Coronavirus UK: Business owners in areas going into Tier 3 are ‘absolutely devastated’

The latest Tier changes  

MOVING TO TIER 3 

Bedfordshire 

Buckinghamshire

Berkshire

Peterborough

Hertfordshire 

Surrey apart from Waverley 

Hastings and Rother

Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant

MOVING FROM TIER 3 TO TIER 2 

Bristol, North Somerset

MOVING FROM TIER 2 TO TIER 1

Herefordshire 

Advertisement

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock‘s draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England amid rising coronavirus cases.

Local restaurateurs, hoteliers and theatre owners are being forced to either remain closed or shutter their premises to the public in the middle of the usually-busy Christmas period.

Thousands of planned family festive trips to Legoland and LaplandUK in Berkshire, as well as Center Parcs in Sherwood have now been thrown into jeopardy, with possible booking cancellations and postponements on the horizon.

MPs and councillors blasted the Health Secretary’s ‘bizarre’ and ‘ridiculous’ clampdown, while hospitality chiefs warned Tier 3 restrictions will plunge under-fire businesses into ‘despair and heartbreak’.

Large parts of southern England will go into Tier 3, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex, and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.

It means around 38 million people, or 68 per cent of the population, will now be subject to the top bracket – including the Queen at Windsor Castle. 

David Cairns, 35, landlord of The Tap in Portsmouth, told MailOnline: ‘I’ve got a lot of people booked for Christmas Day and now I’ve got to tell them they can’t come – and that’s a bit s***.

‘If you have to save lives you have to save lives, but I’m gutted.’ He added: ‘It’s going to have a massive effect on my business. The week from Christmas to New Year is a crucial period for us and brings a lot of revenue.’

Steve Banfield, who runs The Brown Bear pub in Hertfordshire, said he is ‘resigned’ to the sudden move to Tier 3, telling MailOnline: ‘It’s hard not to think sometimes that they’re trying to decimate the pub industry.

‘I really feel frustrated for the locals who like to come down to the pub at the end of the week, have a pint and chew the fat with their friends.

‘We’ve had a few cases down here, and it’s probably because when people have alcohol they don’t follow social distancing. But what fun’s a pub if you can’t relax with your mates and suspend reality for a moment?’ 

Pub landlady Lili Collier at the Broad Street Tavern in Wokingham said that hospitality venues across England are ‘being punished for being open’.  

David Cairns, 35, landlord of The Tap in Portsmouth, told MailOnline: 'I've got a lot of people booked for Christmas Day and now I've got to tell them they can't come - and that's a bit s***'

David Cairns, 35, landlord of The Tap in Portsmouth, told MailOnline: 'I've got a lot of people booked for Christmas Day and now I've got to tell them they can't come - and that's a bit s***'

David Cairns, 35, landlord of The Tap in Portsmouth, told MailOnline: ‘I’ve got a lot of people booked for Christmas Day and now I’ve got to tell them they can’t come – and that’s a bit s***’

The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth announced that it was postponing all performances of its Dick Whittington pantomime from Friday into the New Year. Above, cast members perform Jack and the Beanstalk at York Theatre Royal on December 2 in York

The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth announced that it was postponing all performances of its Dick Whittington pantomime from Friday into the New Year. Above, cast members perform Jack and the Beanstalk at York Theatre Royal on December 2 in York

The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth announced that it was postponing all performances of its Dick Whittington pantomime from Friday into the New Year. Above, cast members perform Jack and the Beanstalk at York Theatre Royal on December 2 in York

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock's draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock's draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock’s draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England

Large parts of southern England will go into Tier 3, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex, and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire

Large parts of southern England will go into Tier 3, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex, and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire

Large parts of southern England will go into Tier 3, including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey with the exception of Waverley, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex, and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire

How many people will be in each tier when new allocations take effect? 

