Bristol news Bristol pub owners react to Boris Johnson's lockdown announcement PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - 'It is very difficult to deal with, but you have to stay positive'
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Bristol pub owners have welcomed some clarity around when hospitality may be able to reopen after Boris Johnson's announcement today (Monday). Boris Johnson announced his plan to ease the nation out of lockdown this afternoon (Monday, February 22) and you can follow our liveblog here. During his speech, the Prime Minister spoke about the plans to reopen the hospitality industry and gave some key dates. The PM told the Commons that non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen from April 12 at the earliest, together with outdoor attractions and outdoor hospitality venues such as beer gardens. Mr Johnson said the 'scotch egg' debate would be over because when pubs do throw open their doors, there will be no curfew or minimum food order. Indoor hospitality will not be opening earlier than May 17, the PM said. Steve Smith, owner of the Seven Stars pub in the city centre, said the announcement didn't come as a surprise. "But the downside is that a lot of small businesses will not be around in May - it will be too long for them," he said. The pub owner said the Government had to give some dates during the announcement today to cheer people up, but that they were right to err on the side of caution. Stay up to date: get the biggest stories from across Bristol straight to your inbox. Mr Smith that the Seven Stars will be opening up again as they have some resources, but that for other businesses - such as those that have rent to pay - it will be very difficult. He said that allowing pubs to open and then having to close again would be catastrophic for the industry, adding we would now have to wait and see what is announced in this year's budget next week (March 3). Nathan Lee is one of the co-owners of the Hyde & Co group, overseeing some of Bristol's most popular bars and restaurants including the eponymous Hyde & Co, The Milk Thistle, The Ox, Bambalan and Seven Lucky Gods. Mr Lee said he felt we are now coming out of a long, dark winter and said he was happy to see measures such as the curfew or the substantial meal dropped. "It is very difficult to deal with, but you have to stay positive," he said.
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"I can not wait to see my staff and customers again - a big part of my life is missing at the moment and it is really strange not to be around lots of people. "I am looking forward to that." The business owner added he was interested in seeing what will be announced in the Budget next week as he would like to see the VAT cut to be extended for at least another six months, as well as no cliff edge ending to the furlough scheme. Speaking before the announcement, Stephen Wallace - who owns Bristol's Three Tuns, Golden Guinea and The Rising Sun - said he would like pubs to stay open once they are allowed to reopen, rather than risking having to close again. He said: "I would like to see all pubs open at the same time and with a level playing ground. "I wouldn't like to see any rules that are counterproductive such as a curfew or the substanial meal rule. "Just open the pubs, with social distancing and making them covid-secure, but with no silly rules that only affect some."
The pub owner said that, back in December, he was only able to open two pubs due to third one - the Golden Guinea - not having a kitchen. However, he said that opening the other two was a big mistake as they bought stock that wasn't used and lost money. "We lost money and it wasn't particularly busy," he said. "It would have been easier and less stressful to stay closed. "I say just wait to a point where it is entirely safe to open just with social distancing." Mr Wallace said the past few months had been hard and full of concern. He said that without the government support his pubs wouldn't have survived, but added that the support isn't enough and they don't know when it is coming.
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com