The Welsh Government has announced that nightclubs will have to close after 26 December as part of a national effort to combat the spread of Omicron.

Nightclubs must close from midnight on 27 December, while social distancing will return in offices and shops, and one-way systems will be reintroduced in supermarkets.

Businesses will also be required to allow people to work from home where possible.

The move comes in response to concerns over the Omicron Covid-19 variant, with positive cases of the virus on the rise in all areas of the UK, as well as in other countries around the world.

“Wales is in the calm before the storm; we see the storm of Omicron coming our way and we need to prepare for it now,” Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told the BBC’s Today programme.

However, Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), has hit out at the decision, saying it will pursue legal action over the move to shut nightclubs without enough evidence.

“We are astounded at the actions of the Welsh government, the consistent targeting of the nightclub and late-night economy sector has gone too far,” Kill said. “It is very clear that the Welsh Government have purposefully placed restrictions on an industry with no supporting evidence.

“Nightclubs and the late-night economy have been at the sharpest end of the pandemic and have upheld the Public Heath Strategy within Wales for over two years, with closures and mounting debts.

“We have been placed in an untenable position and will now have no choice but to come out fighting.

“The sector will be considering its legal options following this announcement.”

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