Pubs and restaurants in Wales to reopen outdoors from July 13

020720 Pints of beer on a table
Indoor spaces will remain closed in Wales for now. Credit: PA

Pubs and restaurants in Wales will be able to reopen outdoors from July 13, the Welsh Government has announced.

A phased return for businesses in the hospitality sector, also including bars and cafes, will be given the go-ahead as long as coronavirus cases continue to fall in the country.

Wales' minister for international relations, Baroness Eluned Morgan, said any businesses able to reopen in this way "will be expected to comply with clear guidelines, which we will set out and will help to reduce the risk of coronavirus, such as pre-booking and table service."

The first phase would see the reopening of outdoor spaces owned by businesses and subject to existing licenses.

Reopening indoor services will be considered at a later date and will depend on the success of outdoor opening and the state of the virus in Wales, as well as measures businesses put in place to reduce the risk of transmission including pre-booking, table service and the use of apps.

Pubs, bars and restaurants can reopen in England from July 4 and provide indoor service.

The TUC has welcomed the Welsh Government's "cautious approach" to reopening the hospitality sector, but says it still has concerns over workers' health and safety

TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said: "Our position remains clear – workers’ health and safety is paramount. A company’s profits cannot be put above a worker’s health. We need to do all we can to keep this sector alive and to keep jobs secure, particularly in light of the rise in the number of redundancies being announced in the wider hospitality sector.

"We will continue to work in social partnership with Welsh Government, employers and industry to keep people safe at work. We need to ensure that all health and safety measures are properly adhered to and enforced, through Covid-19  health and safety workplace assessments.”

Pubs and restaurants have been closed in Wales since the UK entered a nationwide lockdown Credit: PA

Plaid Cymru's shadow Economy Minister Helen Mary Jones criticised the Welsh Government for not giving the hospitality sector a timetable for reopening earlier.

"While the news that we have a date now for outdoor opening is welcome we still do not understand why a timetable couldn’t have been shared with the sector earlier. Giving the sector less than three weeks to prepare for re-opening shows how problematic the Welsh Government's current ad-hoc approach is to easing restrictions.

Mark Drakeford is expected to lift the 'five-mile rule' on 6 July Credit: PA

A lockdown review ahead of First Minister Mark Drakeford's press conference on Friday will determine whether self-contained tourism accommodation will be able to reopen from July 13, while the country's five-mile travel guidance is set to end on Monday.

On Wednesday, Public Health Wales said a further six people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, taking its total number of deaths to 1,516, though separate figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the true number of deaths involving the virus up to June 19 stands at 2,408.

Meanwhile, the total number of cases in Wales increased by 32 to 15,775.