Wales politics

Coronavirus in Wales: Pubs and restaurants can reopen on Monday

The Duke of Wellington pub in Cardiff on Friday was virtually empty Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pubs have been shut in Wales since the start of March

The reopening of pubs, restaurants and cafes indoors in Wales has been confirmed for Monday.

Hospitality businesses had already been allowed to open outdoors in Wales, and indoors in other parts of the UK.

They have been shut since the middle of March, just before the country went into lockdown.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said he would be "pleased" to eat indoors in pubs that take social distancing measures.

"We said a couple of weeks ago that, provided everything went according to plan, we would be able to reopen indoor hospitality - cafes, restaurants, bars and so on, on 3 August," Mr Drakeford told radio station Heart South Wales.

"It depended upon the state of the coronavirus. We've had the latest checks. We're confident now that we'll be able to go ahead."

Mr Drakeford said he was impressed with the "careful way" pubs and restaurants have been operating outdoors.

"People sitting at a careful distance, food being served at the table, markings on the floor to make sure people don't bump into each by accident and so on."

"We will expect the same care to be taken indoors by people who are running bars, pubs and so on - and then it will be safe."

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Media captionA "scrumptious" socially-distant drink

The Welsh Government is expected to set out its plans for further easing lockdown restrictions on Friday.

Mr Drakeford has already previewed an announcement on reopening indoor gyms, saying he is "very keen" to see the sector reopen.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes in Wales were permitted to reopen outdoors on 13 July.

The partial reopening meant not all venues were able to welcome the public back.

Ministers announced three weeks ago that exemptions would be made to Wales' 2m distancing law, with businesses that cannot meet it expected to take precautions.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mark Drakeford announced earlier this week that he was "very keen" to see gyms reopen

Cinemas, beauty salons, cinemas and playgrounds were able to open earlier this week.

But restrictions on only meeting one other household outdoors have stayed in place.

The Welsh Government has been slower in lifting restrictions than other parts of the UK.

It has come under pressure from the Welsh Conservatives to speed up easing of lockdown, but Welsh ministers have been keen to emphasise their cautious approach.