ALL JD WETHERSPOON pubs in Wales will close on Friday.

A spokesperson for Wetherspoon confirmed to the Journal that all their sites, including venues in Rhyl and Ruthin, will close at 6pm.

New coronavirus rules will come into force in Wales on Friday, December 4. Under the new measures, 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.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin told BBC Radio Wales: "This new puritanism in Wales and elsewhere is madness, is economic madness.

"I don't want to wind the Welsh up by criticising their first minister, but he's talking cobblers.

"There's very good evidence that lockdowns - and this is a type of lockdown, it's a quasi-lockdown - simply don't work...

"This scare tactic saying so many people are going to die is nonsense in my opinion."

When announcing the new measures on Monday, First Minister Mark Drakeford, said: "Unfortunately, the virus is moving incredibly quickly across Wales and is eroding the gains we made during the firebreak period. We now need to take further steps together as a nation to protect people’s health and slow the spread of coronavirus.

"This virus – and this pandemic – continues to be full of unpleasant surprises. It thrives on our normal human behaviour and all those places and opportunities where we come together.

"It underlines why we need to take further, targeted action now. We will focus these changes on places where we meet and where coronavirus thrives, drawing on recent evidence from the UK SAGE group of experts about what interventions have had the biggest impact on the virus."

Wetherspoon venues closing on Friday include: The Palladium in Llandudno, The Picture House in Colwyn Bay; The Sussex in Rhyl; The Black Bull Inn Bangor; Tafarn Y Porth in Caernarfon and The Castle Hotel in Ruthin.

A resident connected to Wetherspoon, who asked not to be named, told the Pioneer: "Everyone is going back on furlough on Friday."