It may be Monday morning and you might only have just finished tucking into a bowl of cornflakes, but a hangover from the weekend still looms loud. And as regular readers will know by now, this blog is not one for ignoring elephants in the room.
Over the weekend, Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales put the country on notice that things weren’t going very well. Coronavirus is rampant at the moment and could be set to get worse before it gets better – and currently, Wales is suffering from the highest Covid-19 rates in the UK.
And he says if those rates don’t come down over the next three weeks, he will have to impose restrictions. To give you some context, Wales uses a levels system in regards to Covid. The country is currently on Level 0 – and it’s only at this level which nightclubs can open.
If this level is increased at all, nightclubs in Wales must immediately close. This will no doubt irk venues which have had to implement vaccine passes, as the Welsh government calls them – and would almost certainly mean lots of Cardiff-based clubbers simply travelling to nearby Bristol in England, where no such closure would apply.
But there is another question which comes to mind. The furlough scheme ceased on September 30th. This was a UK wide scheme implemented from London – and I cannot see the British government reintroducing it simply to help Welsh nightclubs. It simply won’t happen.
So how are nightclubs supposed to pay their bills if they’re forced by law to close, with no money coming in and no furlough scheme? I asked a similar question to a number of Northern Ireland ministers and departments a few weeks ago and none ever replied. So I thought I’d get in touch with Mr Drakeford’s office the same question.
I’ll let you know if they reply…