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The Welsh government is accused of “making politics” by speeding up the easing of the blockade

Opponents say Prime Minister Mark Drakeford is profiting from advertising time during the election campaign

The easing of the blockade in Wales is being accelerated, with a number of indoor activities for adults and children allowed earlier than expected and a date set for when pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants could serve indoors.

Businesses and hospitality workers, exercise enthusiasts and families who enjoy a trip to soft play areas will be excited by the change.

Political opponents, however, accused the Labor government of “making politics” at the height of the Welsh parliamentary election campaign, arguing that Prime Minister Mark Drakeford was profiting from the moment of positive announcements.

Drakeford is due to attend a press conference in Cardiff on Friday to explain how the blockade is being eased.

Although Boris Johnson gave a press conference to Covid this week, as did Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Drakeford’s opponents in Wales said he should have left what would have been popular advertisements for his medical director, Frank Atherton.

First minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, with Labour’s leader, Keir Starmer, and AONB partnership chair, Andy Worthington, during a walkabout in Llangollen for Welsh Labour’s Senedd election campaign
Source: Theguardian

The leader of Welsh conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said: “Much more details could have been announced before the election period, such as hospitality, academies and other economic and social activities, but Labor has chosen to do politics.

“This latest review announcement should be conducted by the medical director and not the prime minister, in what is a blatant attempt to influence the May election.”

Conservatives made it clear that they were not suggesting that the government was cynically making decisions about how the blockade should be eased to win votes, but were concerned about the timing and form of the ads.

The Welsh government is confirming that as of Monday, April 26:

Outdoor attractions such as amusement parks, theme parks and swimming pools may open
Outdoor hospitality will be allowed
Outdoor activities organized for up to 30 people will be allowed, but only run by a responsible individual or organization, such as a football, rugby, tennis or cricket club
Outdoor wedding receptions for up to 30 people can take place

From Monday, May 3:

Gyms, other fitness facilities and leisure centers will be allowed
People will be able to form an extended family with another family

Also from May 3 (instead of the later scheduled date of May 17):

Supervised indoor activities for children, such as soft play areas, will be allowed
Indoor activities organized for up to 15 adults, for example, fitness classes and swimming lessons, can be restarted
Community centers can reopen

The prime minister said it was “his assessment” (but it will be up to the new government to confirm after Senedd’s election on May 6) that as of Monday, May 17:

Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors (in line with England)
All tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions will be open
Drakeford said: “The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. Working together and complying with the rules, coupled with our vaccination program, means that we continue to make progress. Virus rates continue to fall and the public health situation is improving. “

Ryan Davies, who owns and runs the Llanerch Vineyard hotel in southern Wales, said he was relieved that the Wales hospitality industry was created to welcome guests at the same time as England. “We are more than ready to welcome guests back with more indoor spaces for meals and drinks, and we expect a strong summer trade,” he said.

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