Wales moves to alert level two as indoor hospitality reopens

David Morgan, supervisor at The Borough pub in Cardiff (Ben Birchall/PA)
David Morgan, supervisor at The Borough pub in Cardiff (Ben Birchall/PA) (PA Wire)
13:53pm, Mon 17 May 2021
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Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Wales can offer indoor service from Monday for the first time since December as coronavirus restrictions are eased and the country moves into alert level two.

Up to six people from up to six households, not including children under 11, are able to book and sit at a table with each other.

Entertainment venues like cinemas and theatres are also able to reopen and can sell food and drink as long as it is consumed in a seated area for watching a performance.

One of the first people to make the most out the eased rules were retired couple Stephen and Sandra Foley, who travelled from their home in Bridgend to spend Monday morning in their favourite cafe, Coffe Barker in Cardiff city centre.

Customers at The Borough pub in Cardiff (PA Wire)

Mr Foley, 72, told the PA news agency: “We wanted to be out celebrating the first day at our favourite place.

“After this we’ll be going to another of our favourite places in Bridgend for lunch. We’re making a day of it.

“It’s a big day, this is. We’ve been waiting a long time for it all to open up again.”

Jeff Richards, who runs the Borough pub in Cardiff, said he was happy to finally reopen but wanted First Minister Mark Drakeford to commit to scrapping all social distancing restrictions on June 21, per the plan in England, to help welcome back more customers.

He told PA: “Why don’t they do it all together? Masks off, social distancing gone, let people decide for themselves.

“But it’s really good we can get six to a table. I just hope the weather stays good from now so people want to come into town.

“We’re going to be really busy on the weekend, if the weather is fine. But we’ll just take it every day as it comes.”

Monday’s changes also see all tourist accommodation being able reopen as well as indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries, while up to 30 people will also be able to take part in organised indoor events and up to 50 people in organised outdoor events.

Further easements planned for Monday, including allowing small events to go ahead, have been held back due to concerns about the Indian variant of Covid-19.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he could give them the green light to go ahead as early as this week if scientific advice is that the variant poses no additional risk.

Scientists believe the Indian variant may be more transmissible than the UK variant first detected in Kent last year, and may be linked to India’s second wave.

HEALTH Coronavirus Wales (PA Graphics)

International travel will be allowed across the UK from Monday under a traffic light system, but the Welsh Government’s concerns about reimporting the virus meant it is advising people not to travel abroad during 2021.

Changes to the Covid-19 restrictions in Wales from Monday include:

– Indoor hospitality can reopen with six people from up to six households, not including children under 11, able to book.

– All holiday accommodation can reopen.

– Entertainment venues, including cinemas, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor-play centres and areas, casinos, amusement arcades, and theatres can reopen.

– Cinemas, theatres concert halls and sports grounds can sell food and drink as long as it is consumed in a seated area for watching the performance.

People enjoy a breakfast and coffee seated indoors in Cardiff (PA Wire)

– Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries, can reopen.

– Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities and up to 50 people in organised outdoor activities. This includes wedding receptions and wakes.

– International travel will resume with a traffic light system aligned with England and Scotland. People living in Wales will be able to travel to a small number of foreign destinations without the need to quarantine on their return. Mandatory quarantine for countries not on the green list remains in place.

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