South Tyneside pub landlords confirm they will not reopen their venues until 2021
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the borough – along with the entire region – will be met with the harshest possible local lockdown restrictions upon exiting national lockdown next Wednesday, December 2.
This means pubs and other hospitality venues will be unable to reopen, pending a review of the restrictions for South Tyneside in two weeks’ time.
Jarrow hospitality bosses had already hit out at Number 10 over the difficult position the sector had found itself in before this week’s news.
Following Thursday’s announcement, a number now say they will not reopen this year.
Gareth Carr, who owns the Crown and Anchor pub on Chapel Road, told The Gazette: “We’re not going to go under – but obviously it’s disappointing that we’re in this position now.
"I find it strange that London has a higher ‘R’ rate, yet they’re in Tier 2 and we’re having to close.
"We’ve spent quite a lot of money and time preparing for Christmas - putting up decorations, planning events – and now we’re not going to be able to do any of that.”
Jess McConnell, whose boozer, the Albion Gin and Ale House, was shut down temporarily this autumn over a breach of Covid safety rules, meanwhile said that confirmation of the Tier 3 status for the borough came as a surprise.
Mr McConnell said: “We didn’t expect to go into Tier 3, we expected to go into Tier 2 – which still would have been hard work for us as we don’t have food facilities.
"So we’re just hoping and praying that it's reviewed in two weeks...and that we can see a little bit of the Christmas trade.
"Other than that, it’s looking like it will be a bleak January and unviable until Easter. You’ve got your standing costs...and people’s attitudes may change quite a bit between now and next year – they may come back very slowly.
"We’re going to fight to the end. But it’s really tough.”