With Scotland now joining England in providing a timetable for hospitality to reopen, I and our 70 pubs in Wales, as well as many others in the industry, urge the first minister to provide indicative dates for the reopening of pubs.

The industry is too important to be left in the lurch. In addition to sitting at the hearts of communities across the land, pubs provide starter jobs, part-time jobs and support local businesses as well as play a vital role in our tourism economy.  

At the last count, there are over 3,000 pubs in Wales and approximately 120 breweries, all in a state of suspension with the very real risk of some disappearing in the months ahead. 

The value is huge both to local economies and the wider Welsh economy. The Welsh beer and pub sector supports 42,000 jobs and contributes nearly £1bn in Gross Value Added to the economy.    

We appreciate the need for caution and that dates might not be set in stone, but to provide no suggestion of a date for reopening is hugely damaging, both economically and psychologically. 

It is putting livelihoods at risk and impacting the mental health of publicans and their staff and leaving a gaping hole in local communities, that are desperate to come together.  As one licensee so aptly put it …pubs provide the country’s biggest community outreach programme, all for the price of a pint.

And why can’t we at least have an indication of when pubs might reopen? Pubs haven’t been a high-risk source of transmission. Far from it, pubs have provided a regulated, safe environment in which to socialise. 

Read more: Wales shopping centres hardest hit during pandemic

It is unregulated behaviour in the wider community which is the greater issue. It is only fair therefore that pubs should be treated the same as non-essential retail and open at the same time. 

The pub industry is on its knees.  Whilst Government grants and the extension of business rate relief are truly welcome, pubs need to trade - and soon - if they are to survive another year.

Summer is the lifeblood of our industry - no more so than in Wales. Our lands are a fantastic holiday destination which welcome hundreds of thousands of tourists each and every year. Welsh pubs depend on the money they make in the summer to help them through the winter. 

To have a chance of recouping the huge losses incurred over this last year, we need some idea of when pubs might be able to reopen, and how.  Restrictions need to be pragmatic; reopening needs to be safe and sustainable.

Read more: The border town where traders feel they'd be better off in England

Suppliers including breweries and food producers need to plan ahead.  And pubs need to think about restocking, refreshing Covid safety signage, bringing back staff and retraining them in Covid safety measures - and to know when they can start accepting bookings. 

So please don’t consign Welsh pubs to the wastelands.

Let them plan ahead and do what they do best, helping our nation’s mental health and the wider economy bounce back.

Tim Galligan, is operations director for Star Pubs & Bars, Heineken UK