Tier 1 – 906,374 

Tier 2 – 17,488,082

Tier 3 – 37,892,505 

Advertisement

She told MailOnline the pub, which reopened on July 30 to ensure it was fully Covid-compliant and closed for the second national shutdown, paid close to £10,000 for an outdoor marquee – only to be forced to close a third time. 

The landlady of seven years said: ‘It would be nice if we had a bit of notice. We spend all this money on food and drinks and we have to throw it away, it’s such a waste – especially as there are people going down to their food banks just to find something for that night. 

‘We want to know what the right thing is to do here. We haven’t ever complained, we have followed all the rules, all the Government’s requirements, and now we are being punished for being open. We don’t understand if the Christmas bubbles apply anymore, it’s all a mess.’ 

Simon Dennis, who works at a family-owned restaurant in Luton, revealed that his manager rang him in floods of tears with frustration at the move to Tier 3.

‘Just had my restaurant manager on the phone in tears. Open, close, open, close. Make your minds up,’ he tweeted. 

‘No business can operate like this. And £2,000 for being closed in November! Didn’t even cover half my rent. Going to be nothing left for 2021. Do more’.

A mother in Peterborough who models for Buzz Talent agency said she is ‘absolutely devastated’ by the move. ‘Peterborough is moving into Tier 3 meaning I have to close my business again and I’ve had no financial support at all,’ she tweeted. 

‘We only opened in September and we’ve spent most of the time closed’.  

The owner of a mobile bar called Webster’s Bar Box in the south east of England said she is ‘gutted, heartbroken and had enough now’.

‘Tier 3 means my little pub business has to close again tomorrow,’ she tweeted, adding: ‘I’m in tears, completely drained.’

The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth announced that it was postponing all performances of its Dick Whittington pantomime from Friday into the New Year.

‘Sadly, Friday 18 December at 7pm will be our final performance until Portsmouth comes back out of Tier 3,’ a statement said.

‘We’re so proud of what we have achieved staging our first Pompey Panto and are devastated that the show must be closed over Christmas while we’re in Tier 3.’ 

The luxury four-star Gibbon Bridge Hotel in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, announced that it would have to remain closed as the region is not being brought out of the Tier 3 restrictions.

It added that it is ‘disappointed’ that it is not be able to ‘honour’ Christmas reservations, tweeting: ‘Our region is remaining in Tier 3.

‘While this is entirely out of our hands we can’t tell you how disappointed and sorry we are not to be able to honour your Christmas reservations or be part of making the festive season a bit more special for you. Take care and see you soon.’  

UKHospitality warned that placing more areas into Tier 3 will ‘ruin Christmas for those businesses entering and continued despair and heartbreak for those hard-pressed businesses that had hoped they might move into Tier 2′.

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock's draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock's draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England

Tearful and devastated small business owners are up in arms over the extension of Matt Hancock’s draconian Tier 3 curbs across vast swathes of southern England

Its chief executive Kate Nicholls told MailOnline ‘what was already looking like a bleak Christmas is now looking like a total write-off’. 

‘Businesses will have bought stock which will now go to waste and more people will lose work at a stressful time,’ she claimed.

‘Hotels are now facing a deluge of short-notice cancellations because of the tightening of restrictions. What was already looking like a bleak Christmas is now looking like a total write-off.

‘This will be a bitter blow for businesses that would have been hoping to make the best of a difficult Christmas period. 

‘The increased restrictions, effectively a total shutdown for most, will make it even more difficult for businesses to salvage what little they can from what should be a busy period.

‘More financial support most be forthcoming if we are to have any hope that these businesses will survive. They can trade their way out of danger next year only if they are still around to do so.’

The British Beer & Pub Association said that ‘permanent closures, lost livelihoods and the destruction of valued community locals is sadly inevitable’ with the move to Tier 3. 

Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: ‘The update on tier restrictions announced today is not the shift in the right direction that our sector desperately needed and hoped for. 

