14.43 – Tier three measures 'to be imposed on Greater Manchester'
BBC News is reporting that Greater Manchester will be put into the 'very high' tier of restrictions after talks failed to reach an agreement.
This will impact 1,809 pubs across the region, according to real estate adviser Altus Group, meaning they have to close unless they are operating as a restaurant and serving 'a significant meal'. They must only serve alcohol as part of this meal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make a formal update on restrictions later today (Tuesday 20 October).
10.06am – Republic of Ireland to impose six-week lockdown
Ireland will be put into a 'level five' lockdown for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday (21 October).
This will mean most businesses will have to close, mass gatherings will be banned and free movement limited.
Residents will be told to stay at home with exercise allowed only within a three-mile radius.
Gatherings, with the exception of groups of 10 at funerals and 25 at weddings will be banned and only essential shops will be able to stay open.
Construction will be able to continue but pubs, restaurants and cafés will only be able to serve takeaway and deliveries. Schools will remain open.
The restrictions are expected to last for six weeks (until 1 December) but will be reviewed after four weeks.
Tuesday 20 October – Manchester midday deadline
Good morning and welcome to today's live blog update.
This lunchtime is the deadline Greater Manchester leaders have been given to reach a deal with the Government about moving onto tier three restrictions.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has said if a deal is not made, the Prime Minister will be asked to step in.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the region was looking for a "fair figure" of help from the Government.
14.37 - All eyes on Manchester
Talks are still ongoing over Greater Manchester's alert level, with the Government keen to push the region into Tier 3 measures.
Here is what Mayor for Greater Manchester Andy Burnham is calling for:
- "A full and fair furlough scheme for all affected workers, covering 80% of an employee's regular wage or at least the national minimum wage. We believe that this should be paid to workers in businesses forced to close but also those in the supply chain that can provide evidence of a major loss of trade caused by the closures.
- "A Self-Employed Income Support Scheme set at 80% of average monthly income. This should be available to those who can provide evidence of a major loss of trade arising from Tier 3 closures, including freelancers. An improved compensation scheme for businesses directly or indirectly impacted based on the national scheme on rateable values."
On @MarrShow the Mayor mentioned that he had written to the Prime Minister and the other Party Leaders asking for their support to reach a fair level of support for people and businesses affected by covid restrictions.— Mayor Andy Burnham (@MayorofGM) October 18, 2020
You can read the letter here and at https://t.co/EMZWt0va9spic.twitter.com/Dl9J5dNjsX
13.19 - 750k jobs on the line
Some 750,000 hospitality roles will be lost by February 2021 without further Government support, a survey from trade bodies has found.
The poll of UKHospitality (UKH), British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) members by CGA revealed that more than three quarter (76%) of businesses were loss making.
The results reflect views largely canvassed before the full impact of the Government’s tiered system were announced, with areas including London, York, Lancashire and Liverpool under tight restrictions.
12.32 - Welsh lockdown confirmed
Pubs in Wales will have to close for two weeks, the First Minister has announced.
11.17 - Hospitality has "very strong voice"
Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton told The Morning Advertiser: "It's important to let them know we are not just going to roll over and be used and abused. What I mean by that is [they] take all our tax money and we don't have a voice. We have a very strong voice.
"People will only realise how much they miss us if our industry goes into complete collapse."
10.57 - 'Stop starving hospitality'
Here is a video from the demonstration at Parliament Square this morning.
10.49 - Tier trouble?
The Cock Tavern in Hackney, London said it saw a group of punters excitedly greeting one another on Saturday 17 October, the first day of the indoor mixing ban in London.
Publicans have expressed frustration at the additional measures, with some saying they are expected to act like police officers.
We had a group of housemates in on Saturday who were hugging and saying how good it was to see each other. What a friendly houseshare!— The Cock Tavern E8 (@TheCockTavernE8) October 18, 2020
Though it must get tiresome greeting each other like that each time they pass in the hallway or meet in the kitchen.
- Are you asking customers to prove they live together? What has your experience of the tiered system of restrictions been like so far? Get in touch on email@example.com
09.45 - Sector in Parliament protest
Industry figureheads will gather this morning (10.30am) in London's Parliament Square to call for more support.
HospoDemo protestors be wearing their uniforms and use pots, cocktail shakers and wooden spoons to highlight the sector's plight.
Keep an eye on this live blog and @morningad on social media for updates from the demonstration.
Monday 19 October, 09.17 - First Minister to announce decision
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford is to speak at around midday on whether or not the country will face a few weeks of strict restrictions.
While the lockdown would last two or three weeks, it is not known how severe potential measures would be, for example if schools would be closed.
Many areas in Wales are already under restrictions that ban residents from socialising with other households indoors or from leaving their local area for non-essential journeys.
What's more, talks are continuing today between Government and local leaders in Greater Manchester. The Government want to see the area under stricter, third tier, measures but leaders have called for more jobs support.
16.13 - PM urges Manchester leaders to support measures
The Prime Minister has said "time is of the essence" for Greater Manchester, where infection rates are rising rapidly. He said he hopes city leaders and Government can reach an agreement but he is prepared to "intervene".
He said he disagrees with those calling for a national lockdown and pointed to areas with a low rate of cases such as Cornwall.
16.07 - Boris Johnson press conference amid Manchester tension
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is giving a televised briefing on local measures, where he is urging local leaders in Greater Manchester to support plans to increase the alert level.
15.59 - Pubs across England blighted by restrictions
Here is the latest map from The MA, showing how pubs face severe trade restrictions across large proportions of the country.
15.00 - Hospitality paying 'very high price'
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has responded to the news Lancashire will face third tier measures from just after midnight tonight.
She tweeted: "This will be devastating to so many restaurants, hotels, guest houses and pubs in an area reliant upon hospitality for employment. Every lockdown makes it harder to reopen and rebuild consumer confidence. Hospitality is being made to pay a very high price with no extra support."
This will be devastating to so many restaurants, hotels, guest houses and pubs in an area reliant upon hospitality for employment. Every lockdown makes it harder to reopen and rebuild consumer confidence. Hospitality is being made to pay a very high price with no extra support https://t.co/QlygFNyKly— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) October 16, 2020
14.45 - Wales could see "fire-break" lockdown
First Minister Mark Drakeford has suggested a circuit-breaker fortnight to tackle the virus.
He said a decision may be made on Monday after discussions between Government and health officials.
He said: "Doing nothing is not an option.
"We would all have to stay at home to once again save lives. But this time it would be for weeks not months.
"Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas."
13.58 - Rent concessions for Tier 3 areas
Star Pubs & Bars has announced concessions for those affected by "very high" alert restrictions.
12.04 - Fuller's boss warns of "mass redundancies"
A London operator has responded to the city being plunged into Tier 2 lockdown measures from tomorrow.
Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “The Chancellor promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support the economy – and one of the best ways to support the economy is to ensure the hospitality sector is well-positioned to lead the economic recovery when all this is over.
"To do that, we need to keep our excellent, well-trained team members on our payroll through an extension of the furlough scheme to Tier Two areas. Otherwise we will end up with mass redundancies across the hospitality sector and the need to rehire and retrain when normality finally returns.”
The pubco boss has previously said he is looking at making up to 10% of roles redundant despite being hopeful London trade will bounce back.
11.51 - Government confirms Lancashire tier increased
A statement from the Department of Health and Social Care said: "Following close discussions with local leaders, Lancashire will move from Local COVID Alert Level High to Very High from 00.01 on Saturday 17 October."
Lancashire county council has said £30m has been agreed to help affected businesses.
11.15 - Lancashire council says support deal reached
Lancashire council has told the media it has brokered a deal for more cash funding to support businesses.
The Government is yet to comment on the increased alert level.
All eyes are on Greater Manchester, where leaders have been fighting for more financial support before they agree to any further measures.
10.49 - Lancashire set to move to tier 3
Wet-led pubs in Lancashire will be forced to close as the area is expected to be moved into tier 3 measures with Liverpool.
An announcement is expected later, according to the BBC.
10.25 - Four month support for Liverpool hospitality
Liverpool authorities will provide £40m emergency funding for beleaguered hospitality businesses, to top up staff wages.
City leaders said the Government's Jobs Support Scheme did not go far enough to prevent permanent closures and job losses.
In a joint statement, the metro mayor, city mayor and leaders of the region’s six local authorities said: “The furlough scheme announced by the chancellor last week falls far short of what our region needs and deserves. If 80% was the right level of support back in March, then it should be in November. Lots of the people affected by these new restrictions will be in low paid, insecure work and it is deeply unfair to expect them to survive on two-thirds of the minimum wage.
“We will continue to fight for a more comprehensive funding package, but in the meantime, where the national government has stepped away, we, as local leaders, will step up.
“We know that once a business is gone, they are gone, and we must do everything we can to prevent that. Our hope is that this fund can provide some interim support and will mean local businesses and their staff survive in the coming weeks and months, until the government does the right thing.”
Pubs can apply for grants through local authority websites from today (Friday 16 October), applications will close at 5pm on Friday 30 October.
Friday 16 October, 09.55 - Manchester rebellion
Mayor for Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has said the government was "asking us to gamble our residents' jobs, homes and businesses and a large chunk of our economy on a strategy that their own experts tell them might not work".
Discussions on whether or not to increase the tier of measures for Greater Manchester, meaning the enforced closure of some pubs, stalled this week with no decision made.
Local leaders have called for more financial support for those affected by closures or reduced trade.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab slammed the mayor's approach on BBC Breakfast earlier this morning. “We can’t have a situation where Andy Burnham is effectively saying unless you give us what we want, we’re not going to do the right thing in terms of following the new rules which will protect the very people of Manchester he’s elected to represent," he said.
Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester said he would support stricter measures, "but only when a proper financial support package is in place and where clear evidence has been provided that the proposed measures will work."
He added: "At present we, in Greater Manchester, have not been provided with any evidence which shows a Tier 3 lockdown, and the economical damage that will cause, will be effective.
"I once again call on the Government to provide the necessary scientific data which outlines their reasoning for a move to Tier 3 and a potential hospitality lockdown.
"Cherry picking parts of the country and parts of the economy to test ill-thought through strategies is not something that Greater Manchester will be a part of.”
16.28 - 'More support for Scotland needed'
UKHospitality executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod said the £40m promised by the Scottish Government will not be nearly enough to help businesses.
He said: “Financial support for hospitality businesses, which are either closed or operating under severe restrictions, and supply chain businesses is welcome.
“The reality is, however, that the £40 million pot made available by the Scottish Government is not going to be nearly enough. It will be nowhere near enough to offset the massive hit businesses have taken. It will not keep businesses afloat and it will not keep enough jobs safe.
“Compulsory closures in the central belt and the trading restrictions elsewhere are biting hard. Consumer confidence is also low which means revenue is down and cash flow reduced. Businesses need cash in order to survive and keep as many of their employees as possible in jobs.
“The Scottish Government must go further. It needs to announce as soon as possible how it will use its share, understood to be £700m, of the £1.3bn allocated last Friday by the Chancellor to the devolved governments. It must use a significant chunk of this to help the beleaguered hospitality sector and its employees. Many hospitality businesses including nightclubs, meeting spaces and conference venues are, as yet, unable to re-open and they need the support that has hitherto been denied them."
15.33 - Holiday bookings hit
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said pubs with rooms should not accept future bookings from people in coronavirus hotspots.
On the issue of bookings made before the nation announced its plans for travel restrictions, Drakeford told BBC Breakfast: “I’m afraid those bookings will no longer be able to be honoured.
“It’s why we’re taking this action now to give people a good period of time to understand that, if you did book a holiday in those parts of Wales, I’m afraid that holiday will now no longer be able to take place.”
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls said this was a "huge blow" for the country's hospitality and tourism sectors.
A huge blow to Welsh Tourism & Hospitality who were last out of the restrictions in late August and now first back in. Killing half term trade dead means that these businesses are now facing over 3 winters this year - unsustainable and no meaningful compensation— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) October 15, 2020
15.17 - One in seven pubs hit by tier 2 measures
Analysis from real estate adviser Altus Group has found some 5,090 of England’s 37,616 pubs will be affected by the Government’s decision to move eight regions into the ‘high’ tier of its local Covid alert system.
14.04 - Essex publicans despair
Publicans from Essex, which will be subject to a ban on different households mixing from Saturday, have shared the immediate impact from today's announcement.
Operator Adam Brooks said he had ten cancellations in the hours just after the health secretary added the county to the "high" alert category.
One pub alone, just had 10 tables cancel for Saturday @TheOwlHighBeach— Adam Brooks (@EssexPR) October 15, 2020
This is insanity
What's more, Piers Baker from the Sun Inn, Dedham on the Essex/Suffolk border and Church Street Tavern in Colchester said he was already seeing cancelled bookings too.
He said the alert shift was "ridiculous".
"There are slight increases in Southend as far as I can tell. How it manifests itself for the whole county I have no idea."
- Are you impacted by the move to include more areas in tier two measures? Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
12.07 - Where are pubs under the strictest measures?
The Morning Advertiser has updated its map of areas under tier two and tier three measures.
It comes as several areas have been levelled up from the "medium" alert level to "high", meaning indoor mixing between household is banned from Saturday 17 October.
11.55 - Tier two measures for more places
Hancock told MPs that "local action is one of the best weapons we have" against fighting the virus.
He announced London, Barrow-in-Furness, York, north east Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Essex and Elmbridge would be moving into tier two measures. This means indoor mixing between different households is off the table for residents.
