ALL JD Wetherspoons pubs will close in Wales from Friday.

The chain's chairman, Tim Martin, confirmed that they would be closing all pubs in response to the new rules announced by first minister Mark Drakeford.

From Friday pubs will have to close at 6pm and won't be able to serve alcohol in Wales.

Mr Martin said the first minister was "talking cobblers".

He added that the new rules meant it was not "viable to open", and that similar rules in Scotland proved to be "ruinously expensive".

Confirming the decision, he told BBC Radio Wales: "I don't want to wind the Welsh up by criticising their first minister, but he is talking cobblers.

"There is very good evidence that lockdowns, and this is a type of lockdown, simply don't work. There is lots of examples of that throughout the world. This scare tactic that so many people are going to die are nonsense in my opinion.

"We are closing. It will not be viable to open. We tried it in Scotland when they brought in similar rules to Wales for a few weeks, but it was ruinously expensive.

"You can open for food, which is quite a big percentage of our trade, but what happens is a lot of people go out for a glass of wine, or a pint with a meal, so you lose a lot of your food sales as well. Overall, it is not viable."


He said that he was very surprised by the alcohol ban.

"I thought that the rules that applied today were actually quite sensible," he said. "They are similar to the rules in Sweden, for example, that have worked very well.

"The difficulty you have in Wales, that you also have in England, is that there has now been four different sets of regulations which have applied to pubs, restaurants, licensed premises in the last few weeks.

"If you can imagine the impact on businesses trying to absorb these regulations, and then make them work, it is an impossible burden.

"The rules are being made by people who have never run a business.

"They are being heavily influenced by a set of academics, who are brilliant, but who have never run a business and they don't understand the extraordinary difficulties. It is economic madness."

Welsh brewery Brains also announced more than 100 managed pubs will be closed from Friday.

They said the majority of its 1,500 staff will be put on furlough on 80 per cent of their wages.

These are the Wetherspoons pubs in Gwent which will be impacted by the announcement:

  • Newport: The Godfrey Morgan, Chepstow Road
  • Newport: The John Wallace Linton, Cambrian Centre
  • Newport: The Queen’s Hotel, Bridge Street
  • Abergavenny: The Coliseum, Lion Street
  • Abertillery: The Pontlottyn, Somerset Street
  • Blackwood: The Wyndham Arms, Dunraven Place
  • Caerphilly: The Malcolm Uphill, Cardiff Road
  • Chepstow: The Bell Hanger, St Mary Street
  • Cwmbran: The John Fielding, Caradoc Road
  • Monmouth: The King’s Head, Agincourt Square
  • Tredegar: The Olympia, Morgan Street