Midlands bars fear Covid restrictions could force them to close their doors for good

Aluna, Mailbox Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

Bars and restaurants in the Midlands say they fear they will not be able to cope if coronavirus restrictions are tightened further.

Rules are expected to change from next week and the hospitality sector itself says it can't afford more closures.

The government said yesterday there is evidence that a "significant proportion" of exposure to the virus is in hospitality venues. 

Today (October 9th) the leader of Birmingham City Council said the hospitality sector accounts for two per cent of Covid cases in the city.

Aluna cocktail bar based in Birmingham's Mailbox is also already finding business difficult with the 10pm curfew and bosses reckon further restrictions could lead to closure.

Nitin Solanki from Aluna Bar explains the reality of running a bar in recent months.

The Chancellor announced further support for jobs and businesses affected by coronavirus shutdowns amid calls to help the hardest-hit industries and regions.

He said: "Today I'm announcing an expansion of the job support scheme specifically to protect those jobs of people who work in businesses that may be asked to close."

"If that happens those workers will receive two thirds of their wages for the time that they are unable to go to work."

"I'm also announcing today an increase in the generosity and frequency of business grants that will go to those businesses up to three thousand pounds a month paid every fortnight."

The rising infection rate doesn't bode well for pubs and bars, who are braced for further closures early next week, Callum Watkinson reports. 

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