These changes will come into effect from 12:01am on Saturday 17 October.
The Health Secretary called these "firm and balanced decisions".
On the matter of potentially tightening restrictions in Greater Manchester and Lancashire – meaning the closure of wet-led pubs – the minister said: "No further decisions have yet been made but we need to make rapid progress."
11.31 - Health Secretary to address MPs
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to address MPs on the coronavirus tiered system shortly.
10.19 - Reports of London to move to tier two
BBC News is reporting the capital is set to move to the high tier, local MPs have been told.
Restrictions for these areas include a ban on households mixing indoors, as well as the national baseline restrictions such as the 10pm curfew.
It also means the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors.
Real estate adviser Altus Group estimated this will impact 3,640 pubs and 7,556 restaurants across London's 32 boroughs and the City of London.
09.35 - Pubs braced for further restrictions
The Government may announce sterner restrictions for Greater Manchester and Lancashire later today, moving them from the "high" alert level to the "very high" category.
Government officials are continuing to discuss the issue today with leaders in the affected areas.
The switch would mean wet-led pubs would face weeks of closure.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the media had been given information before regional leaders last night.
Said I wasn’t going to comment but now feel compelled to do so on the back of this Government briefing.— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) October 14, 2020
At no point during tonight’s briefing was this news communicated to us. Media told first once again. Our position has not changed. pic.twitter.com/A9V3Tbdisv
What's more, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord has said: "Any Tier 3 proposal must come with scientific evidence and support.
"We will not allow Greater Manchester to be levelled down."
London may also enter into the "high" alert category from "medium" by the end of the week.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said this could occur ""very soon, possibly this week".
09.24 - Marston's outlines pandemic hit
Pub operator Marston’s has said around 2,150 pub-based roles currently subject to furlough are at risk
It said the Government's new Covid-19 measures, including the enforced closure of almost 40 of its pubs, has put these roles at risk.
Thursday 15 October, 09.18 - Star Pubs & Bars fined after pubs code breach
Pubs code adjudicator Fiona Dickie has fined Star Pubs & Bars £2m for "seriously and repeatedly" breaching the pubs code over nearly three years – a charge the operator is "actively considering" appealing.
16.20 - Wales travel ban
Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he is readying plans to ban people from parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland that have high rates of coronavirus from travelling to Wales.
He said this was needed "to prevent the spread of infection" across the country.
15.44 - Manchester concerns
It has been reported that leaders in Greater Manchester are against moving the area into tier 3 measures.
.@AndyBurnhamGM says Greater Manchester's 10 local authority leaders are united in their opposition to Tier 3 measures. He says it would be "surrendering people here to certain hardship in the run up to Christmas," including job losses and business closures.— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) October 14, 2020
14.01 - Tier two worries as trade hit
Publicans in the second tier of restrictions - meaning households are banning from mixing indoors - have shared their frustration with The Morning Advertiser.
Several areas have been subject to these measures for a number of weeks.
Here is what readers said on Twitter.
We have two pubs both in tier two, landlords expecting 70%+ rent on 20% trade, asking for business plans and forecasts with entertainment and different food options, I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow #ukpubs— TinkerTyson77 (@TTyson77) October 14, 2020
We’re Tier 2, would have been kinder to be Tier 3, we’ve instantly lost half our restaurant bookings overnight, and today what normally would be full for lunch we have one table of two in!!— elaine delaney (@deladoggy) October 14, 2020
Basically, a disaster. Impossible to plan stock. Too small to continue table service meals, so takeaway food only. Many regulars now too scared to come in. No financial aid and landlord still wanting full rent.— Dave - Old Pub Git (@katman_999) October 14, 2020
Without further help pubs will all but disappear.
Biggest issue really is the mixing of households:2 couples come in together we have to turn them away or sit them outside in the October night— Ian Mitty (@ianmitty) October 14, 2020
Want to invest in outside heating for a marquee but scared if we spend then get put into tier3 that money would be better used elsewhere
12.56 - South east operator enters administration
Multiple pub operator Whiting & Hammond entered into administration at the end of last month (30 September) after pressures from the pandemic.
The company said it had rescued three of its sites under a new firm called WH Pubs and thus saved 150 jobs.
12.41 - Manchester night czar prepared for legal action
Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord has said he is willing to take legal action over any unjust closures in his district alongside the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).
Lord tweeted: "If the Government shut down our pubs/bars in Greater Manchester, without any scientific evidence at all, myself, other operators, @wearethentia and major North West breweries, will immediately respond with a pre-action letter from our legal team."
Safety always comes first, but:— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) October 14, 2020
If the Government shut down our pubs/bars in Greater Manchester, without any scientific evidence at all, myself, other operators, @wearethentia and major North West breweries, will immediately respond with a pre-action letter from our legal team.
11.02 - Rebellion on curfew stronger than expected
The Government saw their coronanvirus measures pass with ease last night, by 299 votes to 82, with MPs approving the 10pm national curfew on pubs and bars in England retrospectively.
However, 42 Conservative MPs voted against the measure, a larger number of rebels than had been expected.
What's more, some 23 Labour MPs led by Jeremy Corbyn defied leader Keir Starmer and voted to oppose the Government alongside Conservative rebels.
It marks the biggest rebellion Boris Johnson has faced from his own party since becoming Prime Minister.
The pub sector has called on the Government to review the curfew and to ultimately scrap it if not enough evidence is found to justify it.
Leaked documents from the Government's scientific advisers showed that scientists described the curfew as an intervention that would only have a "marginal impact" on driving down infection rates.
The Morning Advertiser backs the #CancelTheCurfew campaign.
10.47 - Speculation over areas shifting tiers
Several areas of the country are already preparing for their alert level to be adjusted and harsher restrictions to be introduced.
It has been reported that Greater Manchester and Lancashire may see their alert level switched from "high" to "very high", meaning the closure of wet-led pubs.
As per @BBCMattCole yday, Govt health officials talking about moving Greater Manchester and Lancashire into toughest category of restrictions today— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 14, 2020
This comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested the capital city could move up a tier, from "medium" to "high", meaning mixing between different households indoors would be banned.
County leaders in Essex have also been urging Government to impose second tier restrictions on them.
09.41 - Crowds in Liverpool as restrictions ushered in
Images of crowded streets in Liverpool last night (Tuesday 13 October) have added to concerns of the 10pm curfew's public health impact.
Revellers were making the most of the last night before the most severe level of Covid-19 restrictions came into force today (Wednesday 14 October).
Liverpool's wet-led pubs must close while different households are banned from mixing in any setting.
What's more, there is now a ban on socialising between households in tier two areas, which cover large parts of the north and Midlands.
WATCH: Scenes in Liverpool city centre as people take to the streets just hours before the city region goes into Tier 3 lockdown restrictions.— Inzamam Rashid (@inzyrashid) October 13, 2020
I wonder how @MetroMayorSteve and @mayor_anderson feel about this. @SkyNewspic.twitter.com/mYUN9AsBGy
This is makes me so sad - good businesses are closing to help play our part in combatting the virus, people are losing their jobs in hospitality and some businesses may close for good - but it is clear people will continue to socialise and that is what needs to change https://t.co/4JF2f6RTJf— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) October 14, 2020
- Are you a pub in Liverpool? Get in touch with your experiences email@example.com.
Wednesday 14 October, 9.00 – Northern Ireland lockdown
Pubs in Northern Ireland are rumoured to be on the verge of a national closure as leaders in the country seek to break an increase in coronavirus transmissions.
According to national reports schools will close from Monday and and hospitality businesses will face new restrictions.
It is believed the additional restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants will be closures and are likely to last for up to four weeks.
This follows Labour leader Keir Starmer calling for a similar move here in England, with critics claiming Boris Johnson's three-tier system is too weak to make a difference to infection rates.
16.51 - Which areas are under tier two and tier three measures?
The Morning Advertiser has mapped out which parts of the country are the hardest hit by restrictions.
Those in red are under the strictest measures, where pubs must close unless they can serve alcohol with a meal.
Those in on orange are under the second tier of measures, where households are not allowed to mix from Wednesday 14 October.
16.04 - Discussions ongoing over more pub closures, BBC says
Laura Kuenssberg, the political editor of BBC News, has said that Government officials are meeting to decide if Greater Manchester and Lancashire should be recommended to face harsher restrictions. This is according to Matt Cole, a politics reporter for the service.
Govt health officials discussing today whether to recommend Greater Manchester + Lancashire are moved into Tier 3, highest level of restrictions - Joint Biosecurity Committee 'Silver' Meeting this afternoon could recommend to next level up of officials tomorrow - HT @BBCMattCole— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 13, 2020
Labour leader Keir Starmer will address the public in a press conference later today, at 5pm.
I will be holding a press conference at 5pm today in response to the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday and the ongoing rise in coronavirus cases.— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) October 13, 2020
14.52 - Curfew 'unnecessary and unfounded'
Minutes from a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show that scientists had “low confidence” in the impact of a curfew when it was discussed a few weeks ago.
Sage said they felt a curfew would have a "marginal impact" in reducing virus transmission.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said the sector had been calling for robust evidence the curfew was necessary and the Sage leak proved it was a justified measure.
“The recommendation from Sage confirms what we knew all along – the 10pm curfew is unnecessary and unfounded in fighting the virus," she said.
“During this crisis every hour of trading is crucial to the survival of our sector. The economic impact of the curfew is devastating our pubs and brewers’ chances of a recovery.
“We continue to call for a proportionate response to the virus based on tangible transmission evidence. As such, the curfew should be removed imminently based on this information from Sage.”
12.35 - 'Mass closures and mass redundancies'
Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord has told Sky News this morning the Government is wrong to suggest its Jobs Support Scheme rivals that of other nations: "We need to be questioning these headlines they keep coming up with. We need to be drilling down to what they actually mean.
"It is not [the same as other countries]. If people are working part time, they are asking the operator to contribute towards those two thirds. Other countries are not doing that.
"Many, many operators are on their knees.
"We are going to see undoubtedly mass closures and mass redundancies," he also said.
Here is the full interview:
We need to question every headline the Government roll out. They said yesterday, they’d helped freelancers; they haven’t. And 10pm curfews in Europe have a drinking up time, so that people don’t all leave at once. pic.twitter.com/nAlT1VMpWY— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) October 13, 2020
11.16 - Reader reaction
The Morning Advertiser readers have shared their views on the Government's new tiered system on Facebook. Here is what some said:
One reader, Lisa Drew, commented: "Very clever way of looking like your supporting business whilst wiping out an entire industry. Most pubs will never reach the support available at tier 3 because they will go out of business in tier 2 when the ban on households mixing comes in. Who's genius idea was that? Hello 1 million redundancies.
Another, James Aaron said: "No support for businesses in tier 2 lock downs, many pubs will close their doors due to the restrictions. The 67% and 3k per month grant won't go far enough and will only be available if you're forced to close in a tier 3."
"It is looking increasingly like a closure order would (from a financial perspective) be the best outcome. And even that is nothing short of a disaster," Rob Forster added.
Maggie Gold commented: "Would rather be closed with support in place than continue trying to trade with the 10pm curfew. It's like a slow bleed to death."
- Join in the conversation by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.
10.53 - London braces for further measures
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned London could face harsher coronavirus measures “very quickly, potentially even this week”.
The capital city is currently under the most relaxed tier of restrictions, "medium", with restrictions such as the 10pm curfew and "rule of six".
10.34 - Mitchells & Butlers open redundancy consultations
Pub company Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has opened consultations for job losses today and said it will look to redploy affected staff wherever possible.
A spokesperson for M&B said: “Our industry is operating in exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances.
“While we have worked incredibly hard to make sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe, we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, new enforced closures and tapering Government support that doesn’t go far enough."
The spokesperson added: “M&B, like many others in the sector, has taken the very difficult and regrettable decision to open redundancy consultations with a number of our front line team and will seek to redeploy affected staff wherever possible.
“With trading restrictions and uncertainty likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we strongly urge the Government to step up the level of support it is offering to an industry that has been repeatedly singled out and taken the full brunt of restrictions.
“We are unable to confirm numbers at this time.”
Tuesday 13 October, 09.32 - Welcome back
The Morning Advertiser will be bringing you updates throughout the day on this live blog after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a new system of coronavirus restrictions yesterday (Monday 12 October).
The Government also published a list of which areas fall into which tiers.
NEW: Here are the areas in each of the three tiers - just published. pic.twitter.com/Af36MWCVaG— Ben Kentish (@BenKentish) October 12, 2020
16.46 - Pubs 'are going to fall by the wayside'
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has said there is a lack of support for pubs that remain open but face harsh restrictions.
“For those businesses in tier 3 areas, forced to close their doors again, things look bleak but the support announced last week for closed businesses will hopefully give them the breathing room they need to survive another lockdown," Nicholls said.
“There is currently a concerning lack of support on offer for hospitality businesses in tier 2, and to a lesser extent tier 1, despite their facing restrictions that is seeing trade down by between 40% to 60%. They will have the worst of both worlds, operating under significant restrictions without the financial support on offer to tier 3 businesses. Without enhanced grant support and enhanced Government contributions to the Job Support Scheme, many are going to fall by the wayside.
“It is time for the Government, at the very least, to rethink the mandatory 10pm curfew in those areas where COVID rates are low. It was imposed without credible evidence that hospitality is the source of increases in transmission, while some evidence points the other way. To leave hospitality out to dry would be a grave and risky move and would cost many people their jobs.”
