Plea from local bars & restaurants ahead of new lockdown rules

Members of the public are being urged to continue to support their local independent bars and restaurants when new lockdown rules come into force.

Tougher restrictions will be in place across Liverpool and the whole of Merseyside tomorrow which include a 10pm curfew on all pubs, bars and restaurants.

Other measures include hospitality businesses serving food and drink as table service only.

Matt Farrell, co-owner of Graffiti Spirits Group, which is behind some of the city’s much-loved venues including Duke Street Market has described the new curfew as “very limiting” for some restaurants but encouraged the public to continue to show their support if they feel comfortable to do so.

After the announcement was made detailing the new rules last week, Matt said: “Whilst I understand the new restrictions are to reflect the rise in cases, the government’s approach to limiting the spread of the virus has been questionable.

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“Guests have just started visiting restaurants and bars again and these new restrictions are obviously a setback for the industry.

“Having a 10pm curfew is very limiting for some restaurants and for many means that it’ll be incredibly difficult to have sittings from 8pm onwards. For bars, it’s catastrophic.

“It’s an incredibly tough time for the hospitality industry but I’d urge the public to continue to support their local independents if they feel confident and well enough to go out.

“Restaurants will still be open, your sitting may just be slightly earlier to comply with the 10pm cut off.”

Elsewhere in the city, Liverpool fan favourite, The Sandon Pub and Hotel owner Kate Stewart insists something needs to be done to help the hospitality industry as she fears “many businesses will suffer” if not.

The Sandon only reopened its doors earlier this month in order to make sure its team had followed all the necessary Covid tests to make the venue safe for staff and customers.

Kate said: “These new restrictions are obviously going to have a negative impact on the hospitality industry once again.

“We’ve just started to see people coming out more regularly and building customer confidence post lockdown and this will no doubt push us back again.

“What support are we going to get? Something must be done otherwise we’re going to see many businesses suffer.”

Under the new rules, from tomorrow (Tuesday, September 22) Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues such as restaurants, pubs and cinemas required to close between 10pm and 5am.

Further local lockdown restrictions include people being unable to socialise with those outside their own households or support bubbles in private homes and gardens.

Tian Loh Tso, owner of Bold Street’s Ropes & Twines, said: “The new restrictions are hopefully only temporary measures to help gain control of the spread; the quicker we can control the virus, the quicker the economy can recover. 

“As a business, it’s another challenge to overcome, but we are responsible to put safe practice in place to make sure staff and customers are confident.”

Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation tomorrow evening where he is expected to bring in similar measures to the whole of England.

You can read more about the measures he is likely to announce here.

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