North Wales lockdown: ‘I just feel so sad for our hospitality sector’

A tourism boss says he feels “so sad for our hospitality sector” after four North Wales counties were placed into lockdown.

The rules are being tightened in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham following a rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething today announced.

The new measures will come into force at 6pm on Thursday 1 October.

The new restrictions mean:

  • People will not be allowed to enter or leave each of these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
  • People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;

Tourism businesses and restaurants, cafes and pubs can remain open as usual but this will prevent visitors from outside each county coming to the area.

In response Jim Jones, chief executive of North Wales Tourism, said: “I just feel so sad for our hospitality sector.

“I know these business and how hard they work and how much time and money they have invested in making their premises as secure and safe as possible.

“This is a big blow. Safety comes first, of course, and we know that.

“We’re just having to deal with an extraordinary amount of uncertainty and this is yet another big blow.”

Darren Millar MS, who represents Clwyd West, said: “This evening’s news will come as a devastating blow to residents and businesses in all those areas affected and I know that many will question whether such measures are entirely necessary.

“The Welsh Government therefore needs to be fully transparent and outline to all residents of Denbighshire, Conwy, Flintshire and Wrexham why such restrictions in these areas are needed, including sharing community by community data so that we can see whether the measures are proportionate.

“Local businesses will also need extra support, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industry.”

Welsh Government this week launched a local lockdown funding pot as well as £20m extra ringfenced funding for tourism and hospitality businesses.

MS Janet Finch-Saunders, the Member for Aberconwy, added: “I regret, of course, the need for further lockdowns as have been imposed in South Wales, but really have to question why they are being introduced in 48 hours’ time.

“If there is the need to lockdown, then surely it needs to be done immediately, because Covid doesn’t know one day from the next.”

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