BUSINESS leaders in North Wales have written an open letter to Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford voicing their upset over the restrictions coming into force on Friday.
More than 160 organisation have signed the letter, written on behalf of the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council.
Leaders say the new measures will have a ‘negative impact North Wales on tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses and their supply chains.’
The letter, dated Decemeber 1, seen by the Journal and Pioneer, says: “The measures put in place by Welsh Government are working and all the most recent publicly accessible data directly shows that we are not seeing increases in the low level infection areas e.g Conwy, Anglesey, Gwynedd and in the high instance areas we are seeing reductions e.g Wrexham.
“The evidence shows that current measures should be kept in place in order to continue this progress. Imposing even tighter restrictions on our region without the regional evidence to support such measures could be construed as disproportionate and unjust to the people and businesses of North Wales.
“Our businesses across the region have like businesses across Wales and the wider UK invested considerable time and money to make their venues and businesses Covid safe and direct evidence instances of them being linked to any material extent for transmission of Covid-19 seems not to exist.
“Trying to salvage what little is left of the trading year at Christmas (a period even in a normal year crucial to many businesses to provide the profits they need to carry them through to Easter) many businesses have or rather had full bookings.
“In the few days since the announcement of extra restrictions in Wales, large numbers of businesses have had to cancel bookings worth tens of thousands of pounds to them, essentially wiping out any real hope of a last ditch source of revenue at the end of a disastrous year, with expectations of the same for the coming months.
“Businesses feel incredibly hard done in the North given our COVID-19 infection rates and the hard work and investment they have made.
“We only asked for further proportionate and evidence-based decisions that show they are the best ones to make, versus alternative actions.”
To name a few, the letter has been signed by businesses such as the Royal Oak Hotel Conwy; Anglesey Sea Zoo; Signatures in Conwy; Tir Prince Leisure group Conwy and Denbighshire; Llandudno Snowsports Centre; Rhyl Golf Club; Welsh Mountain Zoo; The Quay Hotel in Deganwy and Adventure Parc Snowdonia.
SeaQuarium in Rhyl has also signed the letter as well as Glan-y-Bala Holidays; Alpine Travel, North Wales Holiday Cottages; Purple Moose Brewery and Abbey Farm.
First Minister Mark Drakeford revealed on Monday that on Friday, December 4, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol. After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services.
Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions must also close.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the impact the restrictions that will come into force on Friday will have on the hospitality industry. This is why we have announced a significant package of financial support for the sector at the same time.
“We will be responding to the letter in due course”