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Coronavirus: Welsh pubs and cafes to reopen indoors on 3 August

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Pubs have been shut in Wales since March

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

First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would also depend on how the reopening of hospitality outdoors goes next week.

Businesses will be asked to try to maintain 2m social distancing and put measures in place where this cannot happen.

It is one of a range of measures announced on Friday.

Campsites, hairdressers, beauty salons, cinemas and playgrounds are to reopen in the next three weeks.

Wales had previously been the only part of the UK not to set a date for the reopening of indoor hospitality.

Pubs had reopened in England last weekend. In Scotland they will be able to fully reopen on 15 July.

In Wales they will be able to open outdoors from Monday in spaces they own and are licensed.

What else was announced?

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Playgrounds will be able to reopen ready for the summer holidays

In other announcements, on 20 July outdoor gyms, playgrounds and community centres will be able to reopen.

Campsites and other accommodation with shared facilities will reopen from 25 July.

On 27 July the following activities can restart:

  • Close contact services, such as beauty salons, tattoo shops and nail parlours
  • The viewing of occupied homes for rent or sale will restart in the housing market
  • Cinemas, museums and galleries

Caution urged after Melbourne lockdown

No announcement was made on indoor gyms. It is understood ministers are still in discussions with gym and leisure companies about the reopening of indoor gyms and swimming pools.

The law enforcing the 2m social distancing rules will be altered to allow for some industries like hairdressing to comply. Other measures, including wearing masks, will be expected to be used instead.

Mr Drakeford urged “a note of caution”, citing the example of Melbourne in Australia, which is re-imposing a lockdown after a fresh spike in cases.

Pubs ‘have had weeks to prepare’

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Mark Drakeford rejected claims pubs had not had enough time to prepare.

“This sector has had weeks to prepare for reopening outdoors, not three days. There is plenty of guidance out there for those intending to reopen,” he said.

There was an “anxiety”, the first minister claimed, among the public in Wales “about going back to places where they may feel that their health and wellbeing would not be safely looked after”.

Asked if the delay in announcing a date for indoor hospitality to reopen had risked thousands of jobs, he said the sector should spend three weeks doing things “that are necessary to make a success of the changes that are being offered to it” with outdoor opening.

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