[ENT] Liverpool landladies fear for survival of pubs as city enters lockdown

Bar owners in Liverpool spoke of their devastation on Monday night as the city became England’s first ‘tier three’ Covid zone.

It means pubs not serving food must shut from Wednesday under the new local lockdown rules. 

Paula Smith, who runs The Dog House off the city’s famous Penny Lane, was in tears as she told of her fears for her livelihood.

She said she could not expect her employer to pay 100 per cent of her wages again, as happened when the pub had to close in March. 

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Liverpool became England’s first ‘tier three’ Covid zone, meaning pubs not serving food must shut. Paula Smith (above), who runs The Dog House, told of her fears for her livelihood

Miss Smith told BBC News: ‘It’s just a bit worrying. It’s not fair to put it all on the employer. It’s not fair.’

The owner, Paul White, said the new Government grant scheme for venues forced to close would pay around £500.

‘My fixed costs are £2,500 a week, whether we’re trading or not,’ he said.

At The Grapes – where The Beatles used to drink while playing the nearby Cavern Club in the early 1960s – staff watched in horror as Boris Johnson announced on TV the closure of the city’s pubs. 

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Manager Karen Strickland said: ‘We’re all absolutely heartbroken. We feel the mayor and the MPs have sold us down the river by going along with this.

‘Now the likes of our little pub have got to close down, and it’s disgusting.

‘Where’s the evidence behind closing pubs? My pub is immaculate, we’ve got sanitising stations and track and trace, we all wear masks.

‘If it’s so bad in pubs, why are they not closing until Wednesday? It doesn’t make any sense. Now we’re in the top tier, what will it take for us to get out of it? We could be shut for six months. How can my staff survive on two-thirds of their wages? They’ve got rent to pay, mouths to feed, Christmas is coming up.

Manager Karen Strickland (above) of The Grapes, where The Beatles used to drink, said she was 'absolutely heartbroken' after watching Boris Johnson's TV announcement

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Manager Karen Strickland (above) of The Grapes, where The Beatles used to drink, said she was ‘absolutely heartbroken’ after watching Boris Johnson’s TV announcement

‘Apparently Wetherspoons can stay open because they serve food. I don’t see the logic – what difference does that make? I’m devastated.’

Catherine Soithongsuk, 64, a customer at the newly refurbished pub, was equally horrified.

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‘I feel so safe here,’ she said. ‘I had to put on a mask before I came in, I had to give my details and sanitise my hands. Why is it only Merseyside that’s being singled out for these restrictions? I feel Liverpool is being discriminated against.

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‘We all need to learn to live with this virus, we need to use common sense, wash our hands and keep our distance from other people.

‘If people want to go to the pub then that should be fine. Once they’re closed, people will just go to house parties instead.

‘How’s that safer? There will be 25 or 30 people in one room.’

Read From Original Source Here: The State

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