Welsh hospitality faces alcohol ban and 6pm curfew

The Welsh hospitality industry is to face tougher restrictions on trade with a ban on the sale of alcohol and its curfew brought forward to 6pm.

Announced today and coming into force on Friday, the measures will also see indoor entertainment and visitor attractions close.

The restrictions closely follow Scotland’s Level 3 (allowing hospitality venues to serve food until 6pm, but not alcohol), which were introduced earlier this month.

Hospitality businesses in Wales, which have only recently re-opened after the country’s two-week firebreak, were already battling curfew and distancing rules, but were optimistic heading into the busiest period of the year.

The new measures will hit late-night, wet-lead venues hardest.

Alex Mills, general manager of Lab 22 in Cardiff, said: “For wet-led venues like ours, it has given us no other option but to close. I think it’s an obvious vilification of the hospitality industry and it penalises small businesses way more than chains.”

Objections have been raised on the grounds the closing of Welsh bars and pubs could trigger informal gatherings in less Covid-secure environments.

Mills added: “The government has seriously underestimated Welsh people’s fondness for drinking if they believe this will stop them from visiting each other’s houses. It makes the responsibility of track and trace and precautions obsolete.”