 136 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wales Credit: PA

The latest government guidance includes advising people, especially those over 70 and those with underlying health problems, to avoid social contact and mixing within the community.

Read more on the guide to social distancing and how to protect yourself from coronavirus.

As a result, businesses especially those in the hospitality, aviation and tourism industry are expected to be significantly affected.

Mr Skates said the Welsh Government is "doing everything we can" to support businesses but called on the UK Government to make avoiding a recession its "major economic priority."

The Chancellor announced £330bn of government-backed loans to help businesses amid the coronavirus crisis Credit: PA

On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said an "unprecedented package" of government-backed loans worth £330bn will be made available.

During a press conference, Mr Sunak said, "This struggle will not be overcome by a single package of measures or isolated interventions.

"It will be won through a collective national effort, every one of us doing all we can to protect family, neighbours, friends, jobs.

"This national effort will be underpinned by Government interventions in the economy on a scale unimaginable only a few weeks ago".

Music venue The Moon has been forced to cancel six out of seven upcoming shows

One example of a business suffering in light of the increasing pressures due to coronavirus is Cardiff music venue The Moon, which has been forced to cancel six out of seven shows after bands pulled out.

Venue assistant Ed Townend said its closure will put staff and musicians in “dire straits”.

He said: “Self-employed people who are musicians or they’re sound engineers or things like that, they don’t have sick-pay, they don’t have a way of earning money if they’re off.

“If their office closes they can’t still earn a salary. That money just goes away.”

The Moon is trialling the live-streaming of gigs from behind closed doors. It will charge customers to watch the gig from home.

Mr Skates said transport providers are facing Credit: GWR

The Welsh Government has already announced £200m to help small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak of business rate relief and grants.

Transport providers are also expected to suffer during the coronavirus outbreak, as people have been urged to work from home where possible.

Rail passenger numbers have fallen by up to 18% on certain lines in the UK, including Wales.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford also wrote to the UK Treasury on Tuesday urging the UK Government to take “essential” measures to stop businesses from going bankrupt.

It seems certain that there will be an extended period when businesses, including not-for-profit businesses, in the retail, hospitality, arts, entertainment and leisure sectors will simply not be generating any income at all. And many other businesses will be affected as the situation develops.

Mark Drakeford

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