Tier three pubs doubtful they will reopen 'this side of Christmas'

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tough rules: many pubs will be forced to close under tier three measures
Tough rules: many pubs will be forced to close under tier three measures

Related tags: Legislation, Health and safety, Yorkshire, Christmas, lockdown, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Leeds

Operators are bracing themselves for another period of closure, with tier three measures coming into force in West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire this weekend.

Calderdale, City of Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield will move into tier three at one minute past midnight on Monday 2 November.

The areas will join the entire county of Nottinghamshire which has been under the toughest tier of restrictions since Friday 30 November.

Some 784 pubs and 12 wine bars across Nottinghamshire were affected by the tier increase, according to real estate adviser Altus Group.

Across West Yorkshire, 1,608 pubs and 53 wine bars will be hit by the alert level increase from ‘high’ to ‘very high’ next week, according to Altus Group.

Under the heavy restrictions, licensed venues must close unless they can operate as restaurants serving substantial meals.

The measures will be reviewed after 28 days but some operators are not optimistic they will be allowed to reopen anytime soon.

Lost trade

Drew Atkins runs the White Hart in Denby Dale, Kirklees, and said it seemed “unfair” for his wet-led pub to be forced to shut given its diligence to hygiene and safety measures.

“I don't think the pubs are going to open again this side of Christmas. We’ve lost all the bank holidays this year and I think we will lose Christmas too.

"Even being in tier two lockdown, turning your regulars away on a Friday and Saturday evening was really hard," the operator added.

He said his reaction to the news West Yorkshire was heading into tier three was partially relief. "We're a little village and people are staying away," he explained.

The pub still has not been able to access support it was eligible for under tier two measures​ and must wait until December for additional support.

Atkins said he was worried about his staff and how to pay them with the pub not taking in any money.

Another pub to feel the sting of tier three measures is the real-ale pub Dog & Parrot in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.

Above and beyond

Operators Kathryn and David Boam said they had always prioritised “the well being and safety of the Dog & Parrot family”.

In a Facebook post​, the operators thanked their punters for their support “throughout this horrendous year.”

They added: “We have gone above and beyond all of the rules and guidelines, and done whatever it took to ensure we were fully Covid Secure. We will now follow the new rules, no matter how strange they may be."

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said a worrying rise in cases nationally meant “decisive action” was needed.

He continued: “We have agreed with local leaders to move more areas into the 'high' local Covid alert level this week.

Restrictions challenging 'for us all'

"These restrictions are challenging for us all, but it is only by working together and following the rules that we will bring down the rates of infection. A failure to act now will only lead to longer disruption and greater economic damage.

"I want to thank everyone who is playing their part to break the chains of transmission across the country. We will beat this virus, but we must stick together as we enter the winter.”

Several areas are already under tier three including Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and the Liverpool City Region.

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord described the strictest tier as an "attack on Northern class culture."

He said it was unfair that wet-led pubs in deprived areas were ordered to close.

The Department of Health said a number of areas would move to tier two from one minute past midnight on Saturday 31 October.

These areas are:

Yorkshire and the Humber: East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston-Upon-Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire

West Midlands: Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford and the Wrekin

East Midlands: Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, the whole of High Peak, Charnwood

East of England: Luton

South east: Oxford City

Related topics: Legislation

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