Landlords still 'in the dark' ahead of announcement on which tier South Tyneside will be in
The borough is expected to re-enter a beefed-up version of either the Tier Two or Tier Three ‘local lockdown’ system when clarity is provided around the new regime.
Before the country was put into a national lockdown earlier this month, the North East was under tier 2 restrictions – the high alert level – but negotiations had been ongoing with Government about moving the the highest restriction level – tier 3.
Government officials are expected to inform the local authority of the new rules and restrictions that will apply to South Tyneside on Thursday, November 26.
The road map provided by the announcement that lockdown will end on December 2, however, has been of little consolation to pub landlords in the area – a number of whom say their futures still hang in the balance and that it is unlikely they will trade again until 2021.
Jarrow’s Albion Gin and Ale House posted the following message on its Facebook page after the Prime Minister’s announcement: “After listening to Boris's plans for pubs this afternoon it's obvious that our wet lead pub will not be re-opening in 2020.”
Gareth Carr, owner of the Crown and Anchor pub – which is still offering a takeaway service – said landlords in Jarrow remained ‘in the dark’ following Boris Johnson’s Tuesday announcement.
"I know a lot of pubs have decided it’s not even worth reopening this year – until this whole thing is over,” he said.
Ahead of the tiering announcement, Stephen Sullivan, owner of Ziggy’s Bar in South Shields, said: “Either way, it’s very unlikely I’ll reopen this year.
"We’ve adapted and we’ve adapted and there’s only so far we can go. All of the wet lead pubs that I’ve spoken to have said the same thing: ‘That’s probably us for this year’.
"We can’t push to get open for December, as it’s not going to be economically viable for us. We just have to hope that the [financial] support is there from the Government.”