Pubs and restaurants given indoor reopen date as lockdown changes announced

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to open indoors in Wales from August 3 if the reopening of the hospitality sector outdoors goes well, the First Minister has announced.

During a press conference on Friday, Mark Drakeford set out a three-week timetable of measures to ease lockdown restrictions in Wales.

He gave dates for the reopening of various businesses, including beauty salons, tattoo parlours, cinemas, museums and galleries.

The announcement came as Public Health Wales data revealed there had been no new Covid-19 deaths reported for the second time in a week.

Watch the press conference here:

From July 13, pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to open outdoors whilst hairdressers will also be able to welcome customers.

As a "clear signal" to the hospitality sector - Mr Drakeford has also revealed that pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to welcome customers inside on August 3.

Organised outdoor activities will also be able to resume from July 13. This includes team sports and fitness classes.

This is also when the new physical distancing regulations will be introduced.

Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj welcomed the confirmation on outdoors hospitality reopening on July 13, saying "today’s announcement will provide a level of certainty for the sector and help prevent future job losses."

Credit: PA

Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and community centres will be able to reopen on July 20.

Mr Drakeford said this was to facilitate summer holiday childcare and play schemes.

There is currently no date for indoor gyms to reopen. The First Minister said they can be places where the "virus can flare up."

Better Gym, who operate eight leisure centres in Cardiff, said it was "patently unfair" that people across the border have been given a date for when they can access gyms again.

Rhys Jones, a manager at Better Cardiff, said: "If pubs and restaurants can reopen in Wales, it defies logic that indoor sports and leisure facilities remain closed - particularly public facilities designed to serve local communities."

He added that more delay on letting gyms operate again "will impact negatively on the public health" of Welsh people.

Campsites and other shared tourist facilities will be given the green light on July 25 if coronavirus conditions allow.

Thomas Beynon, owner of Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park, said reopening campsites will allow tourists on tighter budgets to go on holiday.

Beauty salons and tattoo parlours will be allowed to reopen from July 27 if the virus remains under control.

Cinemas, museums, and galleries will also be allowed to reopen, and viewing of occupied homes for rent or sale will resume.

Hairdressers will have to close. Credit: PA

UK Hospitality, a body representing more than 700 businesses in the sector, welcomed the news on reopening hospitality but said the date for indoor facilities should be brought forward.

They want businesses to be able to open up indoors on July 31, so that they can maximise August bookings.

He also announced a relaxation on social distancing regulations, effective on July 13, to help the hospitality industry get back on its feet.

The law in Wales will continue to make two metres the default position, in situations where it cannot be maintained, businesses will be required to implement additional measures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

These measures will include minimising face-to-face contact and maintaining hygiene standards.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Together we are making good progress to tackle the spread of this virus. It is thanks to the efforts we have made together that we are able to lift the restrictions and re-open more parts of our society and economy.

“However, the threat from coronavirus has not gone away and only by all of us acting responsibly will we be able to keep Wales safe. This means maintaining social distancing, thinking carefully about where we go and why.”