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Fri 17th Dec 2021 - Wales to close its nightclubs after Boxing Day
Wales to close its nightclubs after Boxing Day: Wales is set to see a return to tougher covid restrictions after Christmas following a surge in Omicron cases in the UK. The first minister has announced a mixture of advice for over the Christmas period alongside new regulations to follow as part of a “two-phase plan”. Nightclubs will be closed from 27 December under the new rules, although the Welsh Government has announced a £60 million fund to support any businesses affected by the restrictions. From the same date, two-metre social distancing will be mandatory in offices, and measures including one-way systems and physical barriers will be introduced in businesses to protect customers and staff. Regulations will also be changed to include a requirement to work from home wherever possible. Until 27 December, the Welsh Government is encouraging people to follow five steps, including getting vaccinated, making sure to have a negative lateral flow test result before going shopping or meeting people, meeting in well-ventilated areas – preferably outdoors, spacing out socialising to allow test days in between, and adhering to social distancing, wearing a face covering. Michael Kill chief executive NTIA said: “We are astounded at the actions of the Welsh Government, the consistent targeting of the nightclub and late night economy sector has gone too far. It is very clear that the Welsh Government have purposefully placed restrictions on an industry with no supporting evidence. Nightclubs and the late night economy have been at the sharpest end of the pandemic, and have upheld the Public Heath Strategy within Wales for over two years, with closures and mounting debts. We have been placed in an untenable position and will now have no choice but to come out fighting. The sector will be considering it’s legal options following this announcement.” Meanwhile in a letter to Boris Johnson, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said the spread of Omicron was outpacing the rollout of the booster campaign and warned that ‘restrictions on the operation of higher-risk settings, while of course undesirable, may now be unavoidable’. 

Propel Premium Advent Video Calendar to feature Keith Bird and Pranee Laurillard: Propel has launched its Premium Advent Video Calendar, giving subscribers access to a great video each day in December from our autumn conference series. Each day in the run-up to Christmas, Premium subscribers will be sent a video featuring some of the sector’s leading operators, who will share insights, advice and expertise. The next three videos – which will be sent at 9am today (Friday, 17 December), tomorrow (Saturday, 18 December) and Sunday (19 December) – feature a panel focusing on the concepts looking to make their mark in a post-covid world, including Keith Bird, chief executive of Maragume Udon and Pranee Laurillard, founder of Lime Squeezy Thai Kitchen; Itsu chief executive Julian Metcalfe; and Amy Heather, Just Eat director strategic accounts UK. Earlier this month, Premium subscribers received the fifth edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock. The database showed the details of 366 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches. Premium subscribers also receive access to two other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, and the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett, who, as part of this week’s column, pays tribute to Stephen Thomas. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. To subscribe, email jo.charity@propelinfo.com.

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