Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Wales will be forced to stop selling alcohol and to shut by 6pm in a new round of restrictions that begin on Friday night ahead of Christmas, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

The new regulations that come into force from 6pm on 4 December will also see cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues forced to shut their doors until they are reviewed on 17 December.

The announcement comes just three weeks after the end of Wales's 17-day firebreak lockdown and amid another rise in coronavirus cases particularly among under-25s in 17 of the country's 22 local authorities.

Mr Drakeford told a press conference in Cardiff that scientific and medical advisers believed unless further restrictions were put in place, the number of people in hospital in Wales with Covid-19 could rise to 2,200 people by 12 January.

Modelling suggested another 1,600 people could also lose their lives over the winter period, he said.

Latest coronavirus stories  


Mr Drakeford told the Welsh government's press briefing: "The measures we are taking are based on what the UK SAGE group of experts tells us has worked best elsewhere.

"From 6pm on Friday, our national measures will be amended to introduce new restrictions for hospitality and indoor entertainment attractions.

"Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol. After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services."