16.38 - Uncertainty for northern operators
The Prime Minister said "engagement with other leaders in the north-west, the north-east and Yorkshire and Humber is continuing", suggesting these areas could face the strictest restrictions.
Johnson said: "I know how difficult this is – they like, like everyone in the house, us are grappling with very real dilemmas - but we cannot let the NHS fall over when lives are at stake.
"So let me repeat the offer that we are making to those local authorities – work with us on these difficult but necessary measures in the areas that are rated very high areas, in return for: more support for local test and trace, more funding for local enforcement, the offer of help from the armed services, the job support scheme as announced by the chancellor.
"I believe not to act would be unforgivable, so I hope that rapid progress can be made in the coming days."
Lindsey Armstrong runs the Champs Sports Bar & Grill in Washington and told The MA: "I don’t feel like we are any further forward in the north east after saying they are still in negotiations with north east leaders.....looks like another few sleepless nights until they make up their minds!
"The waiting is the hardest thing, staff are all worried sick. I have no idea what we are going to do."
16.13 - Liverpool pubs to close from Wednesday
The PM confirmed Liverpool pubs would have to close from Wednesday (14 October).
The Liverpool City Region includes six local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.
- Read the full story.
- Are you impacted by the closure news? The MA would like to hear from you. Please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org share your pub's story.
15.46 - Pub closures confirmed
Johnson has set out the three Covid alert levels - 'medium', 'high' and 'very high' for England.
He said the medium level will apply to a large proportion of the country and include existing national restrictions like the "rule of six" and the 10pm curfew for pubs.
The next level will involve a ban on different households socialising indoors and apply to most of the areas already under localised restrictions, such as Greater Manchester and Birmingham.
The very high alert level will mean people are banned from socialising with other households both indoors and in private gardens, while bars and pubs will be closed unless they can operate as restaurants.
Merseyside was confirmed as in this tier, in addition to Nottinghamshire and east and west Cheshire.
The PM said people can find out what tier their area is in by checking the Government website where there will be a postcode checker or on the NHS Covid 19 app.
15.27 - Prime Minister to speak
Boris Johnson is about to tell MPs about his new system of coronavirus measures.
There is expected to be a press conference at 7pm also.
14.33 - Greater Manchester pubs 'will stay open'
There have been several reports that the Government has decided Greater Manchester will not be placed into the most severe tier of the new restrictions.
Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord tweeted: "Greater Manchester stays in Tier 2. Big result. Our pubs/bars will stay open.
"This could change though, so we will continue to keep our legal challenge ready, in the event that it does. We will not support any closure without scientific evidence."
Breaking: Greater Manchester stays in Tier 2. Big result. Our pubs/bars will stay open. This could change though, so we will continue to keep our legal challenge ready, in the event that it does. We will not support any closure without scientific evidence.— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) October 12, 2020
What's more, MP for Oldham West & Royton Jim McMahon said he had heard similar following a call with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He tweeted: "Call with the Secretary of State confirms GM will be placed in Tier 2 with household restrictions on meeting indoors in any setting, but not outdoors
"Pubs serving food remain open.
"Oldham will be removed from its enhanced lockdown measures and brought into line with GM *at last*."
Call with the Secretary of State confirms GM will be placed in Tier 2 with household restrictions on meeting indoors in any setting, but not outdoors— Jim McMahon MP (@JimfromOldham) October 12, 2020
Pubs serving food remain open
Oldham will be removed from its enhanced lockdown measures and brought into line with GM *at last* https://t.co/IW6zwoXIQPpic.twitter.com/xcHRcmjxbx
14.11 - Wet-led pubs targeted?
North of England correspondent for The Guardian Josh Halliday has said there could be heavier restrictions for wet-led pubs in Merseyside.
New: I'm told that 'food-based pubs' such as Wetherspoons will be allowed to stay open in Merseyside while pubs and bars that don't "substantially" serve food will have to close later this week.— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) October 12, 2020
Other countries have cracked down harder on pubs and bars only serving alcohol.
- The Morning Advertiser outlined how different countries had approached restrictions on the late night sector earlier this month.
City leaders for the Liverpool City Region issued a statement in which they said the Government had decided to close pubs in their district and called for more support to save businesses from "long term damage".
The Prime Minister is expected to outline a new system of restrictions in Parliament later today (3.30pm) and will clarify speculation.
Then, he will make a speech to the nation at 7pm.
12.21 - Share your story
The MA would like to hear publicans' reactions after the Prime Minister outlines restrictions later today to MPs.
11.56 - MA readers' verdict on furlough support
A survey by this live blog has found 88% of The MA readers feel the support outlined by Chancellor Rishi Sunak does not go far enough, while 12% said they felt it was adequate.
It comes as trade associations have also weighed in on the November-launching wage subsidy scheme and said more needs to be done to halt mass job losses and business failures.
They did welcome an increase of grant-funding for businesses forced to close in local measures.
Here is what some readers have said on social media.
Well, it means we don't implode this week or next.— Dog and Duck Pub #ForgottenLtd (@Dog_Duck_Pub) October 10, 2020
The support offered wouldn’t even cover half our rent, let alone anything else. I don’t blame the government, what else can they do. It’s symptomatic of business models that manipulate the rental markets & haven’t allowed pubs to profit as they should. No we all pay the price.— The Jolly Gardener (@JollyGardener_) October 11, 2020
The support offered wouldn’t even cover half our rent, let alone anything else. I don’t blame the government, what else can they do. It’s symptomatic of business models that manipulate the rental markets & haven’t allowed pubs to profit as they should. No we all pay the price.— The Jolly Gardener (@JollyGardener_) October 11, 2020
11.43 - Mayor calls for 'fair furlough'
Mayor for Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has tweeted to say he hopes Parliament will back a "fair local furlough" system.
Today we are looking to Parliament to back our calls for a fair local furlough scheme and full business and self-employed support for all areas facing restrictions.— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) October 12, 2020
Please contact your MP this morning and ask them to support us.
11.31 - How have restrictions impacted Scottish pubs?
- Watch The Morning Advertiser's run down of how coronavirus measures have affected pubs in Scotland over the past few months.
It comes as pubs closed their doors for 16 days on Friday (9 October) in some parts of central Scotland while publicans face stricter restrictions on serving alcohol in other parts of the country.
10.45 - 'Serious questions' over Government strategy
British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin has responded to the Government's expanded furlough scheme.
She said: “The enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) announced by the Chancellor will help save some jobs in areas facing local lockdowns.
"The fact remains though that for other pubs across the UK struggling with the 10pm curfew and rule of six, which is decimating their sales, the standard JSS is no way near adequate."
“Cash grants for pubs forced to close for a local lockdown, or do takeaway and delivery only, are a necessary measure to give them a fighting chance of survival whilst they cannot fully open to do business.
“While the support for pubs facing a local lockdown is welcome, we do still have serious questions over the effectiveness such lockdowns will have in stopping the spread of the virus.
“The latest Covid-19 surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE) shows just 30 incidents of Covid-19 were from hospitality settings. NHS Test and Trace numbers linked to pubs across the UK remain exceptionally low. Based on these insights we must ask why the Government isn’t taking evidence-based, proportionate measures to tackle the virus?
“The Government must review its measures on a regular basis and commit to removing them if they are found not to effectively reduce the spread of the virus.”
Monday 12 October, 09.27 - Good morning
The Morning Advertiser will be bringing you updates through the day as the sector awaits clarity on a new tiered system of coronavirus restrictions.
The Prime Minister will address MPs at 3.30pm and then speak in a televised address later at 7pm.
Publicans in the north of England have been sharing their frustration at not knowing the fate of their businesses, as it has been suggested one in five English pubs face closure.
Saturday was "World mental health day" @UKGovernmentEng please consider the impact your decisions have. We have now been waiting 4 days for this announcement on Monday, how are we meant to support staff how are we meant to be able to run a service, you are making it harder! pic.twitter.com/N8Utlmp4Qw— Ye Olde Fleece Inn, Kendal (@fleecekendal) October 11, 2020
16.11 - Share your thoughts
What do you think of the latest announcements from the Chancellor?
UKHospitality has welcomed the expansion of job support but said it does not go far enough to save pubs from the bleak winter ahead.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The need now is no less – possibly is even more – than the first lockdown, so a more comprehensive package of financial support is crucial. In addition to employment support that must include grants for businesses to cover losses on stock and other overheads, which are piling up.
"We have already seen some high-profile failures and the situation is becoming increasingly unsustainable. The financial support on offer must go further if tragic levels of closures and redundancies are to be averted.”
Vote in The Morning Advertiser's (MA) survey.
- The MA would like to hear from operators in Scotland and the north of England. Get in touch on social media or email email@example.com and let us know your experiences and thoughts.
15.56 - Legal action against curfew
G-A-Y club owner Jeremy Joseph has announced the launch of judicial review proceedings against the 10pm curfew.
G-A-Y Statement— Jeremy Joseph G-A-Y (@JeremyJoseph) October 9, 2020
Our Lawyers Have Proceeded with The Judicial Review as The Government has failed to give any evidence to support the 10pm curfew & we must protect hospitality
Full statement included #CancelTheCurfew#weareviable@firstname.lastname@example.org/WrKbQvzsOR
15.33 - Support scheme announced
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme for hospitality businesses forced to close.
The Government will pay employees who cannot work 67% of their salaries, up to £2,100 a month.
14.48 - Cancel the curfew
A retrospective vote on the 10pm curfew will take place next week on Tuesday 13 October.
UKHospitality tweeted: "Important vote for hospitality next Tuesday in HoC. Essential that the industry and supporters mobilise their MPs and let them know how damaging 10pm curfew is for our sector. Please tweet your MP and ask them to #calltimeoncurfew’"
Important vote for hospitality next Tuesday in HoC. Essential that the industry and supporters mobilise their MPs and let them know how damaging 10pm curfew is for our sector. Please tweet your MP and ask them to #calltimeoncurfew’— UKHospitality (@UKHofficial) October 8, 2020
The Morning Advertiser is urging its readers to use #CancelTheCurfew across your social media and to tag in your MPs and other politicians demanding an answer to the trade’s question – where’s the science for the curfew?
If they can’t answer that, then we want the Government to #CancelTheCurfew
14.35 - 'Ministers need to get a grip' after one outbreak alert sent by NHS app
Sky News has reported the NHS coronavirus app for England and Wales has sent just one alert about an outbreak of the virus in a venue since launching two weeks ago.
Pubs have had to display QR codes for the contact tracing app under new laws.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "If health protection teams believe a venue is linked to an outbreak they may send a ‘warn and inform’ message to app users who attended the venue at a similar time based on when they checked-in."
Shadow digital minister Chi Onwurah told Sky News: "On the one hand, at a government briefing on local data I'm told pubs are the primary location for common Covid exposure, on the other that the contact-tracing app has only sent out one alert about an outbreak in a venue.
"There is a plain contradiction there and ministers need to get a grip."
13.43 - Trade associations back tiered approach
Trade bodies UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping have issued a joint call for the following measures:
- A grant of 5% of the rateable value per week, uninhibited by State Aid rules or rateable value caps. This percentage could be lower for less severe restrictions
- Amendment of the Job Support Scheme to allow a reduced minimum number of hours worked for businesses under restrictions – for closed businesses this should be 0%, rising to 20% for mid-level restricted businesses
- Extension of the business rates holiday through 2021/22 with VAT remaining at 5% throughout 2021
- Support on the issue of unpaid rent – extension of current protections and Government engagement with industry on innovative solutions to bring landlords and tenants together to find a solution.
The bodies said they supported the speculated new tiered system, which would see three different sets of restrictions for areas depending on the rates of infections locally.
Together, they said: “We are totally supportive of a tiered approach, implemented locally, which will put the health of the public first, but will also enable our sector, which has been devastated, to survive.
“If the Government decides to implement this tiered strategy, it is vital that the terms of the new system are communicated clearly and quickly. We hope that the Government will also engage with us to ensure that any restrictions are proportionate, effective and avoid the potential for further business failures."
12.31 - Restrictions could give rise to more insurance claims
Policyholder group Hospitality Insurance Group Action (HIGA) has said pub closures could see a new raft of business insurance claims before those from the first shutdown have been settled.
Sonia Campbell, the Mishcon de Reya partner intervening on the FCA's Business Interruption Insurance test case on behalf of HIGA, said: “The new Government measures will lead to a second wave of business interruption claims from businesses across the UK, before the insurers have even paid out in relation to the first wave of claims.
"We would strongly recommend all affected businesses with Resilience or QBE 1 policies to get in touch so we can continue pressing insurers to make these payouts as soon as possible.”
It comes as insurance companies are appealing the decision made by the High Court on the FCA Business Interruption Insurance test case last month, which stated insurers should payout to businesses forced to close by the Government.
10.45 - Beds & Bars MD weighs in on furlough pleas
Murray Roberts, managing director of Beds & Bars has urged the Chancellor to “step up” and issue more jobs support for operators.
In an open letter to Rishi Sunak, the director said the hospitality sector in the Uk was heading towards a “cliff edge of mass redundancies”
The company has sites across Holland, Belgium, Spain, France and Germany and says the UK Government’s Jobs Support Scheme fails in comparison.
Roberts explained: “Each of our neighbouring EU schemes work even if we have to close our businesses for trading. The team still gets paid by the government and can live. The UK JSS scheme does not deliver this and therefore the only course of action is mass redundancy and the fracturing of this great industry together with the subsequent loss of skills."
10.32 - Furlough scheme needed
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has urged the Government to announce an 80% furlough coverage for pub workers in locked down areas and 66% furlough support for areas with other trade restrictions.
