GUIDANCE has been given for what customers making use of the hospitality industry across Wales as the country continues to emerge out of lockdown.

More changes were brought into force this week following announcements made by the First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Mr Drakeford previously said: “It is thanks to the hard efforts of everyone in Wales that we have been able to control the spread of coronavirus and relax the restrictions. We can only continue to do this if everyone carries on this hard work.

“If we stop now, there is a real risk we will see new outbreaks of coronavirus and we may have to reverse some of these restrictions to control its spread again.”

Pubs, cafes and restaurants were previously were given the green light to begin trading again and serving customers – but only in outdoor spaces – from July 13.

Three weeks later, it has been deemed possible to allow these venues to begin welcoming their customer back indoors from August 3 if they wish to do so.

Guidance was issued to venues to prepare themselves for the public, but what guidance do the public have to follow?

A Welsh Government spokesman has clarified some of the most frequently asked questions as restrictions continue to be eased across the country.

How will cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars be able to operate safely indoors?

The Welsh Government spokesman said that they have adopted a phased approach to easing restrictions.

They said: “We have been able to closely monitor how hospitality businesses and their customers have adapted to social distancing and other mitigating measures in an outdoor setting.

“We have seen a positive response to re-opening outdoor hospitality across Wales. Operators, staff and customers are generally observing the guidance and respecting social distancing and the other Covid-19 safety measures we have put in place.

“Taking full account of the lessons learned and the public health position, we have, therefore, been able to make a well-informed judgement as to when indoor trading may re-commence as part of our established 21-day review cycle.”

They explain that, for those who have not yet visited hospitality premises since before the coronavirus outbreak, there will be some differences in the experience.

For example:

• most premises should be providing table service only

• all food and drink should be consumed at tables

• physical distancing measures will be applied, such as tables being spaced out

• you will be asked to give contact details for purposes of tracing people in the event of an outbreak being linked to the venue

• there will be no live music and TV broadcasts will be kept at low volume.

When does this new relaxation take effect?

The spokesman confirms that, as of August 3 and until further notice, hospitality premises can serve customers food and drink in both outdoor and indoor parts of their licensed premises.

They stress though that “this is based on an expectation that they will take all reasonable measures, such as required social distancing and collection of contact details, to minimise the risk of spreading the virus”.

The spokesman adds: “If this is not done, powers are available to enforcement authorities up to and including requiring some premises to close

“Due to the reduction in virus transmission rates in outdoor settings and environments, it was sensible to open outdoors first, as the important first step in the phased approach to hospitality re-opening. With mitigation, it now possible to open indoors as well.”

Who will I be able to go to cafes, restaurants, pubs or bars with?

When venues open indoors you will be able to eat or drink indoors only with the people you live with (members of your own household) or members of your extended household if you have agreed to form one, the spokesman confirms.

They said: “However, from August 3, you will be allowed to eat or drink outdoors with people outside your household or extended household - as long as you maintain social and physical distancing from them and the size of the group does not exceed 30 people.

“Over the next couple of weeks, we will also consider whether we can safely expand the number of people it is possible for you to eat and drink with indoors.

“People at increased risk from the effects of coronavirus, or extremely vulnerable (‘shielding’) are still advised to avoid attending any indoor environments where they are unable to maintain a two metre distance from those outside of their household and extended household.”

Should I wear a face covering?

Face coverings are not necessarily required by customers in these settings, but you may choose to wear one.

The spokesman said: “We [Welsh Government] recommend wearing one in enclosed spaces if crowded, but measures should be in place to ensure that bars and restaurants are not too full.

“If you feel that a premise has not taken appropriate safeguards it is recommended that alternative premises are sought.”