The FSB have responded to the Welsh Government announcement ahead of last weeks Coronavirus Review that restrictions could return and that Covid passes will be extended to theatres and concert halls from 15 November and that ‘Pubs, restaurants and cafes might also require passes if infections climb’.
FSB Policy Chair, Ben Francis, said:
“With the Wales Covid-19 rates the highest in the UK, it is important that we all work together to ensure that we redouble our efforts to tackle the virus and bring the rates down. It is vitally important for businesses that we ensure we act to avoid further restrictions as much as possible.
“Businesses have more than played their part in dealing with the pandemic, taking the necessary measures to protect the public and their staff.
“Now is the time to redouble our efforts by ensuring we continue to take the current advised safety measures of mask wearing in indoor spaces (with the exception of hospitality businesses), ensuring that risk assessments are taken to make business as safe as possible, and ensuring employees work from home where that is possible and appropriate.
“It is also vital that the public understands each of our individual responsibility to follow the rules, and that business owners and staff are treated with respect when enforcing them
“Redoubling our efforts on these safety measures can hopefully stop further restrictions in a few weeks and over Christmas, which is a key trading time for many businesses, especially this year.”
On Covid passes, Ben Francis said:
“The First Minister has advised pubs restaurants and cafes to ‘prepare for the possibility of Covid passes’. We would also press on Welsh Government that it is important that they also take the opportunity to prepare and build the evidence base on effective action.
“It is important that Welsh Government learn the lessons from the operation of Covid passes so far and provide a practical and evidence-based approach. What has worked and what hasn’t? What is the impact on the virus?
“It is important that guidance be available with enough time for businesses to prepare, and that it is shaped to the needs of the sectors brought into the Covid pass regulations. The challenges to pubs, cafes and restaurants in implementation of Covid passes are very different and often more challenging to those sectors where passes are already in operation. So it is important that guidance is easy to follow, is practical, and allows businesses to continue to operate in a way that works for them and for the public.
“Small businesses are ready to do what it takes to help combat Covid-19. It is important that Welsh Government work with smaller businesses to ensure that the regulations are as simple, practical and effective as they can be. As throughout the pandemic, FSB are willing and able to work with decision makers to ensure any further restrictions are practical, proportionate and effective.”