We spoke to a number of Ministers this week and yesterday calling for a return to full furlough (80%) for those in local lockdown and closed by law and govt full top up of Job Support Scheme for those open but trading with curfew and other restrictions - biz pay for hours worked https://t.co/TPQ7TgG37y— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) October 9, 2020
Nicholls said: “We absolutely support the Government’s tiered approach to protect public health. Our sector has invested heavily to ensure that our venues are the most monitored and Covid-secure of public spaces.
“The inarguable fact is that all of the restrictions currently in place or under consideration, make it impossible for most venues to operate anywhere near profitably.
“To save jobs and businesses, Government support for hospitality must be at the same levels of the furlough scheme where there are forced closures, and two thirds of wages where curfews and other restrictions are seeing trade hit hard.
“Alongside a new package of grants, this would help to preserve a sector that has the economic might to help drive Britain’s economic recovery, as this morning’s GDP figures demonstrate. It would be reckless to make momentous decisions on our future without protecting the positive investment of the furlough scheme, which has done so much to sustain so many jobs thus far.”
10.19 - 'We won't use JSS'
Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny has said the pubco will not access the Government’s Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) as the company considers making up to 10% of jobs redundant.
He said: “I haven't spoken to anyone in the hospitality industry that is going to access the scheme, it does nothing to help previously very successful businesses that are now going to be going through a period of hibernation until the Government relaxes the restrictions that they have placed on the sector and also on London.
“We are going through a very difficult process to rightsize our business to reflect the new trading conditions that we operate under, which would involve a number of redundancies sadly."
However, the pubco boss told The Morning Advertiser he was optimistic his London-based estate could overcome “short term challenges”.
It is understood Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce further job support measures later today, after the hospitality sector has said the JSS would do little to help them.
09.41 - Government using 'meaningless' numbers to justify closures
There has been anger after MPs for areas under localised measures have been shown figures they dubbed selective and misleading to justify the Government closing pubs.
Some 149 MPs from areas in the North and Midlands were shown data that they were told would suggest pubs were key in coronavirus transmission.
The briefing included unpublished data from chief medical officer Professor Cris Whitty and concluded some 29.8% of exposures to coronavirus occurred in pubs and restaurants while only just 2.6% happened in people's homes.
However, these numbers included small sample sizes and looked very different to other figures from Public Health England via NHS Test and Trace that have shown 75.3% of transmissions occurring in the home and just 5.5% in pubs.
The Department of Health admitted the figures shown to MPs "do not give us any hard conclusions about where the virus is being transmitted".
MPs have called these numbers “meaningless” and said they were “cobbled together” to justify closures, the report in The Telegraph states.
Friday 9 October, 09.34 - Good morning
Today we will be bringing you the latest coronavirus news as usual, with restrictions and closures beginning across Scotland.
Operators across north England are also anxiously awaiting more information from the Government after it has been suggested there could be a shutdown of pubs in areas with high rates of coronavirus cases.
- Are you a pub operator in one of the areas mentioned? Get in touch and share your story on email@example.com or share on social media @morningad.
16.14 - Closures on the horizon
Operator Liam Jordan, manager of the Three Legged Mare pub in York, has shared his worries with The Morning Advertiser.
He said: "We’re [pubs] the first people to blame because it's simple to do that when there’s alcohol involved. It's so mind blowingly confusing. Realistically, we’re not the real issue - parts of us yes, nobody’s exempt.
"I appreciate you can't save everybody but you need to help people.
"It will be tough, not just for us for everywhere around the country. How on earth are you supposed to survive? It's next to impossible."
It comes as real estate adviser Altus Group has crunched the numbers and said one in five English pubs would be closed if the Government decides to go ahead with a Northern pub shutdown.
- Read more on what the Government has said about the measures it is considering.
- Read more about what this could mean for the 7,000+ pubs potentially affected.
15.05 - Who did it best? How other countries are treating pubs during Covid-19 second spike
With pandemic restrictions being imposed on hospitality businesses both across the UK and further afield, The Morning Advertiser has taken a closer look at how night spots in some of Europe's major cities are being affected by Covid-19's second spike.
Continue reading here for an 'at a glance' look at which measures are being imposed on pubs, bars and restaurants throughout Europe on our interactive map and pick which you believe is the best approach.
12.40 - Labour will not vote against curfew
The opposition will not vote against the 10pm curfew in a Commons vote next week, according to Sky News' reporter Sam Coates.
He tweeted: "Labour won’t be voting against 10pm curfew next week amid speculation that Speaker Lindsay Hoyle might ensure a vote on whatever restrictions are imposed on Monday by Boris Johnson..."
Labour won’t be voting against 10pm curfew next week amid speculation that Speaker Lindsay Hoyle might ensure a vote on whatever restrictions are imposed on Monday by Boris Johnson...— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) October 8, 2020
Labour leader Keir Starmer had asked the Government to provide more evidence the curfew would work to reduce the spread of coronavirus, in yesterday's session of Prime Minister's Questions.
Although the party will not vote down the policy in the retrospective vote, Starmer said he wanted to see it reformed. "There's a smarter way of doing this," he said.
The pub sector has been urging MPs to back its #CancelTheCurfew campaign, citing public health concerns in addition to economic damage.
12.10 - Consumer confidence hit
The latest Hospitality Leaders Poll carried out by Lumina Intelligence for MCA, The Morning Advertiser, Restaurant and Big Hospitality has found operators believe consumer confidence has suffered a huge blow by the 10pm curfew.
Almost nine in 10 (87%) said the curfew has hit customer confidence.
One operator said: “The curfew is causing enormous economic impact and I cannot see how it reduces the spread of Covid-19.
“The hospitality industry has been exemplary in implementing safe ways of operating - I have been so impressed by operators across the country - an industry to be proud of.
“I used the Eat Out to Help Out scheme virtually every day it was on offer and safety standards were fantastic then too. The Government must surely now see that the return of schools and colleges has been a major cause of the resurgence of the virus.”
11.41 - Operators share fears of further restrictions
The Morning Advertiser's readers have expressed their worries that more restrictions in England could follow those announced for Scotland yesterday.
It comes as there has been speculation in the press that pubs in northern England could be closed for a brief period in the Government's strategy to halt the spread of infection.
One reader, Rob Forster said on Facebook:"Most days it is now too cold to sit outside on the Yorkshire coast. I don't see the Scots' pubs being much warmer. Thank god we still have some sort of furlough for this, but not for much longer."
Another, Danny Howell-Jones, commented: "Game over! They’ve done it to Scotland and I’m sure it will shortly follow over the border. They should be ashamed!"
Publicans in northern England said they felt penalised by ministers.
The operators behind the Three Legged Mare in York tweeted: "So the virus only attacks alcoholic drinks but when soft drinks come along, it’s all fine. Blaming hospitality for this is an absolute joke. Start looking at the real problems and stop putting a blanket blame on us."
So the virus only attacks alcoholic drinks but when soft drinks come along, it’s all fine.— Three Legged Mare (@3LMYork) October 7, 2020
Blaming hospitality for this is an absolute joke.
Start looking at the real problems and stop putting a blanket blame on us.@CampaignforPubs@morningad
Another site, The Sun Lepton, Huddersfield, tweeted to say they were anticipating further restrictions now.
They said: "We will be next. Are the #Government losing their minds? All this is doing is sending people to over-crowded house parties. We are keeping people safe, we are cleaning down every half hour and have safety measures in place."
We will be next are the #Government losing their minds all this is doing is sending people to over crowded house parties we are keeping people safe we are cleaning down every half hour and have safety measures in place @BIIandBIIAB@morningad@PubistheHub_uk@CampaignforPubspic.twitter.com/mIQ8iCCdaV— thesunlepton (@thesunlepton) October 7, 2020
Thursday 8 October, 09.21 - Greene King boss speaks out
Greene King's chief executive has called the shutdown of pubs in several parts of Scotland a "devastating blow".
It comes after his pub company announced it would be closing 79 sites and had 800 jobs on the line after struggling amid the pandemic.
Nick Mackenzie (pictured) said: "We understand decisive action needs to be taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19. We have invested millions of pounds in ensuring our pubs are safe and only had six Test and Protect requests from NHS Scotland in total across our 125 managed pubs since we reopened on 15 July, having served millions of customers. It is time to stop unfairly targeting pubs."
He added: “The sector has already seen pub closures and job losses and a second shut-down will see more closures and lost jobs in every Scottish community. We welcome the acknowledgement that support is needed but are concerned that £40m won’t go far enough and urgently need to understand the detail and the speed this can be deployed.”
Trade associations have also called the new measures a "death sentence" for pubs in the country.
- Read more on Scotland's reaction.
- Are you a pub affected by new restrictions in Scotland? Tweet us your story @morningad or get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking to hear from pubs in the north of England impacted by new social contact restrictions.
16.37 - Trade reels after Scotland announcement
Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group has dubbed the measures a “death sentence” for Scottish pubs, which were already subject to stricter restrictions than their English counterparts.
“This latest blow from the Scottish Government will create fear and anger across our industry,” he said.
“This is not a ‘short, sharp shock’, rather a crippling stranglehold that will result in many Scottish pubs and restaurants unable to reopen in lockdown areas if this becomes indefinite. While some premises may remain open, banning alcohol indoors will mean that many smaller businesses, family operated and at the heart of local Scottish communities, will not survive past winter and the longer-term impact will be felt for years to come.
“We have repeatedly asked for scientific data from the Scottish Government to validate these escalating restrictions and yet we have been singled out, charged and found guilty without any supporting evidence."
15.46 - UKH boss calls for sector support
UKHospitality chief executivr Kate Nicholls has said financial support is needed immediately to halt "catastrophic job losses and business failures," following the announcement of a brief closure of hospitality in parts of Scotland.
Swingeing new restrictions on hospitality across Scotland - alcohol to be only served outdoors and in central belt all pubs and restaurants to close. Urgent support required to prevent catastrophic job losses and business failures https://t.co/SKqcQh6mv6— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) October 7, 2020
The Scottish Government will consult the sector on how best to deliver an additional £40m of financial support to affected businesses, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.
15.15 – Closures and alcohol sales ban indoors
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has handed pubs, bars and restaurants in her country a stinging range of new coronavirus measures.
From 6pm on Friday 9 October until 25 October all pubs, bars and restaurants across the country's 'central belt' will have to close.
In other areas, pubs, bars and restaurants will be allowed to stay open but can only serve alcohol outdoors, the First Minister announced this afternoon.
- Is your pub affected by this announcement? Let us know your reaction by tweeting us @morningad or via email@example.com
14.26 – 'Show curfew is evidence based'
Conservative MP Steve Baker has said he will oppose the curfew in a vote to push the Government to prove its policy is the right one.
He told The Morning Advertiser: “The hospitality industry is in the forefront of MPs’ minds right now. We know that pubs are at the heart of our communities and we know that many of our constituents work in the industry.
"That is why the Government faces a challenge to show that the policy is evidence based and proportionate, or change it.”
13.20 – Greene King staff cuts and pub closures
Greene King has reportedly started consultations with 800 staff and could be looking to shut dozens of pubs, reports Sky News.
According to reports, 79 of the company's sites will close, with 25 of those expected to be permanent.
Greene King currently operates 1,700 managed pubs and 1,000 tenanted sites.
The brewer and pubco was acquired last year by Hong Kong company CK Bidco for £2.7bn.
12.22 - Speculation over closures in northern England
Ministers are discussing plans to close hospitality venues in parts of northern England reporting high infection rates, ITV News' political editor Robert Peston has reported.
He wrote: "They are likely to impose closure of all hospitality venues – pubs and restaurants – for a period.
"These new restrictions are most likely to be announced on Monday, although they could come earlier."
Reports have mentioned the north west, north east and Yorkshire/Humberside, where coronavirus cases are rising at fast rates.
Peston said: "As I understand it, the Treasury is looking at how to protect businesses temporarily closed, though that help may not be forthcoming before the closures are announced."
Businesses can receive a grant of £1,500 for every three weeks they have to close under localised measures.
11.45 - Taxpayers may lose £26bn from loan scheme
The National Audit Office (NAO) has said the Government faces a potential loss of between £15bn and £26bn from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme through businesses not being able to repay back loans and fraud.
The scheme provided loans of up to £50,000, or a maximum of 25% of annual turnover to small businesses amid the pandemic.
Around 90% of the loans went to businesses with turnover below £632,000.
It had more lenient eligibility criteria than other support measures in order to fund businesses quickly.
However, the NAO says a lower level of checks increases the likelihood that loans are made to businesses which will not be able to repay them.
The full extent of losses, both credit and fraud, will not emerge until the loans are due to start being repaid from 4 May 2021, the NAO said.
There have also been cases of fraudsters using other people's names to scam the system.
11.12 - Indoor play guidance updated
Publicans have been encouraged to make sure they are up to date with guidance on indoor play areas for children. The Government has issued specific guidance on this, stipulating that there must be an effective cleaning routine in place for soft play areas and frames.
Social distancing and hand sanitation should be enforced.
Separate sensory rooms and ball pits should remain closed.
Wednesday 7 October, 10.45 – Curfew vote delayed
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls said: “The delay is reportedly due to the Government looking more closely at how differing circumstances across the nation are addressed. As an indication that they are listening to representations of the flaws in the curfew system, this could be a positive sign.
"Regardless of what the Government implements, however, restrictions will likely continue to hit hospitality disproportionately, so targeted, sector-specific support will still be vital to safe jobs and businesses.”
