Senedd Conservatives are calling for the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to remove “economically cruel and clinically unnecessary” restrictions on businesses.
With coronavirus restrictions being reviewed weekly by the First Minister of Wales, the official opposition has called for an end to the most overzealous and harmful regulations.
UK Hospitality Cymru has previously said that businesses would be left in “peril” without extra funding and fewer Covid restrictions, leading to pubs and restaurants fearing the “giant festive flop” of Christmas trading will result in closures and job losses.
Mark Drakeford’s government has been criticised recently for not releasing funding to hospitality businesses suffering from his government’s restrictions for several weeks, all in addition to claims that his restrictions were unnecessary as Wales’ Covid prevalence is far higher than in England [see notes to editors], which has the lowest prevalence in the UK but the fewest restrictions.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Economy Minister Paul Davies MS said:
“We understand why ministers felt they needed to bring in restrictions to limit the spread of a highly transmissible variant, so it is positive to see evidence showing the risk of hospitalisation is lower with the Omicron variant than with Delta.
“However, Mark Drakeford said that restrictions should not stay in place a minute longer than necessary. We believe this threshold has certainly passed for some of these, especially given over 1.7m people in Wales have now had their booster jab.
“While mask-wearing indoors in public places and nightclubs remaining closed are appropriate for now, two-metre distancing and the rule-of-six is extremely damaging to hospitality businesses who already lost out as high degrees of customers isolated around Christmas.
“Not only should the First Minister scrap these economically cruel and clinically unnecessary restrictions, he needs to publish a roadmap out of restrictions, showing the criteria for each stage of unlocking society, opening up the economy, and restoring the rights of all free-born Brits.”