Wales business

Restaurants 'can't cash in' on school holidays

A restaurant owner in north Wales says he "won't be able to cash in" on the start of the school holidays.

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars can reopen indoors in Wales from 3 August, providing coronavirus cases continue to fall.

Shibber Ahmed of the Blue Elephant restaurant in Llandudno said: "It’s late, the school holidays have started and I think we won’t be able to cash in.

"The whole town is open - there are lots of people around but we are not able to take advantage of it and we desperately needed that to cover our winter costs.

"I was thinking it would be 20 July rather than 3 August [for reopening}, so for two weeks basically we are losing out.

"These two weeks are crucial because 20% of our business is during the school holidays."

Shibber Ahmed
BBC
Shibber Ahmed was hoping to open his restaurant two weeks sooner

'No anxiety' over virus spreading from food sites

There is "no longer anxiety about widespread community transmission of coronavirus around two north Wales food plants, the first minister has said.

There have been 634 confirmed Covid-19 cases at meat plants in Wales - 283 at Rowan Foods in Wrexham, 134 at Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil and the 217 cases at 2 Sisters at Llangefni on Anglesey.

Mark Drakeford said the latest advice "does indeed suggest that we are probably past the most concerning time" at Rowan Foods and 2 Sisters.

On Rowan Foods, he said ministers were hopeful that an update from the outbreak control team later today would "confirm that the measures that we were looking to the company to put in place have been put in place, and that it can continue to operate in that new way".

Mr Drakeford said the experience had shown the importance of accurate record-keeping for tracing "when you are working with a population which is often drawn from countries outside the United Kingdom".

"Some of the people who we have struggled the most to contact are people where names and addresses have not been properly recorded, where the spelling of people's names is many and various, where telephone numbers are not been properly transcribed," he told the Welsh Government's daily coronavirus news conference.

"I think we've learned something about being prepared to communicate in languages other than Welsh and English.

"For some of the workers at Rowan Foods being able to see information in their own language, their native language, is important and we will be better prepared to do that more quickly if we face a similar outbreak in the future."

Rowan Foods
BBC
Rowan Foods in Wrexham has seen 283 cases of coronavirus confirmed