The vote is likely to take place next week.
13.20 – Scotland lockdown 'not true'
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has squashed rumours of a 'circuit-breaker' lockdown following reports in national papers that's what the country was heading for.
According to The Sun this morning, a two-week lockdown was going to be announced this Friday. However, Sturgeon has said people will not be told to stay at home and there would be no travel ban.
She spoke following a Scottish cabinet discussion this morning and said the country was facing "the most difficult decision point yet" as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country.
"We are not proposing another lockdown at this stage, not even on a temporary basis," she said.
"We are not going to ask you to stay inside your homes the way we did in March.
"And while we have been askng people to think carefully about on-essential travel, and while restrictions on travel may sometimes be an option and necessary for hotspot areas, we are not about to impose restrictions on the whole of the country."
10.25 – Missed Test and Trace data could plunge more parts of England into local lockdowns
It is believed several university towns and cities in England could go into local lockdown after near 16,000 positive coronavirus cases were absent from Public Health England's reporting system.
Towns and cities such as Oxford, Sheffield and Leeds are reportedly only days away from local lockdowns because of the misshap.
Meanwhile, residents in Nottingham have also reportedly been told to prepapre for local lockdown measures, The Telegraph writes.
10.20 – 'Tory rebels fight 10pm curfew'
Dozens of Tory MPs, claims the paper, are preparing to vote against the curfew tomorrow night.
Tuesday 6 October, 10.00 – Two-week Scotland lockdown
Speculation of a two-week lockdown in Scotland is building as The Scottish Sun reports First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the announcement. However, the Scottish Government is yet to confirm or deny the reports.
If the reports are correct, Scots will be told to stay at home for a fortnight, although it is not yet known whether businesses in the country such as pubs, bars and restaurants will be made to close.
It is believed the lockdown will begin this Friday from 7pm.
13.24 - 'Curfew makes no sense'
The operator behind London and Manchester's GAY venues has shared his opposition to the Government's 10pm curfew.
Club owner Jeremy Joseph said: "The curfew makes no sense, as we've seen it pushes people out into the streets in large numbers at the same time & packs them into public transport."
Statement From G-A-Y— Jeremy Joseph G-A-Y (@JeremyJoseph) October 2, 2020
Taking Action Against The Government’s 10pm Curfew pic.twitter.com/qZDD6sL1MG
12.00 – Millions could be lost by north east pubs
New research by Media Works has claimed north east pubs could lose millions of pounds for every week they are in lockdown.
According to the research, which also takes into account the 10pm curfew, pub revenues in the north east could plummit, the result of a combination of decreasing consumer confidence and reduced trading hours.
The data claimed a combined £2.1m would be lost each week from north east pubs in locked down areas.
The MA's full report on the figures follows soon.
10.30 – Three weeks to survive
One trader on Middlesbrough's trendy Baker Street worried she'd have to close the doors of her business in less than three weeks when the new rules come into force this Saturday.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Sarah Best, owner of Sherlock's and Dr Watson's said the latest rules were worrying.
"When people can only go to the pub with members of their own household it's obviously going to reduce trade even more."
The 10pm curfew had already hit the Teesside business, she said, explaining that it didn't work and people had been congregating in the streets after closing.
"We're just hanging on and if things don't change I might have to close the doors in three weeks, that's how bad it is. I really think customers will rebel, especially if the mayor is backing us."
Middlesbrough's mayor Andy Preston, an Independent, slammed the Government's decision yesterday, saying the town would defy the new rules.
9.00 Friday 2 October – The Morning Advertiser backs #CancelTheCurfew
Welcome to a new day on The Morning Advertiser's coronavirus Live blog. Yesterday The MA announced it was throwing its weight behind the #CancelTheCurfew campaign.
As an industry we deserve to see the science behind the curfew, said MA editor Ed Bedington, who also urged the trade and supporters to get in touch with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MPs via email and social media asking for answers.
17.00 – That's it for today
We'll be back with more on the blog tomorrow.
16.06 - Date for new measures announced
The Department of Health has announced restrictions on households socialising will be imposed from 00.01 Saturday 3 October.
The measures will apply to residents in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. People will be legally banned from mixing with people outside their household in any indoor setting.
In positive news for the sector, the Department confirmed pubs in Bolton could reopen from the same date. They must follow national requirements such as table service only and a 10pm curfew.
15.51 - Measures in Liverpool City Region a 'hammer blow'
New restrictions on the Liverpool City Region have been described as an economic ‘hammer blow’ and a ‘massive step backwards’ despite local leaders’ acknowledgement that they may be necessary to halt the spread of Covid-19.
As reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), health secretary Matt Hancock has further restricted social contact across the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough – affecting some 2m people.
According to current population statistics, around 1.6m people currently live in the Liverpool City Region with more than 1,000 pubs hit by the mixing ban.
Dan Davies, CEO of Wirral-based Rockpoint Leisure, described the Government’s latest measures as a “massive step backwards” and “completely ill thought out”.
"It reminds me of the blind leading the partially sighted as far as Government policies go at the moment,” he told The MA.
- Continue reading here.
14. 44 - Middlesbrough mayor 'disappointed' with measures
Mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston has said he does not agree with the new measures imposed by central Government on his region.
The area is among those where a ban on different households mixing in indoor settings is in place.
In a video, he said: "I have to tell you I think this measure has been introduced based on factual inaccuracies and a monstrous and frightening lack of communication, and ignorance.
"I do not accept the statement at all. I do not accept these measures.
"We need to talk to government, they need to understand our local knowledge, expertise and ability to get things done, and preserve jobs and well-being.
"We are really disappointed.
"As things stand we defy the government and we do not accept these measures.
"We need to get Covid under control and we need to work with people to find a way of preserving jobs and mental health."
Govt Restrictions Are Unacceptable— Andy Preston Mayor (@Tees_Issues) October 1, 2020
We tried to communicate with govt but they didn’t listen
They’re imposing restrictions that’ll kill viable jobs & damage mental health
I do not accept the government’s intended restrictions - they’re based on ignorance
Updates to follow pic.twitter.com/ZqtE1ES8gm
14.09 - Support Liverpool businesses, Government urged
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotherham has called for more financial support to protect hospitality businesses from closing under new restrictions.
️ "If the Government is serious about these measures, they need to offer a comprehensive support package so that we have an economy to go back to."— Steve Rotheram (@MetroMayorSteve) October 1, 2020
From my interview with @BBCNews about today's announcement of further restrictions in the Liverpool City Region. pic.twitter.com/iZKMMKr842
The measures announced today are a step toward restricting the spread but we need to understand if they are enough to arrest the rise cases across our region.— Steve Rotheram (@MetroMayorSteve) October 1, 2020
We're asking for Government to share their scientific evidence and provide us with more substantial financial support. pic.twitter.com/8gV1uJs87n
11.36 - Local lockdowns mapped
Confused about which areas are impacted by different measures? The Morning Advertiser has updated its map of local measures and explained how pubs across the country are affected.
Take a look here:
11.04 - Rules on social contact in northern England announced
Health Secretary has announced further measures for parts of England, banning mixing between different households in "any setting" apart from outdoor public spaces.
He confirmed people could still meet in spaces like beer gardens.
He said: "We recommend against all social-mixing between people in different households.
"We will bring in regulations, as we have in the North East, to prevent in law social mixing between people in different households in all settings except outdoor public spaces like parks and outdoor hospitality."
Restrictions like this are already in place in other parts of northern England including Newcastle.
The minister added: "By its nature, this virus spreads through social contact and so it’s had a terrible impact on the hospitality sector, who in good times exist to encourage that very social contact that we all enjoy."
Thursday 1 October 9.00 – Good morning
Welcome to The Morning Advertiser's coronavirus live blog. We woke to news this morning that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet are meeting to discuss a local lockdown in Liverpool.
According to reports, the restrictions could be tougher than those in the north east of England.
However, there is some positive news that the rate of coronavirus infections is believed to be slowing, with experts hesitantly saying it could be due to local restrictions
17.42 – That's all for today
Thank you for reading The Morning Advertiser's Live coronavirus blog. We'll be back tomorrow with more coronavirus news related to the pub trade.
17.37 – Will the north face tougher measures to save the south?
When asked about coming down hard on the north of England to save the south, Johnson said he wanted to focus on the areas of concerns.
“Yes of course it is more acute in these areas but it is vital to stress this is a national challenge,” Johnson said.
"It would be wrong to take from this that it is a problem only in certain areas. It is worse in certain areas," added Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific advisor.
17.31 – 'We think we can beat it with the measures described'
The Prime Minister said he believed the UK would be able to keep the rate of coronavirus infections down through the additional measures outlined in recent weeks.
He said: "We keep all of this under constant review and as you can imagine ministers and officials are meeting around the clock.
"We're watching what is happening in all the areas and keep all measures under review.
We really don't awant to go into a national lockdown. We think we can beat it by other means, by the ones we've described."
17.26 – National lockdown hasn't happened because of local spikes
Johnson said a national lockdown hadn't happened again because outbreaks can be pinpointed to specific regions and areas.
17.21 – 'I don't want another national lockdown'
"I don't want to go to a national lockdown where the overall guidance is stay at home," said Johnson at this evening's briefing.
"We want to keep the economy moving, the only way we can do that is if we follow the guidance."
17.11 – Boris will take more costly coronavirus measures if needed
Speaking in a press briefing today (30 September) the Johnson said he and his Government would not hesitate to take further measures that will be more costly than those currently in place to prevent a second spike.
Rates of coronavirus infections and corona-related deaths are on the rise again, he said.
He said the only way to defeat the virus is to work together, not be impatient and make sacrifices for others.
He also indicated the daily coronavirus briefings would return.
15.10 – Pubs, clubs and breweries to fall by Christmas
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has written to the health secretary Matt Hancock warning him that many pubs and breweries will fall before Christmas if current restrictions remain in place.
In the letter, the organisation of pub goers and beer drinkers questions why restrictions such as the 10pm curfew are applied to hospitality businesses only.
There is also a fear the Government's actions are reducing consumer confidence in going to the pub.
As a result, the organisation has also set out renewed calls for an urgent package of financial support to protect jobs and keep pubs open and thriving in the months ahead.
CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona said: "Publicans who have already spent thousands making their premises Covid-secure now face dwindling levels of trade as a result of these Government decisions, which will undoubtedly lead to permanent closure."
Thousands of people would lose their jobs, while communities across the UK would lose a vital part of their social fabric, he continued, adding that ministers publish evidence on how the 10pm curfew and other restrictions will help tackle the coronavirus.
14.30 – Risk of job losses at Fuller's
Fuller's chief executive Simon Emeny has told the BBC that at least 10% of his workforce could be at risk of losing their jobs.
Speaking to 5live today, Emeny said quieter city centres, following the Government encouraging people to work from home, had particularly hit the group.
Fuller's owns around 400 pubs across the UK, but its sites in city hot spots had found reopening difficult with due to a lack of workers.
He told the station: "We are doing everything possible to minimise [job cuts], but sadly it is inevitable.
"The biggest challenge we have around job losses is in central London, because the Prime Minister's announcement last week to discourage people from going back to the office is having a big impact on city centres and in particular central London."
The Morning Advertiser understands the majority of the jobs at risk would predominantly be in the pubco's city and central London sites. However, all possible options were still being looked at.
13.10 - Mask regulations only apply to customer-facing staff
Only customer-facing staff are required to wear a face covering under new regulations, The Morning Advertiser (The MA) has reported.
It is understood that back-of-house staff roles such as kitchen employees will not have to wear a form of face covering while working.
This follows the requirement for pub staff and customers to wear face coverings inside being moved to Thursday 24 September despite the Cabinet Office previously confirming to The MA it would be enforced from Monday 28 September.
The Government stated people who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
Guidance stating face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services became law from Thursday 24 September.
10.30 – Lib Dem MP demands help for hospitality
Liberal Democrat MP for St Albans Daisy Cooper has written to BEIS secretary Alok Sharma demanding to see the science behind the 10pm curfew.
"Crowds on UK streets after 10pm 'pubs curfew' is exactly what we need to avoid," she said in a tweet announcing her campaign today.
In a letter to the secretary, Cooper argues the hospiatlity sector has faced decades of hardship and now even more following the coronavirus pandemic.
"The industry was already facing an existential crisis brought about by ever increasing overheads due to the broken and inconsistent business rates system," she wrote.
Cooper added that the initial closure of hospitality in March was understood by the sector, and support such as Eat Out to Help Out appreciated, but then questioned the need for a curfew.
"The Prime Minister's announced on Tuesday that a 10pm closure is to be applied to the sector has come as a further obstacle to recovery, with up to a third of all hospitality revenue in some local economies being generated after this time.
She also warned that the future of three-million people whose livelihoods are in the sector depend on more Government support.
Crowds on UK streets after the 10pm “pubs curfew” is exactly what we need to avoid. I’m leading a group of 25 MPs from 6 parties who are calling on the Govt to publish the medical evidence behind the decision, or to scrap it. RT to #CallTimeOnTheCurfew@UKHofficialpic.twitter.com/7XILyVuDuL— Daisy Cooper MP (@libdemdaisy) September 29, 2020
9.40 – Liverpool on brink of lockdown
Liverpool's mayor Joe Anderson has indicated it could only be a matter of time before the city goes into lockdown.
The mayor issued a video plea to citizens of Liverpool urging them to stay safe and be responsible.
He said: "If we don't [act responsibly] then clearly we will face more serious action from central Government, and from me that is the last thing we need because we will have a local lockdown worse than other places that will damage our business, health and mental health."
