PUB owners across Gwent have welcomed the news that they will be able to serve customers indoors from Monday - with one saying he is "like a kid at Christmas".

From next week, up to six people from different households will be able to meet indoors at pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the changes to indoor hospitality will come in from Monday May 17.

But people who are not in the same extended household must continue to socially distance.

Craig Davies, from the Red Lion on Stow Hill in Newport, said: "I'm like a kid at Christmas.

"It’s certainly a step closer to better times, considering my pub is a community pub and a life line to so many of my regulars.

"It'll be nice to see their faces in a familiar setting."

Being unable to serve indoors has hit some pubs hard.

Matthew Dawkins from the Castle Inn in Usk said he was eagerly anticipating next Monday's relaxation.


"It’s great news for us," he said.

"We found it incredibly difficult operating outside only.

"The weather has not been on our side and the regulations have been so difficult to implement. "We actually closed on Sunday for the remainder of the week until we can offer indoor seating.

"We just hope that the rules will be relaxed in time so we can slowly get back to some normality. "Our staff have found conditions very testing and will actually admit they haven’t enjoyed their shifts with the miles clocked up checking on people and generally having to remind people of the rules."

The pub atmosphere has been missed by staff and patrons alike, with Ryan Edwards of Cwmbran's Queen Inn looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality.

"We’re really looking forward to it," he said.

"Some of our regular (older) customers much prefer sitting inside so we look forward to getting a bit of that atmosphere back. "Food will also be a lot more popular again as sitting outside in the cold, wind and rain can really ruin people’s meals, whereas sitting in the pub is half of the experience.

"We’re super excited for a bit of normality again and can’t wait for what the summer will bring."