WELSH pub landlords have slammed new rules in which they must check IDs to prove drinkers are not from England as the country came out of its firebreak lockdown.
Groups of four are now allowed to meet in cafes, pubs, and restaurants while non-essential shops, gyms, and hairdressers are permitted to open for business.
Welsh pub owners have criticised new rules where they have to ask for proof that their customers are not from EnglandCredit: AFP or licensors
Pub managers along the border have slammed the new rulesCredit: Alamy
Places of worship can also reopen under the relaxed restrictions.
However, the sale of alcohol will cease from 10 pm.
Drinkers will now have to provide their home address in order to prove they have not travelled in from England for a drink.
The move has been blasted by pub owners along the border who say it is “completely unreasonable”.
The landlady of The Boat Inn in Chepstow, which shares a border with Gloucestershire told The Telegraph that the rule was not “fair” on staff.
She said: “I am doing everything I can to keep my staff and customers safe, we are taking all their details, making sure we keep to rules on social distancing but I think it’s a little unfair to expect us to police IDs if everyone who comes in.
“I’m told we can’t serve the English ones so we’ll see how that goes.”
A manager who is in charge of a pub 10 minutes away from England in Tintern said there is a 50/50 split of English and Welsh customers at his pub.
Under relaxed rules in Wales, up to four people are now allowed to meet at pubs Credit: AFP or licensors
“It’s inevitable that we will get people in here from England who try their luck and it will be very hard for us to challenge that.
“If someone shows you a bank card with their name on, that is an acceptable form of ID. It that wouldn’t say whether they are from England,” he said.
“It’s going to cause cause conflict.”
Although Wales has seen a dramatic increase of coronavirus cases, First Minister Mark Drakeford said it was time to lift the restrictions.
He also promised to put up a hard border with England for “several centuries” in order to ensure people do not cross into the country after relaxing its lockdown rules.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has faced harsh criticism from Mr Drakeford who he said had failed to take action to stop the spread of the deadly bug.
According to the Welsh government, the “firebreak” lockdown measures had already been lifted before data had shown that the lockdown had been effective.
Mr Drakeford has admitted the impact of the lockdown will “not be felt for another week or two” but was criticised on Monday for lifting the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Dr Frank Atherton, the country’s chief medical officer has indicated that there are “early signs” which prove that the lockdown had indeed worked.
Dr Frank Atherton has indicated that there are ‘early signs’ that Wales’ ‘firebreak’ lockdown has workedCredit: PA:Press Association
The daily rate of new Covid cases was 33 per 100,000 when the lockdown measures were imposed on October 23.
At that time, it had doubled from 16 per 100,000 on October 3.
On October 30, the rate rose to peak at 41.6 per 100,000 before falling again by November 5 to 32.9 per 100,000.
Although it may seem that the lockdown has had a positive impact on the case rate, it is also worth noting that Wales is now conducting fewer coronavirus tests.
Merthyr Tydfil has recorded the highest rate of cases in Wales with 523.8 cases per 100,000 in the last week.
The area recording the least infections is Pembrokshire which has a rate 13.5 times lower.
So far it remains too early to determine how successful the firebreak lockdown has been.
According to Mr Drakeford, the prime minister’s handling of the coronavirus made a strong case for Welsh independence.
He said: “I’m regularly asked about whether there is a rise in enthusiasm for independence in Wales.
“I think coronavirus has shown that we have a Senedd with its own independent powers and a government that has been prepared to use those powers independently when we have felt it is in Wales’ interests.”
Mark Drakeford has said he will enforce the borders to make sure people from neighbouring countries do not sneak into WalesCredit: PA:Press Association
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