9.30 – Four more local lockdowns in Wales
Residents and businesses in Conwy, Dengbigshire, Flintshire and Wrexham are set to face additional restrictions tomorrow.
This means without a reasonable excuse (i.e. for work or education) people cannot leave or enter the areas.
The need for increased measures has been blamed on people spreading the coronavirus by mixing in households.
Flintshire council leader Ian Roberts said the restrictions were worrying.
"It's a matter of grave concern because this virus is affecting people across north Wales," he said.
"I believe that people meeting in houses has caused the higher incident rate."
See where local lockdowns or increased restrictions are in place by viewing the map below.
9.00 – Business confidence extremely low
A CGA survey has claimed fewer than 10% of out-of-home business leaders have confidence in the future of the sector.
However, pub and restaurant bosses are less pessimistic.
According to the Business Confidence Survey from CGA and Fourth for the first three weeks of September, just 9% of all business leaders in the sector are confident about the next 12 months.
That is almost half the level of June (16%) and a fraction of the 60% figure recorded at the beginning of the year.
8.30 – 100 hospitality business write to PM urging avoidance of 'bleakest' winters
Hospitality business leaders from pubcos, restaurant chains and hotels have written directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning him that if there is no financial support for hospitality now, the secor will face its bleakest winter.
The letter states that even before the latest coronavirus restrictions – inlcuding the 10pm curfew – most hospitality businesses did not believe they would survive.
Now, however, that worry has increased along with the fear thousands more jobs will be lost.
The fight for the sector to survive is being made more difficult, the bosses said in the letter, which can be seen in full below.
Pub bosses include Admiral Taverns' Chris Jowsey, Adnams head Andy Wood and Oakman Inns' Peter Borg-Neal.
Wednesday 30 September
Welcome back to The Morning Advertiser's coronavirus Live blog. Managing editor Nicholas Robinson and reporter Emily Hawkins will be reporting today.
17.00 – That's it for today, we'll be back tomorrow
14.17 - Prime Minister apologises for confusion
Boris Johnson has apologised for misspeaking when asked by a journalist if people under new lockdown rules in the north east can meet up outside.
He made reference to the rule of six instead of the matter of households mixing.
He said: "In the north east and other areas where extra measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities but it is six in a home, six in hospitality but as I understand it, not six outside."
However, he has since said he misspoke.
Apologies, I misspoke today.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) September 29, 2020
In the North East, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home. You should also avoid socialising with other households outside. (1/2)
The Department of Health clarified that under this new localised lockdown mixing outside would not be illegal. However, it is advised people do not socialise with other households.
The Labour Party's Angela Rayner said: “For the Prime Minister to not understand his own rules is grossly incompetent. These new restrictions are due to come into force across huge parts of the country tonight. The government needs to get a grip."
Johnson was also asked about the 10pm curfew. He said: "What I would say about hospitality – no one wants to impose a curfew or a limit of any kind but you’ve got to look at the spread of this disease and that it is spread by human contact.
"I’m afraid the hospitality sector is an obvious place of transmission of coronavirus.
"We have to get it down and that’s what we’re doing, that’s what the country is again doing together."
The Prime Minister will hold a press conference tomorrow with Professor Chris Whitty, the Government’s chief medical adviser, and Sir Patrick Vallance, its chief scientific adviser.
11.04 – 11pm curfew for pubs in Northern Ireland
Pubs, bars and restaurants in Northern Ireland face an 11pm curfew, enforced from midnight tomorrow (Wednesday 30 September), First Minister Arlene Foster has announced.
Venues including pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, hotels, guesthouses and bars will have to call for last orders at 10.30pm. Weddings and other events will not be exempt.
Foster told the Stormont Assembly: "The intention behind the earlier closing time is socialising later in the evening is considered to increase the risk of virus spreading because people adhere to the rules less strictly after consuming alcohol and in venues where they are used to mixing freely. She added the restrictions will be subject to enforcement.
10.49 – Punters continue to congregate in streets after 10pm closing
Punters in big cities and towns are continuing to gather in large groups outside pubs and bars once the 10pm curfew comes into force.
Operators and local government leaders drew attention to the problem over the weekend, calling for an end to the curfew, which they said was not working.
The Morning Advertiser's managing editor Nicholas Robinson wrote in an opinion piece that the trade knew this sort of thing would happen when the curfew was announced.
You’re the reason we’re heading for another lockdown pic.twitter.com/vTIMGliAaG— Rachel Gerrish (@RLGerrish) September 26, 2020
9.30 – Northern revolt over ban on drinking with friends
Northerners are venting their frustrations at the prospect of not being able to meet with friends for a drink after large parts of the north east were placed under tighter coronavirus restrictions.
Pubs, bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open in the regions, but with tougher restrictions set to come into place.
From tomorrow, it will be illegal to go for a drink with a member of another household or to visit another household.
Affected areas are Northumberland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland and County Durham.
Residents and business owners are reportedly speaking out about the new rules and aren't shy about sharing their frustrations.
Those found breaching the rules could face fines of up to £6,400.
Meanwhile, pubs in England will face fines of £1,000 if found playing music louder than 85 decibels – the same noise level as a leafblower.
Tuesday 29 September
Good morning and welcome back to The Morning Advertiser's Lockdown Live blog.
Managing editor Nicholas Robinson and reporter Emily Hawkins will be updating you on the latest coronavirus-related news today.
17.00 – That's it for today, we'll be back tomorrow
16.25 - Ban on indoor mixing in North East
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has just announced tighter restrictions in the parts of the north east already under localised measures.
Residents in these areas will now be banned from meeting up with people outside their households in "any setting".
Hancock told MPs: "Unfortunately the number of cases continues to rises sharply. The incident rate across the area is now over 100 cases per 100,000. We know that a large number these infections are taking place in indoor settings outside the home.
"And so, at the request of the local councils, with whom we’ve been working closely, we will introduce legal restrictions on indoor mixing between households in any setting.
"We do not take these steps lightly, but we must take them, and take them now, because we know that swift action is more likely to bring the virus under control."
Matt Hancock has just announced "restrictions on indoor mixing between households in any setting" in north-east England.— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) September 28, 2020
This appears to be strengthening the earlier guidance which "advised" people in seven council areas not to meet others "in any public venue": pic.twitter.com/hn9jeLi5oN
15.21 – Beer orders stagnate over lockdown fears
Pubs are not ordering beer for fear of being left out of pocket if there is another lockdown in their area, according to the Society of Independent Brewer's (SIBA) chief executive James Calder.
Monday should be a busy day for brewers as operators are usually keen to stock up on supplies for the days ahead following a busy weekend, according to the organisation's boss.
However, that is not the case today, Calder said, adding: "Monday should be a busy day for brewery orders, but publicans today are in a state of despair.
"They are not ordering beer because they are anticipating an imminent 'circuit breaker' lockdown that will close their pubs, not just for another fortnight, but potentially for good."
Despite evidence indicating the opposite, the message from the Government is very much that the spread of coronavirus is coming from inside the hospitality sector, that pubs and bars are the reason for the second spike.
However, Calder added: "We as a sector are being scapegoated because the Government need to be seen to be doing something – without being shown the evidence and rationale used to explain the decision.
"We know from the first lockdown that you cannot simply switch on or off a pub or brewery," he continued. "A 'social lockdown' will deal a huge financial blow to hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses."
If the Government continues to impose unfair restrictions on this sector, Calder added, then it needs to provide evidence in advance that shutting down the trade is the right thing to do.
"If they can do that, then the Government also need to provide a full furlough extension, business rates support, rent support, cuts to VAT on beer and reverse the planned tax changes for small breweries."
He also added that Parliament must be given the opportunity to debate any new restrictions, rather than them being enacted through 'emergency powers'.
14.20 – BrewDog bosses weigh in on Government's pub restrictions
BrewDog co-founder James Watt and the brewer and pub operator's chief operating officer David McDowall this morning piped up about the Government's current focus on the pub sector.
Of the curfew, McDowall tweeted: "Once again, we enter a new week, forced into battle to protect a sector that has been scapegoated.
"There was no rationale for the 10pm curfew being implemented, with zero scrutiny.
"Full closure will be catastrophic for hospitality. Sector specific support urgently required."
Once again, we enter a new week, forced into battle to protect a sector that has been scapegoated.— David McDowall (@BrewDogDave) September 27, 2020
There was no rationale for the 10pm curfew being implemented, with zero scrutiny.
Full closure will be catastrophic for hospitality.
Sector specific support urgently required. https://t.co/8iMl2mLXh2
While outspoken Watt gave his views on Parliament's bars remaining open and selling alcohol after the 10pm curfew (now rectified by the Government in a U-turn).
He said: "After Barnard Castle I thought the leadership of this country could not become any more hypocritical. Unfortunately I was wrong.
"With so many lives & livelihoods on the line, our country deserves better."
The tweet linked to a story in The Times reporting on how Parliament's bars were exempt from the curfew.
After Barnard Castle I thought the leadership of this country could not become any more hypocritical.— James Watt (@BrewDogJames) September 28, 2020
Unfortunately I was wrong.
With so many lives & livelihoods on the line, our country deserves better. https://t.co/8WoINCghpA
11.30 – Trade down in pubs
Following the Prime Minister's additional restrictions on the hospitality sector last week, a poll of The Morning Advertiser's (MA) readers has shown the majority of respondents said trade was quieter since the extra rules were enforced.
Boris Johnson told English consumers last week pubs would close at 10pm, masks would have to be worn in venues unless seated and eating and that it would be table service only.
As a result, The MA's poll shows, 94% of respondents had seen a quieter trade following the extra precautions, 5% said trade was the same and just 1% said trade was up.
Tell us how your business has changed by taking the survey below.
How has trade changed since Boris Johnson's additional restrictions?
10.14 – Speculation of London and northern lockdowns
National press reports claim the Government is still considering a total lockdown of pubs and bars in London and parts of the north.
According to the papers, Government leaders were considering the announcement last week, but stopped for fear of a public backlash.
The plans will, reportedly, see a two week lockdown in various cities including London designed to break the spread of infection if cases do not fall. It will also see a ban on households mixing.
However, Government would try to secure the economy by keeping workplaces open when people can't work from home. Yet, this did not extend to pubs and bars.
It comes after the Government announced new restrictions for Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds preventing households mixing in those areas.
In the same announcement, Government also labelled London an area of concern due to a rise in hospital admissions, while Teesside was singled out as an area of 'enhanced support'.
It follows calls by leaders such as Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to end the 10pm pub curfew.
The curfew resulted in large gatherings of people in cities and towns over the weekend when pubs and bars shut their doors.
- Read an opinion piece on the matter from Morning Advertiser managing editor Nicholas Robinson, who explains why the 10pm curfew was always a bad idea.
10.06 – Policing local lockdowns a struggle
Police Federation chairman John Apter has told BBC Radio 4's Today show that forces across England will struggle to cope with policing additional coronavirus rules, which follows the implementation of a 10pm curfew.
He said there are only a handful of officers available to deal with non-essential 999 calls, hinting that coronavirus rule breakers won't necessarily be high on the priority list.
Monday 28 September
Nicholas Robinson reports from the Live Blog today:
Welcome to The Morning Advertiser's Live Blog covering the latest on local lockdowns and national restrictions. Last week brought a 10pm curfew and mandatory face coverings.
This week looks just as turbulent.
15.29 - Confidence hit
A snap poll from CGA has shown that 40% of consumers will go out less frequently as a result of the Government's 10pm curfew.
They found 34% of adults were more likely to invite friends back to their house after 10pm and 30% said they would continue socialising at another location.
It comes as pub bosses have said the curfew represents little public health benefit but a lot of economic damage.
14.02 - Restrictions 'killing us'
Carol Davies, operator at the Tredegar Arms, Rogerstone, Newport, has been in touch to share her challenges with new restrictions.
In Newport, meeting indoors with anyone who is not part of your household is not allowed at the moment.
Davies said: "These new measures are killing us. We are a small wet led pub in a small area. Our customers are regulars and have been for over 30 years.
People who have lost their partners just come and meet up not to stay in on their own."
She can only seat 12 people inside with social distancing.
11.57 - 'Avoid pubs' Scottish students told
Universities Scotland and the Scottish Government have urged students to not go out to pubs this weekend.
It comes after several outbreaks of coronavirus on university campuses, with hundreds of students isolating. Contact-tracing and testing is expected to reveal many more positive cases.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said of the 'stay away' message: “Clearly this is going to have a huge impact on pubs if a chunk of their customer-base is being told not to go out.
"It will further undermine consumer confidence and harm pubs that have worked tirelessly to make their venues safe and rigorously comply with test and protect protocols.”
11.17 - Government 'misleading' public, pub boss says
Oakman Inns chief executive Peter Borg-Neal was on BBC Question Time last night. He said the sector was working hard to protect customers and staff.
He said the Government had been "misleading" on the cause of the second wave and pubs had been wrongly blamed.
Pubs "sweated blood" to reopen, he added.
“We sweated blood to get ready to reopen our businesses.”— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) September 24, 2020
Oakman Inns boss @PeterBorgNeal says the hospitality industry is owed an apology and would “never put profits before public safety.” #bbcqtpic.twitter.com/wsDYiAXy4k
Borg-Neal was among those to criticise the Government's 10pm curfew this week, calling it ineffective as a public health measure and damaging for the reocvery of the pub sector.
10.13 - Measures 'don't go far enough'
The Morning Advertiser has looked at the different support measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday.
