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19th June 2020

South Wales Chamber President responds to most recent Covid-19 announcement

Paul Slevin, President of South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said:

It is very positive news that non-essential retail can start to re-open from Monday which will boost the economic re-start. Childcare will also start to re-open which, combined with limited schools re-opening from 29th June, will provide some support to working parents.

“From the wide business conversations we have had, Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus that whilst businesses are eager to open, the health and safety of staff and customers is the key priority for Welsh business and industry.

“From 6th July the tourism sector has a mandate to prepare for reopening self-contained accommodation, being able to take bookings from 13th July, which is the news that our tourism industry has been desperately awaiting.

“We now have an indication that the announcement on 9th July will include an update on the ability to travel to tourist attractions across Wales, and that in the next few weeks discussions will be held with the hospitality sector about the potential phased reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants. This will be welcomed by the hospitality sector who have been the hardest hit businesses to date in Wales.

“The message is clear, most businesses, including hairdressers, should now use the next three weeks to prepare for re-opening, and ready themselves for a gradual return that meets the 2m social distance requirements. We would urge Welsh businesses to look at the Welsh advice and guidance that is available, including the Chamber’s designated Coronavirus Hub, and put in place the necessary plans to enable safe operation.

“Whilst the ‘Stay Local’ message has been reinforced today, it is worth reminding employers and employees that where it is not possible to work from home, travel beyond 5 miles is reasonable and considered essential where it is undertaken on behalf of work.

“The First Minister’s recent announcement of gradual step-by-step changes, which start to restore freedoms, will be welcomed by many businesses across Wales. The Chamber will continue to ensure the Welsh business voice is understood by politicians and policy makers, to help them make decisions that drive the Welsh economy into re-start and recovery.”

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