SIR Cliff Richard said Christmas time was for mistletoe and wine - but today marks the beginning of strict new booze rules in Wales.

Until further notice, from 6pm tonight, nobody in Wales will be able to buy or drink alcohol in a pub, bar, restaurant or cafe.

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.

But the move has proved controversial. Pub owners from Gwent have joined national calls for a government rethink, saying the new rules are piling the pressure onto an already struggling hospitality sector.

And some publicans have decided to shut altogether rather than try to attract customers during this 'dry December'. Read our guide to pubs calling time in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen.

Here's our guide to the new rules for hospitality in Wales:

­— What are the new rules for pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes?

These places are banned from selling alcohol or allowing alcohol to be consumed on their premises, at any time of day or night.

Takeaway alcohol can still be sold.

The alcohol ban does not extend to Welsh supermarkets, which can continue to sell booze every day until 10pm.

Pubs, bars, restuarants and cafes must also close every day at 6pm. They cannot open before 6am.

They are still allowed to run takeaway services outside of these hours.


­— Which other places are affected by the new rules?

Other indoor entertainment venues have been ordered to close.

These include amusements arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, casinos, cinemas, funfairs (including amusement parks and theme parks), indoor play areas, museums and galleries, and indoor visitor attractions.

Other indoor entertainment venues that were previously ordered to close must remain shut. They include concert halls, nightclubs, strip clubs, theatres.

­— How long could these rules last?

Currently, the restrictions can stay in place until February 19 - but ministers can extend them.

There is also a chance the restrictions could be lifted sooner.

The law states that Welsh Government ministers must review the regulations at least once in the period between December 4 and 17, and at least every 21 days after that.