PUB and bar owners in Penarth have reacted to the news that some hospitality businesses in Wales will be able to reopen on July 13, under new Welsh Government plans revealed last week.

Venues will be able to open in spaces they own and have licences for, if cases continue to decline.

But indoor-only places will have to stay shut, and visitors will be expected to book.

Baroness Eluned Morgan admitted that it would be "difficult" for some pubs to keep to the two-metre social distancing rules.

The rules mean that pubs with large beer gardens could be able to salvage their summers, while those with smaller outside spaces could be heading for more hardship.

Penarth Times: Jon BassettJon Bassett

Jon Bassett, who owns Golden Lion on Glebe Street, will not be opening.

“It is not possible for us to implement a two-metre social distancing rule,” he said. “I feel the notice given for this decision has been shocking.

“It is not viable to operate a business serving a few people outside.

“We need some sustainable guidance that goes beyond just having people outside. We’re not in the Algarve.

“I understand health has to be the most important thing, but so many pubs are impacted badly by this guidance.”

Penarth Times:

Tenant at the Albion, also on Glebe Street, Mark Pearson, agreed the guidance discriminates between pubs with huge beer gardens and those without.


"The guidelines are unfair, there’s no doubt about that, and I don’t think it’s possible to run a business with less than a quarter of the customers we were getting before,” said Mr Pearson, who has been at the pub for three years and has spent time working as a delivery driver during lockdown.

“There really doesn’t seem much point in opening if we are going to have 20 people in here, and I wonder how they will police it anyway for the pubs that do open.

“I don’t know when we will open again, but it won’t be for a long while yet.”

Penarth Times: Ovis JanelOvis Janel

Ovis Janel, who has run Cefn Mably Bar and Hotel on Redlands Road for eight years, will be opening on July 13 after turning half his car park into a “beer garden”. 

He thinks he can fit at least 20 people outside, but he is also concerned.

“I think 50 per cent of people that were coming to the pub before lockdown will not be coming anymore,” he said. 

Penarth Times: Mr Janel's new 'beer garden'Mr Janel's new 'beer garden'

“Some will be vulnerable and not want to come out, and others will have got used to a routine of saving money and going to the pub will not be high on their priorities, which is completely understandable.

“I feel very sad for pubs without open spaces who are not able to open, because it is clear those with huge spaces will get through it while others probably won’t.

“Those smaller pubs without gardens should be financially compensated for.”

Mr Janel has set up planks of wood on barrels in his makeshift outdoor drinking area in the car park, in front of a beer garden.

“We are still waiting for some guidance on capacity, but it is clear the money we bring in will not be enough to cover the bills.”