Landlady says pubs ‘being penalised’ as hundreds shut 

A Liverpool landlady has slammed the city’s Tier Three lockdown status after bars, pubs and gyms were among the hundreds of businesses to close their doors today.

Liverpool City Region was confirmed to be ‘very high risk’ on the Government’s new Covid alert level system earlier this week, meaning pubs, gyms, bars, casinos, betting shops and leisure centres must close for the foreseeable future and the mixing of households in any setting is now illegal.

Many pubs, which started reopening in July as the Government relaxed restrictions, have been struggling to survive in the unprecedented circumstances, implementing social distancing measures, reduced capacity and most recently the controversial 10pm curfew.

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Liverpool landlady Carol Ross, who is the licensee at the Roscoe Head in the city centre, said the city’s tier three status is “ridiculous” and “half-hearted”.

The Roscoe Head is one of the smallest pubs in Liverpool, with only two small rooms, a tiny snug and a bar, which meant it already struggled to reopen after lockdown earlier this year.

Once the restrictions of social distancing eased somewhat in August, Carol was able to reopen, utilising outdoor space to welcome as many visitors as safely possible.

Carol says that business has already suffered since reopening, and that the closure of pubs, but not restaurants, is “ridiculous”.

(Image: Liverpool Echo)

She said: “Lockdown is needed where there is scientific evidence from Test and Trace. Pubs have been working tirelessly putting the measures in place to keep customers safe.

“They are using us as scapegoats.”

Carol added that ‘wet-led’ pubs, those who focus on selling drinks rather than food, are “being penalised”.

She added: “It [closing pubs but not restaurants] is stupid, and makes targeting pubs look ridiculous. Restaurants still have bars and toilets, customers are still walking in and out.”

Liverpool enters tier 3 lockdown

Carol said she thinks the city’s tier three status is “ridiculous” and that “everyone should be in lockdown to get the R rate down”

She said: “The tier three status is ridiculous. Half hearted measures will not work. Those in tier two would probably wish to be in tier three as it will not be worth opening for most.

“We need to tackle this head on. I don’t think anyone minds being in lockdown but this has to be with targeted help to allow us to survive. I think everyone should be in lockdown to get the R rate down.”

Since reopening in August, Carol says business has suffered due to the “mixed messages” from the Government.

She added: “Business has suffered because they [the Government] have frightened people that much with their mixed messages they don’t come out.

“My customer base is over 25s and they are sensible people, but I understand we cannot do social distancing and make money.”

Carol says pubs need a support package from the Government that will protect staff during this time of closure and that “anything less will not protect their jobs or pay the bills”.

The Roscoe Head is now closed for the foreseeable future under Liverpool City Region’s tier three restrictions.

Liverpool Echo – What’s On