PUBS in Torfaen, as across Wales, have been dealt another blow by the latest round of coronavirus restrictions.

From Friday, alcohol sales will not be permitted at all, and pubs must close by 6pm.

The new restrictions were announced on Monday by first minister Mark Drakeford, who acknowledged the hospitality sector’s “hard work” to comply with previous regulations.

“I am very grateful for everything the sector has done and I know that these restrictions will be very difficult, coming as they do at such a busy time of the year,” he said.


The owners of Pontypool’s White Hart said they were “deeply saddened” by the news after “jumping through every hoop going and following every government guideline”.

“Our trade is solely day trade as we already close the pub at 6pm and have done so since the previous lockdown,” said owners Lou and Gavin Parfitt.

“Eighty per cent of our customers are over the age of 40.

“The hardest part is being told that we don’t have to shut, but we can’t sell any wet sales (alcohol) so there will be no point in opening, considering we still have bills to pay and probably won’t be able to claim any government funds because he (Mr Drakeford) hasn’t told me to close as such.”

They branded the new rules “totally unfair” on pubs who they said “are already having a tough time, not only with restrictions but table service too, the government have made it harder and harder each time”.

“Since reopening after the first lockdown, we’ve never had any report back to us that Test Trace and Protect have been contacted from the pub,” said the White Hart owners.

“To close us on the run-up to Christmas is shocking, this is our best time of year for trade.”

Gareth Edwards, who runs The Queen Inn in Upper Cwmbran, said the new restrictions were “gutting” but he could “completely understand” the Welsh Government’s decision to tighten the rules.

“We’ve just got to make what we can of it,” he said, adding that he planned to keep the pub open for the foreseeable future.

Mr Edwards said he had bought in extra supplies of non-alcoholic wines and ciders for his December customers.

“We’ll see how it goes and stay positive,” he added.