Wales bans alcohol sales after 10pm in coronavirus crackdown

Wales bans ALL alcohol sales after 10pm as part of their own coronavirus crackdown… so could England follow suit?

  • Welsh Government has banned alcohol sales after 10pm across whole country
  • Pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos must operate as table service only
  • Off-licences including supermarkets will also stop selling alcohol after 10pm 

The Welsh Government has banned all alcohol sales across the whole country after 10pm in their own draconian coronavirus crackdown.

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos in Wales must operate as table service only and close from 10pm, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced.

Off-licences including supermarkets will also be stopped from selling alcohol at the same time as part of new restrictions which come into force at 6pm tomorrow.

Mr Drakeford confirmed the measures as part of a televised address last night, following a similar announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Earlier on Tuesday, he told the Welsh Parliament that he would be encouraging people in Wales to only make essential journeys.

He said reducing the amount of journeys and meetings with others resulted in ‘less danger’ being posed to people.

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos in Wales must operate as table service only and close from 10pm, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced

Off-licences including supermarkets will also be stopped from selling alcohol at the same time as part of the measures, which come into force at 6pm on Thursday (pictured, Cardiff)

England may need to follow Scotland’s lead and BAN households from visiting each other if Rule of Six doesn’t work, Chris Whitty ‘warns Boris Johnson’ 

England may need to follow Scotland’s lead and ban households from visiting each other, Boris Johnson has been told by his chief medical officer.

Chris Whitty, who threatened to break ‘unnecessary links between different households’ on Monday, is understood to have recommended Nicola Sturgeon’s hardline approach to coronavirus to the Prime Minister.

England’s chief medical officer reportedly believes that further restrictions are inevitable this winter and that draconian new measures – including a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants – will not bring the virus under control. 

The Scottish First Minister claimed that advice from her chief medical officer and national clinical director was that Mr Johnson’s programme ‘on its own will not be sufficient to bring the R number down’.  

Chief medical officers from all four home nations met on Monday to agree advice to each of the devolved administrations, according to The Times. It is understood that Prof Whitty concurred with his Scottish counterpart, Gregor Smith.

Jonathan Van Tam and Jenny Harries, Prof Whitty’s deputies, are thought to believe that the tough new restrictions in England did not go far enough – but accepted that the Prime Minister would have to try less strict measures to save the economy first.   

A source told the paper the plan was a ‘phased approach’, adding: ‘We’re still in early autumn and we shouldn’t be optimistic that this won’t get worse.’

It comes as Ms Sturgeon admitted that banning Scots from visiting each other’s homes is a ‘step backwards’ but will stop coronavirus from ‘spiralling out of control’.  

 

In the televised address, Mr Drakeford said rising cases of coronavirus infections were being seen in different parts of Wales, with people being admitted to hospital with ‘serious illnesses because of this deadly virus’.

Yesterday, Public Health Wales said a further 281 positive cases of Covid-19 were recorded – the highest daily figure since April 17.

‘In the weeks and months ahead of us, there is a very real possibility that we could see the virus regain a foothold in our local communities, towns and cities,’ Mr Drakeford said.

‘Now none of us wants to see that happen again. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. We have all sacrificed so much.

‘Families have lost loved ones. People have lost jobs and livelihoods. This is a highly infectious virus. We cannot let it take a hold of our lives again. We have come too far to let that happen.’

During a Cobra meeting on Tuesday morning, the leaders of the four UK nations agreed to take ‘coordinated action’ to stop the spread of the virus.

Mr Drakeford said some of those measures being introduced elsewhere were already in force in Wales, such as working from home where possible.

Only six people are able to meet indoors and must be part of a single extended household. Face coverings must be worn on public transport, in shops and in enclosed public spaces across Wales.  

‘And please think carefully about making journeys – only travel when you need to do so,’ Mr Drakeford said. ‘The fewer people we meet, and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are.’

A £500 payment to support people on low incomes who are asked to self-isolate will be provided, he confirmed.

According to real estate adviser Altus Group, 3,118 pubs in Wales will be affected by the curfew.

Six areas of south Wales – Caerphilly county borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent – are under stricter restrictions as part of local lockdowns.

Under the measures, people must not enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse. They are only able to meet outdoors and must not meet members of their extended households indoors.

Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, called for further measures on pubs in areas subjected to local lockdown restrictions.

‘In those areas, we should also restrict the sales of alcohol from off licences at 6pm and either close pubs indoors completely or close pubs that don’t serve food like they’ve done in Ireland,’ Mr Price said. ‘Crucially, these steps must be backed up by sector-specific financial support to affected businesses.’ 

Mr Price also called for a ban on non-essential travel from lockdown areas in the rest of the UK into Wales, as well as ‘Covid-free areas’ and areas of low community transmission that would be exempt from nationwide changes. 

Mr Drakeford confirmed the measures as part of a televised address last night, following a similar announcement by Boris Johnson. Earlier on Tuesday, he told the Welsh Parliament that he would be encouraging people in Wales to only make essential journeys (pictured, Cardiff)

Six areas of south Wales – Caerphilly county borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent – are under stricter restrictions as part of local lockdowns (pictured, a view of Caroline Street in Bridgend, Wales, now in lockdown)

Six areas of south Wales – Caerphilly county borough, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent – are under stricter restrictions as part of local lockdowns (pictured, people walking in Merthyr Tydfil, now in lockdown)

Andrew RT Davies MS, shadow health minister for the Welsh Conservatives, said any restrictions had to be proportionate and have time limits.

‘However, it’s time to consider hyperlocal lockdowns based on the best available data – which means that the Test, Track, and Protect scheme must be equally hyper-accurate – so that as little of Wales and its economy as possible is closed, even temporarily,’ Mr Davies said.

‘Safeguarding lives as well as livelihoods, and sheltering the economy, must remain the priorities.’

Of the new positive cases on Tuesday, 77 were in Rhondda Cynon Taf, 34 were in Bridgend, 30 were in Cardiff, 28 were in Swansea and 20 were in Merthyr Tydfil. 

During a Cobra meeting, the leaders of the four UK nations agreed to take ‘coordinated action’ to stop the spread of the virus. Mr Drakeford said some of those measures being introduced elsewhere were already in force in Wales, such as working from home where possible 

A series of measures have been introduced in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to stem a ‘sudden increase’ in cases across the two counties, local authorities said.

These include indoor visits to care homes and hospitals being limited to essential visits only and increased engagement with businesses on their responsibility to ensure social distancing is followed.

Higher education and further education sectors will strengthen messages to students on the importance of complying with regulations.

The importance of social distancing and not mixing with people indoors will also be communicated in the areas.

No further deaths were reported on Tuesday, with the total number of deaths in Wales since the beginning of the pandemic remaining at 1,603. 

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