Wales poised for 'circuit breaker' decision

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Wales poised for 'circuit breaker' Coronavirus lockdown decision

Related tags Wales Restaurant Public house lockdown Coronavirus

The Welsh Government is expected to announce this morning whether it will impose a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown, which will see pubs and restaurants across the country ordered to close.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to make an announcement shortly after midday, following a meeting of the Welsh Government cabinet where the final decision will be made.

Last week, Northern Irelandbecame the first country in the UK to reimpose lockdown restrictions nationally​. 

On Friday (16 October), hospitality venues across Northern Ireland closed their doors for at least four weeks.

Businesses are allowed to continue operating takeaway and delivery services, but are subject to an 11pm curfew.

Meanwhile, restaurants and pubs in Scotland's central belt, which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow, have been closed since 9 October, when First Minster Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions​ that also saw licensed premises across the rest of the country temporarily banned from selling alcohol indoors and subject to a 6pm curfew on indoor service.

The measures currently imposed on Scotland could be lifted at the beginning of next week, but no official decision has been made yet.

Welsh hospitality bosses have warned that a nationwide 'circuit breaker' could put 40,000 jobs at risk.

David Chapman, executive director for the Welsh arm of UKHospitality, told BBC Radio Wales​: "It's going to be a really difficult time and I can see a lot of business going to the wall.

"I can see jobs being shed as furlough is coming to an end. We need full support, if we don't get support now we are going to lose people in large numbers.

"We could lose up to 40,000 jobs which will be a massive impact in many rural and coastal communities.

"When we were shut down in March, the Government came up with a package which was brilliant and immediate. The business rates and furlough package was great, but things are starting to get tighter.

"If we don't get the furlough equivalent or more, we're going to have to balance cutting jobs, which will damage the community, or shutting businesses which would be even worse.

"But if we can help, stay open and get through to next summer we can start contributing the £37bn a year we put into the UK economy."

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