The Welsh Government announced yesterday that no more than six people will be allowed to meet indoors in Wales, including in pubs and restaurants, as they seek to slow the growth of coronavirus infections across Wales. The limit doesn’t apply to children aged under 11 and will be in place from Monday 14 September.

Responding to the announcement, The Welsh Independent Restaurant Collective (WIRC), a 300 strong group of independent hospitality outlets, acknowledges that these changes are made in response to a changing trajectory in public health and the pattern of infection from Covid 19.  Since reopening on 3 August, the sector has shown itself particularly able to adapt to create safe spaces for the public to enjoy food and drink and will continue to do so.

WIRC will be engaging with its members and supporters over the weekend to gather views and feedback from the sector.  At first sight, there is much work to do in interpreting and managing these changes and WIRC looks forward to engaging with WG to ensure both the public and the hospitality sector understand the new framework.

Kasim Ali of Waterloo Tea, a founder member of WIRC said;

“We’ll be working hard to ensure that we get clear messaging from Welsh Government both in terms of the detail of the rules and guidance but also in how these changes are communicated to the public. We want this to be a partnership between us and our customers – to make that happen and ensure there is a mutual understanding of what is allowed and what is not needs a very clear and continuing communications strategy from our Government.  We would urge this engagement with the public to come quickly, clearly and concisely to take the pressure away from our teams, who are on the frontline of communicating restrictions to their guests.”

The WIRC – made up of representatives from more than 300 of Wales’ independent restaurants and hospitality businesses – also continues to highlight the precarious position the industry is in.

Natalie Isaac, from Bar44 with outlets across South Wales, commented; 

“It’s difficult to imagine that the new restrictions won’t result in further financial impact on many Welsh hospitality businesses.  We’ll be collecting feedback from our members with regards to the extent of this over the weekend. We’ll be urging Welsh Government to look at ways of supporting and giving confidence to the independent hospitality sector where many thousands of jobs have already been lost and many more remain in jeopardy.”