Sunak announced a Jobs Support Scheme, which has been criticised by the trade for lacking specific elements to help the hospitality sector.
09.28 - Community heroes celebrated
Pubs that came to the rescue for their communities during the lockdown period were recognised at last night's Great British Pub Awards.
Awards honoured publicans' work in feeding their communities, helping staff cope with furlough and ensuring continuity for their businesses.
Friday 25 September
15.14 - 'Not good enough Mr Sunak'
The Morning Advertiser editor Ed Bedington has called the Chancellor's measures "not good enough" for the sector.
He said while the VAT extension will be welcomed by some, wet-led and night-time businesses have been "cut down by the knees by the curfew" and the aid means nothing to them.
14.58 - 'Pubs are not the problem'
Operator Donna Brayshaw has been in touch to share her reaction to new restrictions.
She said her pub spent thousands on ensuring it was Covid-secure before reopening.
The publican added: "I feel like we have been made the scapegoats.
“By introducing these new rules and making us close earlier is just outrageous. Customers were only just beginning to feel safe enough to venture back to the pub. And now the Government has done this, they may as well have just said we have to close back down.
"We are not the problem. We are a safe place for people to socialise. I feel angered that the trade is being used in this way.
"I have been a landlady for over 20 years and always follow the book of what rules and regulations our trade has."
- What impact will the new restrictions have on your trade? Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or via social media @morningad.
12.00 - Jobs support scheme announced
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined details of a new scheme to protect jobs.
The Government will directly support the wages of people working in sectors "with depressed demand", meaning they can work fewer hours but not fear redundancy.
This will run for six months and start in November.
From 1 November, for the next six months, the Job Support Scheme will protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/8NpIKpQV8y— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) September 24, 2020
Employees must work one third of their standard hours. The Government and employers will cover lost hours.
Sunak said this will apply to small and medium sized enterprises. Larger businesses will only be covered if their turnover has gone down.
He said the lower VAT rate for hospitality businesses will be kept until March 2021.
To continue supporting over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs, the Government has extended the 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to the end of March next year. pic.twitter.com/5s5UMyqZSD— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) September 24, 2020
11.39 - NHS app launches today
The NHS Covid app has launched today. Pubs must display official QR code posters and encourage customers to check-in to their sites with the app.
But they must also maintain alternative methods to take contact details for those without the app.
9.44 – Reports of quieter trade
Pubs across the UK are reporting a downturn in trade since the Prime Minister's additional coronavirus restrictions were announced.
Operators in the north, midlands and the south have all noted a slump in the number of customers visiting their venues.
Others said they have received more cancellations than normal.
Let us know how trade has been for you pub by responding to the survey below.
How has trade changed since Boris Johnson's additional restrictions?
09.31 - Curfew will encourage "unsupervised socialising"
JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has called the 10pm curfew "another random and arbitrary move" by the Government "which lacks logic or scientific credibility".
He said: "It’s part of their 'don’t just stand there, do something' approach."
"It will reduce sales for hard-pressed pubs and restaurants, reduce employment and reduce Government taxes as a result.
"It will also increase the level of unsupervised socialising in the UK, as customers leave pubs and restaurants earlier."
Martin added: "There are about 3 million people employed in the hospitality industry and they are doing their conscientious best, with considerable success, to ensure that social distancing and hygiene standards are observed.
"90% of Wetherspoon pubs, for example, have had zero reported cases of the virus- the great majority of the remaining pubs have only had one case.
"In contrast, one sandwich making facility in the Midlands has had far more reported infections than all Wetherspoon’s 861 pubs combined.
"The curfew will mean that supervised socialising in pubs and restaurants will end at 10pm, resulting in unsupervised socialising at home and elsewhere.
"In fact, homes are where far more transmissions of the virus have taken place since the pandemic began."
09.21 - "Support can't be one size fits all"
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has said any job support package announced by the Chancellor later must take into account how hospitality has been disproportionately hit by new restrictions.
Rishi Sunak is to outline the Government's plan to protect jobs this winter in the House of Commons later.
With significant additional restrictions on hospitality and many businesses fully closed by law, it is vital this is not a one size fits all subsidy and proportion of wages covered flexes to take account of restrictions. Hospitality workers substantially worse off https://t.co/zBjcyX4g9s— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) September 24, 2020
Thursday 24 September
16.31 - Chancellor to give statement
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to update MPs on the Government's "winter economy plan" tomorrow.
It is expected he will say something about plans to protect jobs.
As our response to coronavirus adapts, tomorrow afternoon I will update the House of Commons on our plans to continue protecting jobs through the winter. pic.twitter.com/eP6aqcocxd— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) September 23, 2020
NEW - there will be no Budget before the end of the year, Treasury sources confirm. Just this: https://t.co/N6cRQOmhSO— Heather Stewart (@GuardianHeather) September 23, 2020
15.04 - Clarity needed, says publican
Lara Joslin operates a rural pub in Wales and told the MA she feels the sector needs more guidance as well as financial support.
She said: “It’s quite stressful, as you can imagine. We keep getting guidance really short notice to the changes.”
Coronavirus measures meant “less space and less time” for the Kings Head in Gower, which will soon have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
Joslin hopes Welsh pubs will soon be able to “come in line” with the 1m+ social distancing rules in England as they currently must leave 2m between tables.
One third of Joslin’s room bookings for next weekend have cancelled after ministers told residents not to travel out of their areas.
“Noone knows exactly what is happening,” she said. “They [the Government] should be helping us with the rules and regulations.”
Kings Head in Gower - has had one third We’re a hotel. Lots of people don't know whether they’re allowed to travel to us. ⅓ of rooms for this weekend cancel already.
The pub’s team are worried about what will happen after the furlough scheme wraps up next month. “If we knew sooner it would make everyone happier,” the operator said.
14.30 - Letter to Chancellor
Steven Alton, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping, has written a letter to Rishi Sunak calling for long-term support to match the new restrictions on the sector.
In the letter he calls for:
- "Extension of both full and flexible furlough, specifically for the pub sector to safeguard significant loss of employment. Our members have fed back that over 60% are considering further redundancies before the end of October and 10% of pubs remain closed.
- "Long term extension of VAT at 5% for pub and hospitality businesses. In addition to the financial support that this would provide, it would critically reinforce that CovidSecure pubs were safe places to socialise in our communities.
- "Extension of the business rates holiday until April 2022 to provide certainty to pubs as they plan their recovery."
We're calling for long term support for pubs whilst long term restrictions are in place— The BII (@BIIandBIIAB) September 23, 2020
‘Long term sector specific restrictions will need to be matched by long term sector specific Government support’ stated CEO @AltonStevenhttps://t.co/CxNRMhOct0pic.twitter.com/lYZl75GZyj
Alton added: "Our members have adapted, diversified and transformed their businesses over the last few months, ensuring their staff and customers are safe, based on Government guidelines. They have proven to be professional enterprises that can effectively adapt to changing requirements and are sustainable businesses that are worthy of specific investment. They want to play their part in our collective recovery and will need your support to do so."
13.57 - 'Appropriate and imaginative' support
Boris Johnson was asked about future support for sectors hit hardest by new restrictions at Prime Minister's Questions.
He said: "We will go forward with further creative and imaginative schemes to keep the economy working."
He did not offer any more details about the "appropriate and imaginative schemes" under consideration. However, it has been reported the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is deliberating a wage subsidy scheme.
The Government would do its "level best to protect [businesses] through this period", Johnson added after criticism from Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Starmer said the latest restrictions had not come hand-in-hand with necessary financial support.
"Health measures and economic measures are dangerously out of sync," the opposition leader said.
12.56 – Scotland's 'bitter pill'
The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has dubbed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's 10pm hospitality sector closure a 'bitter pill to swallow'.
From Friday 25 September, like England's curfew, Scottish pubs, bars and restaurants will have to empty of customers and close their doors as soon as the clock hits 10pm.
SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson said the move will have a devastating affect on the sector, which has already done so much to provide safe environments for customers to eat and drink.
"Yet again, the industry seems to be the major focus of further restrictions despite other sectors having also been reopened," said Wilkinson.
"Research shows that the industry spent around £15m on training and implementing social distancing measures across the entire sector to reopen and rebuild consumer confidence," he continued.
"For many, this will be the final nail in the coffin, particularly for operators in the late-night economy and those providing for the younger market for which these measures are effectively a lockdown."
Scotland's recently introduced six-person, two-household rule had a negative impact on consumer confidence, with the announced curfew denting it further, he said.
“The industry is struggling to survive and operators will question why further restrictions are being focused on our pubs, bars and restaurants,” continued Wilkinson.
“With only 4.6% of outbreaks in England related to hospitality venues and with one in 10 pubs in England already operating with some form of curfew, the ‘R’ rate is still increasing – many will fail to understand why these new restrictions for the industry are being introduced."
Wilkinson also pointed out that recently the First Minister had stated a high proportion of the increase in coronavirus transmissions were coming from household gatherings, and again questioned why pubs were facing the burden.
11.45 - 50% sales dip
Chief executive of ARC Inspirations, Martin Wolstencroft, has told Sky News his sites are bracing for a 50% sales drop amid new restrictions.
'There's just no need for a curfew, there's no facts'— SkyNews (@SkyNews) September 23, 2020
Chief executive of ARC Inspirations, Martin Wolstencroft tells #KayBurley how his hospitality chain will be losing "50% of sales" due to the new 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants https://t.co/7c8W5pWNmppic.twitter.com/Pab2LeFuOC
11.30 - What support do pubs want?
Measures being called for include long-term extensions to the furlough job retention scheme, VAT cut and business rates holiday into the new year.
Operators have also said they would like to see more support made available for pubs in areas impacted by local restrictions on socialising.
It comes as it has been reported Chancellor Rishi Sunak could be considering a wages-subsidy scheme, where workers would have lost hours covered by the Government.
However, one London publican told the MA she would now need more staff on shift to operate table service and ensure Covid-secure measures were enforced.
"It's going to mean fewer customers as our offer is now less attractive, but more staff hours to keep order. It's an incredibly difficult position to put us in. I don't know how we're going to get through this,” she said.
11.23 - 'Disappointed and concerned'
Kevin Georgel, chief executive at St Austell Brewery said while his pubs would continue to cooperate with Government measures, "there seems to be very little evidence linking hospitality with the recent rise in cases".
"Furthermore, a curfew increases the likelihood of pub goers socialising in non-regulated environments after 10pm," he added.
He said he was "disappointed and concerned" with new restrictions. “This is a very delicate moment in our sector’s recovery and the Government must recognise that these new restrictions will inevitably damage consumer confidence. Initiatives like the Eat Out to Help Out scheme were hugely successful in rebuilding consumer confidence last month, but that progress is now in danger of being wiped out.
"Our sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and these new restrictions will cost thousands of jobs and further damage businesses, that are already struggling to recover."
11.18 - 'It’s easy to direct the blame at hospitality'
The Morning Advertiser has looked at why pubs are at the centre of the latest coronavirus measures.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs yesterday: “What we've seen from the evidence is that, alas, the spread of the disease does tend to happen later at night after more alcohol has been consumed.”
However pub operators shared their data on virus transmissions and said they were unconvinced by the Government's focus.
James Lyon-Shaw – who owns the Surrey and Berkshire-based Brucan Pub Company – said: "We are receiving so much of the blame.
"It’s easy to direct the blame at hospitality because of its inherently social setting - but the powers that be are completely overlooking the fact that we have all worked so hard to make our restaurants Covid-safe.”
He added: “As an industry we need to stay positive, drive our business and adapt to the changing landscape."
09.35 - 'Curfew will cost us several million pounds a week' says Greene King boss
Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has seen fewer than 1% of its 1,700 managed estate contacted by NHS Test & Trace since its reopened in July, something that shows pubs are not the cause of a second spike, chief executive Nick Mackenzie has stated.
"Pubs are just starting to get back on their feet after lockdown and these new restrictions are a significant setback," he said. "We urgently need the Government to extend the furlough scheme for hospitality venues and confirm what additional support it will provide to protect jobs and the future of pubs.
“We made safety our priority when reopening and fewer than 1% of our 1,700 managed pubs have been contacted by NHS Test & Trace since reopening in July, which demonstrates pubs are not disproportionately spreading cases and our measures are working.
“Removing a key trading period and further damaging customer confidence looks set to cost us several million pounds per week on top of already reduced customer numbers in our pubs to maintain social distancing. Given these restrictions and likely timescales we need support from government to avoid further job losses in the hospitality sector in addition to the 135,000 so far.”
09.18 - Data concerns
Week 37 Cov Outbreak by institutionWeek 37 Cov Outbreak by institution.pdf 0.06 MB
Many people in the pub sector have been sharing data from Public Health England which shows pubs make up only a small proportion of Covid-19 outbreaks in England.
Pub company bosses shared their frustration over the targeting of pubs yesterday (Tuesday 22 September), with several stating their own data showed no or a tiny number of coronavirus cases linked to their sites.
The Morning Advertiser will be bringing you the latest news from the pub sector today.
Wednesday 23 September
20.22 - National curfew for Wales
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced hospitality venues will have to shut at 10pm, in line with measures announced in England and Scotland.
This law will come into force on Thursday 24 September.
There are 3,118 pubs in Wales affected by the curfew, according to the real estate adviser, Altus Group.
People will also not be allowed to buy alcohol in supermarkets or shops after 10pm.
20.09 - 'Robust but proportionate' measures
In a televised address, the Prime Minister has urged the public to follow coronavirus laws.
