All non-essential shops across Wales must close from the end of trading on Christmas Eve, according to the Welsh Government, followed by a tougher level four lockdown across the nation.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that the new tougher measures will also affect close-contact services, such as hair salons, who will also have to shut before Christmas.
The badly affected hospitality sector will also be affected by the rules, with pubs, cafes and restaurants being told to close at 6pm on Christmas Day.
During the festive period, only two households will be allowed to meet, in moves that the Welsh Government has said are necessary to prevent a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
The rules are now in conflict with an earlier agreement between the UK’s nations to stick to plans to allow up to three households to mix between 23 and 27 December 2020.
In announcing the new measures, Mr Drakeford described the situation in Wales as “extremely serious”, with one in five Covid-19 tests returning a positive result and more than 2,100 people receiving treatment from the NHS for the Coronavirus.
After the Christmas period, the whole of Wales will go into a level four lockdown from 28 December 2020. Under the current rules, this means that people should stay at home, with travel limited to ‘essential’ journeys.
Restrictions will also require public facilities and holiday accommodation to shut and will require wedding receptions and wakes to be cancelled (although ceremonies and funerals can go ahead as long as they are within the rules).
This new lockdown has no end date and will be reviewed every three weeks by the Welsh Government, beginning in January.
The latest announcement is a further blow to the Welsh economy, which has had to deal with a succession of lockdowns and difficult restrictions in 2020.
If your business is likely to be adversely affected by these latest measures, you should seek help from a trusted adviser. To find out how we can support your business, please contact us.