The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales has welcomed the announcement that pubs, cafes, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will open following the end of Wales’ firebreak lockdown.
The 17-day firebreak lockdown began in Wales on October 23, and will be lifted on Monday, November 9, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
The end of the lockdown in Wales coincides with the introduction of lockdown measures in England, which will last for at least four weeks from Thursday, November 5.
Ben Francis, policy chair of FSB Wales, said: “We understand that the changing picture across the UK will impact upon what the First Minister feels able to do, but it is incredibly important that all businesses can reopen and do so confidently on November 9, which includes the hospitality sector.”
The First Minister said details on the reopening of the hospitality sector are still being finalised, following England’s “unexpected” lockdown announcement.
Mr Francis said: “Hospitality businesses and their customers will be looking for clear guidance as to what they can and cannot do in order to move forwards safely and sustainably.”
Speaking about the removal of travel restrictions within Wales, Mr Francis said many businesses “will feel reassured” and be able to “claw back some of the opportunities that they have missed this year”.
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However, Mr Francis urged Welsh Government to introduce a “Tourism Hibernation Fund” to help tourism and hospitality businesses affected by the pandemic.
He said: “So much ground has been lost by these businesses, and we urge Welsh Government to consider how these firms can be supported through the winter.”
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