HOSPITALITY traders in Newport thanked customers for heading out in force on Thursday on the last night they will be allowed to stay open and serve alcohol until at least December 18.

While the high street was quiet on a chilly December evening, pubs including Le Pub, McCann’s, Hogarths, and the Red Lion were particularly busy.

Until further notice, from 6pm on today, Friday, nobody in Wales will be able to buy or drink alcohol in a pub, bar, restaurant or cafe. Venues are allowed to open, but must close by 6pm.

The Welsh Government said the booze ban would help cut the number of coronavirus infections, on the basis that people who have been drinking are more likely to struggle with the public health rules.

“It’s like Christmas Eve,” Amy McCann – landlady at McCann’s, said on Thursday. “It’s a sad night but there is a feeling of warmth for everyone here, who has come out to support us tonight. I think it could be the last night we are open until March.”

South Wales Argus:

Laura Price

Regular customer and friend Laura Price said: “It’s not just about the money, it’s the impact this is going to have on so many people here.”

Ms McCann will be serving soft drinks once a week throughout the festive period due to her concern over her customers’ wellbeing.

South Wales Argus:

Amy McCann

“That’s the major worry for me – I feel I have a duty to look after them,” she added. “I know how much they have struggled this year, and how much they were looking forward to Christmas.”

Such is the community spirit among visitors to McCann’s that in the first and second lockdown regulars raised money to keep the pub going.

South Wales Argus:


Ms Price added: “So many people who come here live on their own and don’t do social media. This is the only way they interact.


“I feel very lucky to be a wife and a mum – but many people don’t have that. I’m grateful for tonight because it’s been a lovely send off, but I do worry.”

A few doors down at Le Pub, landlady Sam Dabb said the venue was the fullest it had been on a Thursday in a long time.

South Wales Argus:

Sam Dabb

“It’s been nice – many friends have come to show their support today. They always do,” she said.

“It’s a feeling of confusion. Most people here don’t understand why they’ve had their social lives taken away from them when they’ve done so much to comply with the rules.

South Wales Argus:

“It’s a real kick in the teeth considering the constant trading standards visits we’ve had – all of them coming out exemplary.

“I’m totally fed up with it now. I have received no communication over why this decision was made.

South Wales Argus:

High Street

“I could take the 6pm closing time, but the ban on alcohol as well is ridiculous. No one comes to the pub for lunch, gets hammered and starts hugging strangers – it’s certainly never happened here.”

It’s a message echoed by landlord at The Red Lion Craig Davies, who also said he’d seen higher numbers than usual on Thursday.

South Wales Argus:

Craig Davies

“My regulars on a weekend have come today, which I’m grateful for,” he said. “I’ve never been more grateful for them. They’ve come out in force to support us and they always adhere to the rules – I’ve never been contacted by track and trace.

South Wales Argus:

Bridge Street

“We’re an old man’s boozer with lots of widowed guys, and that’s my biggest concern now. They fit this into their routine every week – you can’t underestimate the importance of that for them.

“I just hope we’re back open as soon as possible, but I can’t see it personally. Hopefully in the new year.”