He said the nation must adhere to regulations to defeat the "invisible enemy".
"If people don't follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further," Boris Johnson said.
There was "potential for tougher local restrictions for areas already in lockdown" in addition to national measures set out today, he said. Measures announced today included a 10pm curfew and mandated table service for hospitality venues.
Johnson said these measures were "robust but proportionate". He then warned of "unquestionably difficult months to come".
16.12 - 'Pubs are part of virus solution'
Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay has told The Morning Advertiser that the pub sector will suffer from a hit to consumer confidence and called on the Government to "face the facts" on virus transmission.
"The hospitality sector has done an amazing job in working to reassure customers and staff that this is a safe space to be in," he said.
"I'm disappointed that these measures are considered necessary at all. We had begun to see confidence building after reopening in July, helped by Eat Out to Help Out, this puts that into reverse. The Government seems to be casting around for things to do."
Although Findlay said he was not too concerned about the impact on his nighttime sales, he said many parts of the sector would experience "a lot of pain" from the 10pm curfew.
"The biggest issue for me is this creeping sense that pubs are part of the problem rather than part of the solution," he added. "It's that view I am really worried about. I think we are part of the solution. In many ways, we are a regulated environment where we try and make things happen according to the advice we are given by the Government. That's not the case in parks and people's houses."
He said Marston's internal data did not point to pubs being a focal point for virus transmission. "What is it that is driving infections?"
The Prime Minister's refreshed message for office workers to work from home would also be "very damaging" for London businesses, the CEO added.
15.02 - Scotland introduces curfew
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has announced a new nationwide curfew of 10pm for hospitality venues.
She said councils will be urged to significantly step up inspections of venues and resources will be provided for more environmental health officers.
The nation introduced legislation surrounding face coverings in pubs last week.
14:57 – Masks mandatory indoors for staff and customers
Pub staff and customers will have to wear masks in venues unless eating and drinking while seated, the Prime Minister announced in the House of Commons.
He laid out the additional rules for hospitality as another measure to help prevent the spread of the virus.
13.52 - 'Economic damage' of curfew
Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive at multiple operator Oakman Inns, has said he does not see the health benefit of the curfew.
He added: “The curfew is not going to stop people from socialising, you have got freshers’ week next week. People are just going to leave at 10pm and gather in small bedsits and parties.
“I don't see much public health benefit but I do see lots of economic damage."
The executive said he was “irritated by the continual lie” that hospitality venues were to blame for rising infection rates.
He added: “A hospitality place following the protocol shouldn't have any transmissions. We haven't. We reckon we have had 1.5m unique customer visits since opening and nobody has caught Covid in an Oakman inn."
12.46 - Further regulations for pubs
The Prime Minister has said pubs must close at 10pm and not just call for last orders as "simplicity is paramount" for enforcement.
He said the same curfew will apply to takeaways but pubs can offer deliveries into the night.
Staff and customers in indoor hospitality will also be required to wear a face covering unless they are seated.
He said: "I'm sorry that this will affect many businesses just getting back on their feet but we must act to stop the virus being transmitted in bars and restaurants."
Johnson also mentioned that unless we “palpably make progress, we should assume the restrictions I have announced, will remain in place, for perhaps, six months.”
12.21 - Whitbread to cut 6,000 jobs
The operator behind brands such as Brewers Fayre, Beefeater and Premier Inn has announced that as many as 6,000 members of staff could face redundancy following a collapse in sales during the coronavirus crisis.
The PLC, which said it had begun consultations with staff and hoped the majority of cuts could be made voluntarily, revealed that sales during the first half of its financial year to 27 August slipped by almost 80% due to the forced closure of most sites.
Whitbread drew up redundancy plans amid pessimistic footfall forecasts as the Government prepares to introduce new restrictions on the hospitality sector to tackle a resurgence in Covid-19 infection rates.
"These changes create a more flexible labour model that can adapt with changes in the demand environment going forward,” Whitbread said of its proposals.
"Our priority is to ensure that the process is fair and that impacted colleagues are supported throughout"
Read more here.
11.53 - Calls for clarity
There have been questions about whether the curfew applies to takeaway services as well.
Serious question: if pubs & restaurants have to close at 10pm, are they (pubs with off-licences for example) allowed to operate after 10pm as takeaway?#ukpubs#10pmcurfew@CampaignforPubs@forpubs@morningad@bsa_alcohol— Dr Jenny Thatcher (Mischievous Sociologist) (@JennyAThatcher) September 22, 2020
Publicans are also keen to know if the 10pm law will mean they must ensure all drinkers are out of their venue by the cut off time.
@morningad Just wanting to be very clear - is 10pm close to have everyone out of the venue? We say we close at 11 but that’s when we call time. Then there’s 30 mins drinking up time.— Quenchbar (@quenchbar) September 22, 2020
The Morning Advertiser will bring you further details of the new law when published by the Government.
11.41 - Trade reactions
Publicans have been sharing their thoughts on the mandated curfew.
Operator Cheryl Hickman says her pub has been following the rules correctly and asks why her business should suffer because of others' poor handling of their customers.
Another operator Alex Marshall told The Morning Advertiser: "The plan may backfire as people will leave a managed, Covid-secure environment for illicit house parties, which can’t be policed effectively.
“A blanket 10pm curfew would have some rationale if it reduced socialising and decreased the potential spread of Covid-19, whereas I can’t help feel this plan presents a ‘big idea’ that makes a good press release, but potentially makes the problems worse and less manageable.”
British Beer & Pub Association boss Emma McClarkin said: "A 10pm curfew will devastate our sector during an already challenging environment for pubs."
10.38 - Measures remove people from 'regulated environment'
Simon Emeny, chief executive at Fuller Smith & Turner has criticised the Government for placing "unnecessary" restrictions on the sector which will discourage people out of Covid-secure spaces and into environments where transmission is more likely to occur.
Emney said: “Pubs are the home of responsible socialising – we have worked hard, with the Government, to put protocols and processes in place to keep our teams and our customers safe. Our pubs are socially distanced, our cleaning regimes are superb and we have invested in digital methods to accurately collect data to help with Track and Trace. Our reward for this investment and cooperation is further unnecessary restrictions.
“Today, the Prime Minister has succeeded in taking people out of the regulated pub environment and encouraging them back to unregulated socialising at home. This will not help to contain the virus – instead the largest outcome will be substantial job losses, mainly among young people, across the hospitality sector."
He added: “These measures, combined with the return of the work from home message that will further reduce our customer numbers, puts businesses across our sector at risk. We urgently need extensions to the furlough scheme, the VAT reduction and the business rates holiday if we are to have any semblance of a hospitality sector in the future.”
On the subject of rent concessions, the pub company said it was continuing to review the situation for its tenants.
10.01 - Share your story
- How will your pub be impacted by the 10pm curfew? Let us know by sharing your story on social media or getting in touch on email@example.com.
09.33 - Pub curfew confirmed
A nationwide curfew of 10pm for pubs in England was confirmed by the Government last night.
Hospitality venues will also be legally required to operate table service.
The Prime Minister is expected to speak about the change - which will be mandated from Thursday 24 September - in parliament later today, ahead of a televised public address this evening.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive said: "A hard close time is bad for business and bad for controlling the virus - we need to allow time for people to disperse over a longer period."
She added: “It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5% of infections out of the home are related to hospitality. Where such restrictions have been put in place locally they have not cut infection rates, merely damaged business and cost jobs."
Nicholls said the restrictions were a "national lockdown of hospitality in all but name".
And here we have it - this is national lockdown of hospitality in all but name and will significantly depress trade and revenues to unsustainable levels. Without support, we will see widespread business failure and job losses so we need a comprehensive support package https://t.co/3taq8MkieR— Kate Nicholls (@UKHospKate) September 22, 2020
Tuesday 22 September
16.02 - Prime Minister to make statement
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a statement to MPs on the pandemic tomorrow, at around midday.
It is expected he will announce any further restrictions then.
15.53 - Furlough worries
Fiona Hornsby operates The Bridewell and The Denbigh Castle in Liverpool, which will be subject to a 10pm curfew from tomorrow (Tuesday 22 September).
She called the curfew a "joke" and said it would impact her trade from football fans, with some midweek games starting late in the evening.
She has eight employees who are not eligible for the furlough scheme as they were recruited after the cut-off date.
Hornsby explained: "We have reduced staff hours in line with at least 25% drop in turnover and that is me trying to be positive. We have already taken a kicking and despite government support we had three months of trying to rebuild our trade only now to have this. We will inevitably lose staff if this goes on for longer than two weeks."
"There is no justification for pubs to closed again," she added.
14.30 - Blame game
The MA has looked at the number of weekly confirmed coronavirus cases since pubs reopened on 4 July. Here are the figures in full.
It comes as Oakman Inns’ chairman Peter Borg-Neal has said the Health Secretary has "misled the nation" by listing pubs in the settings where the "vast majority" of transmissions occur.
The pub company has been stringently complying with the NHS Test & Trace system and would be forced to make large job cuts in the event of a second lockdown, it said.
Many in the sector have shared similar views on social media, arguing pubs have been unfairly highlighted in the fight to curb rising cases.
@MattHancock This is your PHE data: 228 CV19 incidents in care homes 25 in food outlets. And rise in hospital admissions is worst in over 85s. This problem is again in care homes not in the community as you stated. @BorisJohnson@allisonpearsonpic.twitter.com/KSq6wgXJ1G— Hugh Osmond (@hughosmond) September 20, 2020
13.04 - Welsh counties under curfew
Pubs in Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Newport and Caerphilly will need to close by 11pm, the Welsh Government has announced.
This follows a curfew announced in Rhondda Cynon Taf last week.
Residents in these areas will not be able to enter or leave their areas without a reasonable excuse such as for work.
The measures will come into force from 6pm tomorrow (Tuesday 22 September).
Some 706 pubs in Wales will be affected, according to analysis by the real estate adviser, Altus Group. The group said this equates to one in five Welsh pubs.
11.48 - 'No end in sight'
An operator in the North east has called for more support for pubs after local measures banning households mixing caused her weekend trade to drop by 50%.
Lindsey Armstrong operates the Champs Sports Bar and Grill in Washington, Tyne and Wear is worried about the end of the furlough scheme. She said she had been forced to reduce staff hours.
"It's not just the pub that is suffering, it's everybody that works in it."
"At the end of the day we need this pandemic to be over but it has had a huge, huge detrimental effect on our trade and I don't know where we are going to go from here. If we end up in another lockdown position I just don't even think we will survive the lockdown again. It was hard enough to come back the last time."
"Everybody who runs a pub is in exactly same position. It's just awful, there's no end in sight."
Armstrong said she felt the hospitality industry had been scapegoated for a rise in infections despite commitment to complying with rules from publicans like herself.
She added: "There will be a small minority that [have] not [followed the rules] and unfortunately the ones that are operating correctly are being penalised because of the ones that are not. We are just being made a scapegoat for the whole Covid crisis. It's not just people in pubs and restaurants that are where the cases are coming from."
11.35 - Clarity in 'very, very near future'
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was interviewed by ITV's This Morning and refused to confirm or deny any national restrictions on hospitality venues and said considerations were still being made.
He said: "We will be absolutely clear about the changes we need to make in the very, very near future.
"We have been working on this all weekend, we haven’t taken the final decisions about what we need to do in response to the surge that we have seen in the last few weeks."
11.22 - Infection warnings
A briefing from Prof Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, has just wrapped up.
Whitty warned "some of the things we have had to do are going to cause significant problems in the economy" and social problems. He said ministers "had to walk this very difficult balance", where severe restrictions "can cause damage to the economy" which can cause long-term health issues.
He warned individuals that when they increased their risk they were also increasing the risk to others.
Vallance said it was now estimated that roughly 70,000 people in the UK have been infected with the virus and around 6,000 per day are being infected.
11.09 - Reminder of the rules
Here is a summary of the rules pubs and their customers must follow.
The requirements for pubs include enforcing the new 'rule of six', whereby individuals cannot gather in groups of more than six indoors or outdoors.
9.52 - Tell us your story
Are you worried about local restrictions and the impact on your pub?https://t.co/mfloey7i9j— Morning Advertiser (@morningad) September 18, 2020
- Do you run a pub in an area impacted by new restrictions? What has the impact been on your trade? Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us your experiences @morningad.
Operators told The MA last week they felt they had been penalised for the lax attitudes of other businesses and individuals.
9.00 - Curfews for one in ten pubs
The Morning Advertiser (MA) will be bringing you the latest coronavirus updates today on this live blog, updated every hour.
Over the weekend many pubs across the country were forced to adapt to new localised restrictions, with more parts of the country braced for restrictions to come into effect this week.
Pubs have been ordered to close between 10pm and 5am in areas of the north west, north east and the midlands.
Venues were also ordered to only operate table service and households have been restricted from socialising in some areas.
Curfews have been ordered for venues in these areas:
- Lancashire (excluding Blackpool)
- Merseyside (including Warrington and Halton)
- North east (Northumberland, North and South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham)
The measures impact 1,027 pubs across Lancashire, 1,174 in Merseyside from Tuesday and 1,553 in the North East region immediately, according to the Altus Group.
Analysis from the real estate adviser has found curfew restrictions will affect trade at around one in 10 pubs in England.
A curfew was also ordered for pubs in the Welsh county of Rhondda Cynon Taf of 11pm.
It comes as it has been reported the Government is considering further restrictions on pubs’ operating hours.
Monday 21 September
Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester.