Wales' First Minister issues new rules on meeting in pubs and restaurants

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Wales' First Minister issues new rules on meeting in pubs and restaurants

Groups of up to four people are allowed to meet in cafes, pubs and restaurants in Wales, whose fire ends on Monday.

First Minister Mark Drakeford told the Welsh Parliament that the 10 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales would remain in place when the hospitality industry reopens.

Speaking from a distance in Senedd on Tuesday, he said that people should visit such places “in the smallest possible group”, as in many cases people from the same household.

“But we have listened to these young and single people who have told us how important it is for them to meet friends and other family members,” said the Welsh Labor leader.

“We intend that the regulations allow groups of up to four people to meet in a regulated setting such as a restaurant, cafe or pub.

“However, this is subject to strict safeguards that are discussed with the hospitality industry, including pre-booking, time-limited slots and verified identification.

“As in all aspects of our life, maintaining the basics of good hygiene and keeping your distance will be of vital importance in these situations.”

He added, “This is a permission that we do not encourage people to do.

“This is the most difficult change from a public health perspective and it is under constant review.

“Your success depends on the actions of the sector and each of us to use this permit responsibly and sparingly.”

The regulations will be finalized as soon as they are discussed in Senedd on Tuesday afternoon, he said.

People in a group of four can come from four different households, and the limit does not apply to children.

However, a spokesman for the Welsh government said people were being encouraged to stay in smaller groups and in the same household or in the extended household.

People can only meet others from their extended household – consisting of two households joined together – in houses and gardens, with house parties, major events and indoor gatherings being illegal.

Mr Drakeford said the coronavirus “continues to spread and take hold” in such environments.

Groups of up to 15 people can take part in organized indoor activities, while up to 30 people can take part in outdoor activities.

Non-essential travel between Wales and England will be “prohibited” while the English lockdown remains in place, Drakeford said, but travel within Wales is allowed.

“While the English ban is in place, travel to and from England is prohibited under English regulations unless it is for a vital reason such as work or education,” Drakeford said.

“And as we recognize that Wales will emerge from the fire as a high prevalence area in the UK, we will also impose travel restrictions on people leaving or entering Wales until those rates drop.

“International travel is not allowed without a reasonable excuse.”

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