Pubs ordered to close by 10.20pm following new alcohol sale restrictions

  • Watch the full video address by the First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be forced to stop serving alcohol early as part of new measures introduced by the Welsh Government in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus in Wales.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford announced all pubs and restaurants will have halt the sale from 10pm and close by 10.20pm, following a nationwide spike in Covid cases.

Mr Drakeford said the work from home message remains in place for everyone in Wales.

The video address followed a Cobra meeting with the four nations including the First Ministers for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Mark Drakeford said the rules were being changed for the sale of alcohol for pubs, cafes, restaurants, and casinos.

Pubs must operate as table service only and supermarkets will also be advised to stop serving alcohol after 10pm.

He also said Wales will follow England in offering £500 payments for people on low incomes who need to self-isolate.

People have also been asked to avoid "unnecessary travel" across Wales.

"The fewer people we meet - and the fewer journeys we make - the safer we all are", he added.

People in areas including Merthyr are under tighter restrictions Credit: PA

Mr Drakeford said "we have come too far" to allow coronavirus to regain a foothold in communities across Wales.

"We are seeing people being admitted to our hospitals with serious illnesses because of this virus.

"In the weeks and months ahead of us, there is a very real possibility that we could see coronavirus regain a foothold in our local communities, towns and cities.

"None of us wants to see that happen again."

It comes as four local authority areas - Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport entered their own lockdown at 6pm on Tuesday.

Rules there mean people can not enter or leave the area without a "reasonable excuse", such as travel for work or education.

Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf are already under a local lockdown Credit: PA

People can only be able to meet others that they do not live with, outdoors. People will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household.

More than 850,000 people will be affected by the new rules, meaning more than a quarter of people living in Wales will be living in local lockdown.

A further 348 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Wales on Thursday as new measures from the Welsh Government come in to force.

Mr Drakeford urged people to follow the rules to "protect people's health."

Only six people can continue to meet indoors, and they must be part of the same extended household.

Face coverings must still be worn on public transport, in shops, and in enclosed public spaces.

"In some parts of south Wales, there are already even stricter restrictions in place to protect people's health. We now need to make that difference again across the whole of Wales, Mr Drakeford said.

He added, "It is your effort to help us get through the first wave in the spring. You have followed the rules and help save lives. We now need everybody to follow the rules and guidance and to take the steps to protect their loved ones. Together we can keep Wales safe."