The Welsh Government has announced that businesses impacted by the pandemic will continue to be protected from the threat of eviction until 30 June.

The move is intended to ease the financial burden on businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors in particular which have been hardest hit during the Covid lockdowns. Legal protections preventing businesses from being evicted if they failed to pay rent was due to end on March 31.

Announcing the extension, Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, said: “The past year has placed untold pressures on our firms and our people as we deal with coronavirus and that is why we have moved at pace to support the business community through the pandemic with a package worth in excess of £2 billion.

“Today’s announcement of the extension of measures to prevent forfeiture for the non-payment of rent builds on that and is crucial in protecting businesses from eviction and securing jobs and livelihoods over the coming months.

“We will continue to do all that we can to help them through these incredibly challenging times.”

Support for businesses in Wales throughout the pandemic has been a joint effort between the Welsh and UK governments.

Read more:

At the beginning of January, 12% of the Welsh workforce remained on furlough, while more than £1.9 billion has reached businesses across Wales.

In last week’s Welsh budget, the Welsh Government announced a 12-month extension to the business rates holiday for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Non-essential retail is one of the areas of society expected to reopen first following the Government’s Covid review on Friday, March 12, however restrictions on hospitality are expected to remain in place.

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said: “During these difficult times, it’s vitally important that we continue to protect our Welsh businesses.

“We know and understand the strain that this virus has had on businesses across Wales, with those in the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors being particularly hard hit.

“The decision to extend the moratorium against forfeiture for the non-payment of rent to the end of June will hopefully go some way to ensuring that we’re continuing to help support our town centres and building back better as they safely continue to trade during this pandemic.

“Giving our towns a sense of place is more important than ever, and in line with our Transforming Towns agenda we will continue to work collaboratively with partners to build sustainable town centres for the future where businesses can thrive.”

The Welsh Conservatives have previously called for a ‘clear roadmap’ out of lockdown to ensure businesses know when they will be able to reopen, while Plaid Cymru continue to support a more cautious approach.

Want more business news? Help us grow by subscribing to The National today