21 October 2020 | Comment | Article by Martin Jones

UPDATED: Alcohol licensed premises (Wales)

Updated 21 October 2020

With effect from 6pm Friday 23 October 2020 and until 9 November 2020 (the firebreak period) so far as alcohol licensed premises in Wales are concerned the following rules apply:

Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes

  • All pubs, restaurants and cafes (including beer gardens/outdoor seating areas) must close during the firebreak period.
  • These premises are allowed to provide takeaway service only (by delivery or collection) – bearing in mind that you can only provide takeaway alcohol if your licence permits off-sales.
  • Physical distancing rules apply to takeaway service and staff and customers must wear face coverings
  • No food or drink may be consumed on the premises whatsoever


Nightclubs are currently still not permitted to open.


All hotels must close during the firebreak period unless specifically requested to provide services by Welsh Government or a Local Authority, such as for the provision of emergency accommodation.

After the firebreak period

Following the end of the firebreak, a new set of national rules will be announced covering how people can meet and how the public sector and businesses should operate.

If you have any specific questions, please get in touch with us by using the contact form on our regulatory page.

Updated 2 October 2020

The current (29 September 2020) state of play so far as alcohol licensed premises in Wales (excluding nightclubs) are concerned is as follows:

On licensed premises

  • All alcohol sales must be by table service only;
  • All sales of alcohol must stop at 10pm and the venue must close by 10.20pm;
  • Food and drink must only be consumed at tables;
  • Physical distancing of tables must occur;
  • The proprietor must take contact details for track and trace purposes (to assist with this you can now create a QR code for your premises via https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster, which can be displayed at the property and customers should be encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 app and scan the code to “check-in” which makes track and trace simpler);
  • There must be no live music and any TV broadcasts must be kept to a low volume; and
  • Face coverings must be worn in areas where customers are not seated (e.g. on the way to and from the toilet or on the way in and out of a smoking area).


Please remember that if your venue is in an area subject to local restrictions, you should also ensure that customers are from one household only (the extended household provision has been suspended in areas of local restriction).  Areas currently subject to local restrictions are:

  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough;
  • Bridgend County Borough;
  • Caerphilly County;
  • Cardiff Council;
  • Conwy County  Borough Council;
  • Denbighshire County Council;
  • Flintshire County Council;
  • Llanelli;
  • Merthyr Tydfil County Borough;
  • Neath Port Talbot County Borough;
  • Newport Council;
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf;
  • Swansea Council;
  • Torfaen County Borough;
  • Vale of Glamorgan; and
  • Wrexham County Borough Council


Off licensed premises

Off-licences, including supermarkets, must also stop selling alcohol at 10pm. 

If you have any specific questions, please get in touch with us by using the contact form on our regulatory page.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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