Companies affected by the gradual move to Alert Level One, such as wedding venues and indoor attractions, will receive an additional £ 2.5 million in support, the Welsh government has announced.
Companies in Wales still affected by Covid-19 restrictions can apply for emergency assistance to help them until the end of June.
Economy Secretary Vaughan Gething announced at the Welsh Government press conference on Monday that, due to concerns about the Delta variant and its impact on transfer rates in Wales, additional funding is now being made available to support businesses moving from gradual transition to warning level 1 are affected.
This means Eligible Businesses such as indoor attractions and wedding venues are entitled to an additional payment of between £ 875 and £ 5000 depending on the size and circumstances.
Public Health Wales confirmed Monday that the number of Delta variant cases rose to 315 – an increase of 110 since Jan. The variant is now the most dominant variety in Wales.
Mr Gething said: “My priority as Secretary of the Economy is to ensure that the Welsh Government is ready to launch a strong Welsh recovery with the right to support Welsh businesses and workers.
“In the last few weeks, as the restrictions were gradually lifted, we have all seen many elements of our old life reopen in a Covid-safe manner. This can only be good news for our economy.
“However, we know that despite our success in controlling Covid-19 rates and introducing our vaccination program, the Delta variant continues to bring new challenges.
“That means we had to take a step-by-step approach to transitioning to Alert Level 1 by first easing restrictions on outdoor events and activities, as the evidence suggests that the risk of infection is significantly lower outdoors than indoors.
“While this is absolutely the right decision for Wales, we recognize the impact it will have on a significant number of our businesses.
“Today I am filing additional funding for these companies in Wales – such as wedding venues and indoor attractions – to help cover the costs of the gradual transition to Alert Level One that is made necessary by the risks of the Delta option.”
Eligible Businesses are entitled to an additional payment between £ 875 and £ 5000 depending on size and circumstances. Photo credit: PA
In response to the Welsh government’s announcement, Tracey Jones, executive director of Tyn Dwr Hall, a North Wales wedding venue, said she welcomed the pledge for further assistance, but said that “the news would do little” for couples who are “desperate a way forward “.
She said: “While the news that the Welsh Government has today pledged further relief to pandemic-affected businesses is welcomed, we believe this is just an attempt to protect the wedding industry and those who are benefiting from the sanctions against weddings.” who were wrongly affected in the ensuing period, the pandemic continued to calm down.
“The news will bring little to our couples who are desperately looking for a way forward. The wedding industry has been promised an increase in indoor numbers, but we’re still waiting. Together we strive for positive change with immediate effect so that wedding venues and businesses can return to a new version of normal.
“We are desperate to protect jobs and livelihoods and only if we allow it to reopen fully can we do so. With speculative news that UK wedding number restrictions will be lifted soon, we hope the Welsh government will deliver the equivalent becomes.” Embassy for Wales. “
FSB Wales was also “disappointed” with the announcement.
A spokesperson said: “Many companies in Wales will be relieved to hear that there will be additional funding from the Welsh Government to meet the major challenges facing those who are forced to close or cannot hold events at this time.
“However, we are disappointed that the FSB’s questions about the need for a restart grant have still not been answered. Companies that have been closed or severely restricted for an extended period of time need assistance to meet the highest reopening costs and we continue to urge the Welsh Government to provide it to the companies that need it most.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold a press conference tonight to inform people of the latest coronavirus situation in England.
When asked if Wales will follow suit when England announces the lifting of restrictions on weddings, Mr Gething said the restrictions in Wales will remain in place for as long as necessary to keep people safe.
“I know how difficult it is,” he said.
“When I got married, I was in a situation where we had no restrictions like today – and we had a great day.
“Now I want couples to be happy to celebrate that love in their relationship, but we only have rules and restrictions for as long as we need to keep Wales safe.
“I hope that couples, families and friends will only be with us for a short time and we will of course see with interest what happens across the border when the Prime Minister speaks tonight.”
When Vaughan Gething presented his plan to restore Wales to Covid, he raised concerns about Welsh funding for business support from the UK government.
He said: “I would like to see the UK Treasury continue to function as the UK Treasury and not just run from the position in England. I want the most generous support package available for Welsh jobs ”and company here.
“We know the vacation will come to an end at some point and it has been a huge success in preserving jobs and businesses, but we don’t want a cliff edge approach that doesn’t take into account the reality of the pandemic.
“So I think it would be helpful and useful to reconsider and possibly improve the support available if England delay the matter for another month, particularly due to the effects of the Delta variant.”