Pub reopenings ‘on the list’ of reviewed lockdown rules, Mark Drakeford says
The reopening of pubs and restaurants in Wales is “on the list” of things which will be considered for the next review of lockdown, the First Minister has said.
Mark Drakeford’s comments on Monday were the first time the Welsh Government has indicated it would discuss relaxing current restrictions on the hospitality industry.
It came as Public Health Wales said a further three people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 1,401, while the number of positive cases grew by 42 to 14,438.
At the Welsh Government’s daily press briefing, Mr Drakeford was asked if Wales was considering easing rules for the food and drink sector following reports that England could be ready open pub beer gardens from June 22.
He said: “This will be on the list with many other things. Whether it will be possible to do something at the end of this three-week cycle, I certainly can’t make any promises about that, because there are many, many other requests that are being made of us.
“It will depend on whether the number of new cases in Wales continues to fall and whether that creates any additional headroom for us.
“And then we will have to select, in that careful way we have, those measures which we can offer people in Wales while remaining safe from the risk that coronavirus could accelerate from us again.”
Mr Drakeford said the issue would be discussed later on Monday, before a shortlist of “the most possible ideas” is drawn up and considered next week.
The next announcement for lockdown measures is due on June 19.
Mr Drakeford said he hoped to offer “some relief” to Wales’ tourism industry later in the summer, but warned it would likely be restricted to “self-contained accommodation” like cottages and holiday homes.