'No point opening' - Carlisle pub owner fears effects of new tier restrictions

  • Video report by Ralph Blumson

A pub owner has said told ITV Border that there is 'no point opening' if Cumbria remains in Tier Two over the Christmas period.

It was announced on Thursday that the county would remain under 'high' coronavirus restrictions, which means pubs can open but customers have a to have a 'substantial meal.'

Dianne Irving has owned three pubs in Carlisle for the past five years. She was watching the health secretary Matt Hancock's announcement to see which tier Cumbria was going to be placed in at the end of this lockdown. 

She said: "Tier two is probably the most challenging of the tiers for us.  It means we're open, but customers have to have a substantial meal when they come in.  It's only one household.

"During August, people came out for Eat Out To Help Out. During December, that's going to be a little more challenging it's not the time of year people tend to want to come out."

Credit: ITV News

She continued: "It comes with all the complications of having to be open and having to provide the service, but managing things like the stock and staffing. For us, the biggest risk associated with the business is actually being in Tier Two."

"Christmas Day and Boxing Day are obviously two of our busiest days of the year. We depend on them as a trade.

"If people are allowed to meet as families but not allowed to come into pubs then effectively there's no point in us opening."

Credit: PA

After the tier announcement on Thursday, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “These are not easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice”.

He told MPs: “Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.

“We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.”