It means around 38 million people, or 68 per cent of the population, will now be subject to the top bracket - including the Queen at Windsor Castle

It means around 38 million people, or 68 per cent of the population, will now be subject to the top bracket - including the Queen at Windsor Castle

It means around 38 million people, or 68 per cent of the population, will now be subject to the top bracket – including the Queen at Windsor Castle

Covid-19 deaths have also risen 14 per cent week-on-week, with 612 new victims reported today compared to 533 a week ago. It is the second day in a row that daily infections rose by more than 50 per cent after 18,450 positive tests were announced on Tuesday

Covid-19 deaths have also risen 14 per cent week-on-week, with 612 new victims reported today compared to 533 a week ago. It is the second day in a row that daily infections rose by more than 50 per cent after 18,450 positive tests were announced on Tuesday

Covid-19 deaths have also risen 14 per cent week-on-week, with 612 new victims reported today compared to 533 a week ago. It is the second day in a row that daily infections rose by more than 50 per cent after 18,450 positive tests were announced on Tuesday

‘More regions being placed under Tier 3 restrictions means more closed businesses, leaving the future of Britain’s pubs truly hanging by a thread this Christmas.

‘It is clear that it is going to be longer than we thought until our pubs can open properly and be viable businesses again.  

‘The UK Government can and should follow the lead of Wales, which is providing pubs facing similar restrictions and closure with four times more financial support than those in England. Some pubs in Wales will receive even more than that.

‘The Prime Minister and Chancellor have no excuses. They must now secure pubs and jobs by giving locals in England the same support as those in Wales. Without such support, a wave of pub closures is guaranteed at a time when they should be leading the economic recovery.’

Tory MP for Stevenage Stephen McPartland said that it is ‘ridiculous that we are being dragged into Tier 3’.

He tweeted that the move is ‘totally unacceptable’ and ‘clearly shows I was right to vote against a second lockdown and tier system’.  

‘Government accepted on Monday that tiers should be imposed on a district basis instead of this unbalanced county-wide approach,’ he added.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the Liberal Democrat leader of Portsmouth City Council, said the decision to put the Hampshire city into Tier 3 was ‘bizarre’ when other authorities that required care provided by the city’s Queen Alexandra Hospital had not been moved up.

He said other local authorities such as Fareham and Winchester City were within a mile-and-a-half of the hospital.

‘It’s not unexpected but I am slightly surprised as we have been told the problem is the Queen Alexandra Hospital, which doesn’t just serve Portsmouth, just a third of its intake is from Portsmouth and two-thirds from others around including areas which are within a mile,’ he said.

‘The Government’s ability to get things right seems to be not great but the Government has made a number of bizarre decisions, so it’s no surprise they have made another one.’

The leader of Surrey County Council has said residents and businesses will find most of the county moving into Tier 3 ‘very disappointing news’ at the end of an ‘exceptionally difficult year’. The area of Waverley will remain in Tier 2.

Tim Oliver said: ‘We need to take swift action to save lives and stop our crucial NHS services from being put under even more pressure.

‘We all need to be extremely vigilant, including residents in Waverley, as the situation can change quickly and we want to prevent them going into Tier 3 in the new year.’

He urged people to follow the bubbles guidance over Christmas and added: ‘There is hope on the horizon with the rollout of the vaccine across the county, starting with the over-80s.

‘But it will take time and we cannot let our guard down. The coming weeks will be a challenge to us all, but it is crucial that we reduce the spread of this virus and get through the winter as safely as possible.’

Cllr Peter Marland of Milton Keynes Council claimed the local authority had no prior notification of moving into Tier 3.

‘We were missed off the statement in Parliament. Utter shambles,’ he tweeted. ‘For clarity on Covid-19 matters we are in NHS England East and grouped with Bedfordshire (we think)’.

Are you a business owner in a Tier 2 area now being moved into a Tier 3 area? Email – jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk

link

(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply