PUBS and local politicians have started a Pembrokeshire backlash since the announcement by First Minister Mark Drakeford that pubs will no longer be allowed to sell alcohol from Friday, December 4.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Wales have been told to not sell any alcohol and to close at 6pm from December 4.

The new measures are being introduced as cases of coronavirus accelerate in Wales once again.

After 6pm pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will only be able to provide takeaway services.

Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions must also close.

The measures are expected to last until at least December 17.

Some pubs in the county, faced with not being able to sell alcohol, have stated they will close for the duration.

Saundersfoot’s The Old Chemist Inn said: “As we are not a tea room we will be shutting our doors at 6 pm this Friday until we are allowed to sell alcohol again.”

Kilgetty’s Buffs social club said: “Following the announcement today from Mr Drakeford, the Buffs social club, Kilgetty will close as of 6pm Friday until further notice. As a ‘wet lead pub’ it is impossible for us to stay open.

“We are very sorry to our regular loyal customers who have always supported us before and throughout this difficult time we hope to see you all soon.”

Preseli MS, and leader of the opposition, Paul Davies

said the new restrictions announced on the hospitality sector are “disproportionate, and unfair”.

Mr Davies added: “This blanket approach across all of Wales is disproportionate and will unfairly affect parts of the country where infection rates are significantly lower than others, and will harm the sector to such an extent that large parts of it may not recover.

“This is after they have invested hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of pounds on making their premises as safe as possible.

“With the best will in the world, and especially in the run-up to Christmas, if pubs and cafes cannot sell alcohol with meals, it could encourage people to drink at home and in groups. All the evidence so far has shown that these sorts of interactions are generally more likely to be a cause of transmission.”

Preseli MP Stephen Crabb said: “This is a hammer blow for our hospitality businesses who’ve worked incredibly hard to make their pubs, restaurants and cafes as secure as possible.

“It’s now vitally important that the Welsh Government compensate these businesses and we don’t see the same mistakes with the application process as we did with the Economic Resilience Fund.”

In his November 30 lunchtime announcement First Minister Mark Drakeford, said: “Unfortunately, the virus is moving incredibly quickly across Wales and is eroding the gains we made during the firebreak period. We now need to take further steps together as a nation to protect people’s health and slow the spread of coronavirus.

“This virus – and this pandemic – continues to be full of unpleasant surprises. It thrives on our normal human behaviour and all those places and opportunities where we come together.

“It underlines why we need to take further, targeted action now. We will focus these changes on places where we meet and where coronavirus thrives, drawing on recent evidence from the UK SAGE group of experts about what interventions have had the biggest impact on the virus.”

The Welsh Government is making a further £340m available through the Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses affected by the new changes to the regulations. It will include a specific fund to support hospitality and tourism businesses.

The new Welsh Government support is split into two funds: a £160m Restrictions Business Fund and a £180m sector-specific Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme.

The Restrictions Business Fund will enable eligible businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors which pay non-domestic rates (NDR) to access grants of up to £5,000.

It is estimated around 60,000 businesses, with a rateable value of under £150,000 will receive this support.

Businesses not on the NDR system, will be able to continue to apply to local authorities for the Lockdown Discretionary Grant of up to £2,000.

In addition, hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses will be able to access a sector specific Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme.

Small and medium sized businesses meeting the criteria could receive up to £100k. Larger Welsh-based businesses could receive up to a maximum of £150k.

This part of the package is expected to support up to 8,000 businesses in these sectors and a further 2,000 in the related supply chains.

More information about the funding and how it can be accessed will be published on the Business Wales website in the coming days.