Wales

Coronavirus: Closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants ordered

The Duke of Wellington pub in Cardiff on Friday was virtually empty Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duke of Wellington pub in Cardiff on Friday was virtually empty

The Welsh Government is to order the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants and other businesses to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said he would sign the plans off on Friday evening and they would come into immediate effect.

The decision was made at a meeting where measures were agreed that will affect the entire UK.

Mr Drakeford said the action would be made under the 1984 Public Health Act.

He said: "Health is a devolved responsibility, and as Welsh ministers, we will tonight exercise our powers under the 1984 Public Health Act in order to close restaurants, pubs, bars and other facilities where people gather.

"This also includes leisure centres, gyms, cinemas, theatres and betting shops.

"I will sign the necessary regulations later tonight, and they will come into force immediately."

He said the move was not being made lightly.

"We know this will be immensely difficult for those employed in the industries affected," Mr Drakeford said.

"But this is the right thing to do.

Image caption First Minister Mark Drakeford has ordered the closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants to stop the spread of Covid-19

"We are tackling this virus in a controlled and determined way to protect and care for the most vulnerable people in our society.

"Together we can make that difference."

The Welsh Government said it was stepping up measures following "strong advice" to people not to attend pubs and other public places.

Mr Drakeford said he was "very grateful" to those who had stayed off the streets.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said the UK government will pay 80% of wages for employees who are not working because of the crisis, up to £2,500 a month.

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